Laser hair removal is an attractive option for those who hate shaving and despise unwanted hair. The act of shaving brings with it all sorts of headaches. Razors are expensive, you can get razor burn and ingrown hairs, and shaving takes precious time out of your day that you can never get back. Who wants all that when you can have the hair lasered away in record time?
Before you toss out your razor and opt for this effective form of hair removal, it pays to educate yourself about the procedure and any side effects you may experience to make sure the treatment is the right fit for you.
Laser Hair Removal Facts You Should Know
You Must Have Patience
Laser hair removal takes multiple treatments to receive the full benefit. If you want your unwanted hair to be eradicated, be regular with your appointments so that each hair has a chance to get zapped.
The Appointments are Fast
Most people are surprised to find that laser hair removal doesn’t take much time at all. Depending on the amount of hair, and the area of the body, treatment can take as little as twenty minutes.
More Benefits Than Just Hair Removal
Laser hair removal won’t just get rid of your unwanted hair, but you can also say goodbye to pesky ingrown hairs. Imagine having clearer and smoother skin with permanent hair reduction and less irritation! That is reason enough to throw out every single razor you have.
There May Be Discomfort
Many people are hesitant to sign up for laser hair removal because they think that the laser burns or otherwise hurts. It is true that hair removal works through a powerful laser, and a small amount of heat is involved, but the irritation is not unbearable.
Laser therapy utilizes high-heat laser beams to provide a mild form of radiation. The light of the laser is sent through the pigment in the hair. The light converts to heat, which damages the hair follicle and bulb. While this sounds like it could be painful, it’s more of a discomfort and doesn’t last long.
How Painful is Laser Hair Removal?
You may be dismayed by the term “discomfort.” After all, pain tolerances vary. What may feel uncomfortable to one person may be downright painful to another. So, let’s get right down to it. How painful is laser hair removal, really?
Most patients will tell you that the procedure doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as waxing. The technician can also adjust the power of the machine to lessen the intensity of the laser if your pain tolerance is low.
The discomfort tends to be less intense on areas where the skin is thicker, like the stomach and arms, and more intense on areas with thinner skin like the underarms and upper lip.
Is Permanent Hair Removal Really Permanent?
You often hear the word “permanent” used in conjunction with “laser hair removal,” but the permanence is really a misnomer. Hair removal using lasers only reduces the number of unwanted hairs on your legs, arms, and other areas. The procedure will not eradicate the hairs forever.
The hair follicles and bulbs are only temporarily disabled. The hair follicles will eventually heal, resulting in new hair production. This is why multiple sessions are recommended if you want unwanted hair removed for extended periods of time.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of laser hair removal is around $429. However, costs will vary depending on the areas you want to be treated and where you go. Face and neck hair removal can cost as little as $600 and as high as $900. Chest hair removal can range from $350 to $600, and the bikini area can range from $350 to $500.
How Many Treatments Does the Average Person Require for Laser Hair Removal?
While single laser treatment can remove much of the unwanted hair in any given area, more treatments are required to maintain hair loss. The follicles will begin to shed over the following days and weeks after your initial appointment. Experts then recommend that you have another treatment in around four to six weeks. With these multiple appointments, you will see a significant reduction in the number of hair follicles your body produces in the treated area.
All in all, you may find that 4 to 6 treatments are needed to rid your body of the unwanted hair completely. Others may require 5 to 7 treatments. The number of treatments you require will depend on your hair and skin color, hair texture, and the hormones your body produces that are driving the unwanted hair growth. Everyone is different, so your treatment frequency may vary.
Are There Any Downsides to Laser Hair Removal?
When you schedule a consultation with your laser hair removal technician, you will be evaluated to determine your risk of developing side effects. Side effect risks will vary depending on your skin type, treatment plan, and hair color and texture.
The laser is designed to attack the pigment of the hair. This is why the procedure works best on darker hair. The procedure doesn’t work as well for individuals with hair colors that don’t absorb light well, such as gray, blond, white, red, and white hair.
The risk of damage to the skin is greater in patients with little contrast between the color of their hair and skin. However, laser technology has come a long way in recent years, which means that even those with darker skin can enjoy the benefits of laser hair removal without painful or annoying effects.
The most common side effects of laser hair removal are skin irritation and skin pigment changes. The skin could develop temporary discomfort and turn red or swollen following your laser hair removal treatment. Your skin might also darken or lighten, but these effects are temporary and should resolve themselves in just a few days. In most cases, skin lightening will affect individuals who fail to avoid sun exposure right before or after treatment, but it can also occur in those with darker skin.
In rare cases, lasering the hair away can cause crusting, blistering, and scarring of the skin. Your technician will ensure you the right fit for the procedure before scheduling your appointment to keep the chances of side effects to an absolute minimum.
Can You Get Cancer From Laser Hair Removal?
Many myths prevail about laser hair removal. One of the most shocking myths we’ve heard is that having the hair lasered away causes cancer. These rumors are completely unfounded, as the lasers are designed to pass through skin cells and only target the hair follicles deep within the skin.
The lasers only produce a slight amount of radiation. However, this radiation is not thought to be harmful, and there is no evidence at all that laser hair removal therapy causes skin cancer. In fact, millions of people have undergone the procedure without issue since the FDA approved laser hair treatments as safe in 1997.
Do You Need to Do Anything to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
The first thing you should do when considering laser hair removal is to schedule an appointment with a board-certified specialist who is experienced in cosmetic laser procedures.
During your consultation, you will be asked about your medical history to determine if you have allergies or health problems that can complicate the procedure. You will also be evaluated to see if you are a good fit for the laser removal procedure. If you tend to scar easily or you have recently gotten a tan, you may not be recommended. You could also be a poor candidate for the procedure if you are prone to herpes or cold sore outbreaks and if you have ever taken isotretinoin (Accutane).
Your laser hair removal technician will also discuss the risks of the procedure so that you are well-informed before opting for the treatment. As with any medical procedure, lasering your unwanted hair away can come with some risks. These include burns, scars, and permanent skin color changes, though these effects are rare.
Your technician will let you know how many treatments are recommended and will discuss payment options with you.
After scheduling your appointment, there are some things you can do to prepare.
First of all, stay away from sunbeds or excessive amounts of sun exposure for six weeks leading up to your procedure. If your technician recommends that you use a bleaching cream, make sure you use the topical ointment as recommended. This may be the case if you have recently gotten a tan.
Don’t pluck or wax your skin for six weeks before the procedure and avoid chemical peels or collagen injections. You should also stay away from blood thinning medication or aspirin for at least a few days before your procedure. Be sure and tell your technician if you have taken prescription or over the counter medications recently, as these could cause side effects when used in conjunction with laser hair removal.
Finally, it is recommended that you shower and shave the area before your appointment. When shaving the treatment area, use a new razor, shaving cream, and warm water so that you get the closest shave.
The only thing left to do is show up for your appointment. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and have a great time as your unwanted hair gets zapped away.
Does Hair Really Grow Back Thicker After Laser Hair Removal?
Most people find that laser hair removal causes their hair to grow back thinner and lighter. In very rare cases, the procedure can stimulate hair growth. Experts don’t truly understand the reason for this phenomenon, but the technical term for the hair growing back thicker is called hypertrichosis.
According to studies on hypertrichosis, only 1% to 10% of patients develop thicker hair following laser hair removal. Discuss this possibility with your technician during your consultation to alleviate any concerns you may have.
Other Common Questions About Laser Hair Removal
Is Electrolysis Better Than Laser for Hair Removal?
Both electrolysis and laser hair removal are effective for removing unwanted hair. Electrolysis involves an electrical current that is passed through each hair follicle. The hair follicle becomes damaged, preventing future hair growth. Electrolysis is permanent and can come with side effects. Of the two procedures, laser hair removal is currently the most popular in the nation.
Is It Okay to Pull Your Hair Out After Having it Laser Removed?
It is best to leave all the treatment areas alone following your treatment. If you still notice hair in the areas you wish were bare, have patience. Your follow up appointments will get rid of the problem in due time.
Should You Shave Before Your Laser Hair Removal Appointment?
We do recommend shaving and showering before the appointment for the best results.
Will Laser Hair Removal Affect Your Teeth?
The laser involved with the removal process doesn’t penetrate deep enough to affect your teeth or gums, so undergoing treatment won’t anger your dentist.
Does Laser Hair Removal Affect Tattoos?
Since the laser involved with removal is attracted by the pigment in the hair follicles, your tattoos may be affected. The laser cannot distinguish between tattoo dye and hair pigment, so treatments may cause your tattoo ink to scatter or otherwise lighten.
Are There Age Requirements for Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is safe for any age. Many parents take their teens to get their lips and even legs waxed. However, it is up to the discretion of the doctor or technician on whether a person is a good candidate for laser hair removal.
Is Laser Hair Removal Approved by the FDA?
The United States Food and Drug Administration approved lasers as safe and effective for hair removal in 1997.
Can Laser Hair Removal Cause a Hormonal Imbalance?
Laser hair removal can’t cause a hormonal imbalance, but you may experience effects related to a hormonal imbalance if you have one. This is seen in the rare cases of paradoxical hypertrichosis, where the hair grows back thicker following laser therapy. Talk to your doctor or technician if you have a hormonal imbalance during your consultation.
Why is My Hair Still Growing After Laser Hair Removal?
Laser removal takes a few sessions before the hair is completely eradicated. As long as you stay consistent and remain vigilant with your follow up appointments, the areas can be freed of hair without shaving or waxing.
What Happens if I Stop Laser Hair Removal?
Over time, the hair will grow back like normal. Laser hair removal is semi-permanent, which means you can get rid of your unwanted hair in various problem areas for the long-term. Once you stop treatment, the damaged hair will eventually heal, leading to a continuance of the standard hair growth cycle.
How Many Laser Hair Removal Sessions Are Required for Underarm Hair?
The underarm area can take around three to five treatment sessions to achieve maximum results.
Schedule Your First Hair Removal Appointment Today!
Where on your body do you have unwanted hair? By now, you know more about the procedure and how it works. Your next step is to schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Moeinolmolki. Dr. Moein is also certified in the use of lasers for cosmetic purposes, including hair removal.
Schedule now if you want to:
Many patients start out by trying a tiny problem area like the upper lip, sideburns, nipples, chin, abdominal line, or eyebrows.
You can then move up to the underarms, bikini line, inner thighs, buttocks, lower legs, shoulders, back, and arms.
Call Moein Surgical Arts now for a free and private consultation.