A hairless face or body does not come easy. However, when you want the hair gone, you do have choices.
You can shave the hair away. But raking a sharp razor across your skin can lead to razor burn, nicks, and ingrown hairs. Ouch.
Waxing can remove the hair. But pouring hot wax on your skin, then suddenly ripping it away, seems like a fitting addition to a medieval torture chamber. Doesn’t it?
The much better way to remove unwanted hair, as this article will prove, is laser hair removal.
This method of hair eradication that involves a high-tech laser beam is growing in popularity. The laser hair removal industry is expected to grow from $583.99 million (in 2021) to a whopping $2.51 billion by 2031.
Over 450,000 laser hair removal procedures were performed in 2019, and that number continues to grow each year.
Laser hair removal has become as popular as it has because there are quite a few benefits.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
The primary benefit is the fact that laser hair removal is considered cosmetic, non-surgical, safe, and effective. By using lasers, patients are able to achieve semi-permanent and in some cases permanent hair loss on the body and face.
The results are faster and last longer than those gained by shaving or waxing.
The procedure is also not expensive. Fees associated with laser hair removal continue to drop as the technology steadily becomes more advanced.
Want to learn more? You have come to the right place. By the end of this amazing article, you will be well-versed in the use of lasers to zap hair where it grows. You will also know if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure, how much it costs, and where the best clinic is located for stellar results.
Don’t want to wait until the end of the article? That’s understandable. You want results now, not later. Call Moein Surgical Arts in Los Angeles, California, to schedule a consultation with dual-board-certified cosmetic surgeon Doctor Babak Moein. Dial (310)694-4486 to get started.
What is Laser Hair Removal and How Does it Work?
While the use of lasers to remove hair may seem high-tech, you might be surprised to learn that the first instance of lasers being used for hair removal started back in 1963. That is the same year ZIP codes were introduced, the infamous prison Alcatraz was closed, and former President John F. Kennedy took his fateful drive around Dallas.
It was in that year that laser hair removal was accidentally discovered. Scientists noticed that by directing lasers at the skin, hair follicles were zapped into another dimension. Unfortunately, those same lasers also damaged the skin.
The practice of removing facial and body hair with lasers would not become commercially popular until the 1980s. Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since then.
Today, laser hair removal techniques are well-known for their ability to remove hair without harming the skin. Some side effects can occur. We will discuss those in greater detail in a moment.
Just like shaving and waxing, laser hair removal can be used anywhere unwanted hair exists. That includes the face, underarms, back, legs, buttocks, and bikini area.
Unlike shaving and waxing, removing hair with lasers produces no stubble, nicks, or cuts. The hair also stays gone longer than the aforementioned hair removal methods.
Laser hair removal is a straightforward process. The technique is medically referred to as photothermolysis.
The technician uses a handheld device to direct a heated laser beam at each hair follicle. The technique works best on hair cells with pigment (color, also referred to as melanin). Follicles with the most melanin end up absorbing the most heat.
The heat from the laser beam destroys the hair follicles, completely obliterating them. Just like removing a tree trunk prevents a tree from growing back, zapping a follicle with a laser has the same effect on your unwanted hair.
For laser hair removal to be most effective, the hair follicles targeted for eradication must be in their anagen (growth) stages. Since hair follicles can be in distinct stages at the same time, even in the same treatment area, most people require multiple laser hair removal treatments.
Are You a Suitable Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
If you have unwanted body hair, you are a good candidate for laser hair removal. The technique can be used anywhere except for the eyelids. Removing hair with lasers should also be avoided on tattooed skin.
You would be particularly suited for the cosmetic hair removal method if you suffer from hirsutism (when women grow coarse hair in areas where men usually have hair), and hypertrichosis (where men and women grow excess hair anywhere on their bodies).
People with dark hair and light skin tend to fare best with laser hair removal. The contrast between the dark hair color and the light skin makes it easier for the hair follicles to absorb heat. That means lasers may not work as well with people with dark skin or hair that is gray, blond, red, or white. Advancements in technology are being made all the time, so these caveats may soon change.
Why is Laser Hair Removal Better Than Shaving?
Most of us hate shaving.
For one, it’s a grueling process you need to repeat often. On yourself.
For some people, shaving needs to be repeated daily.
Then there is the fact that anytime you rake a sharp blade across your skin, you risk unwanted side effects. Nicks and cuts are only part of the problem. Ingrown hairs lead to raised, inflamed sores that hurt.
Shaving products are also expensive. Razors, shaving cream, and aftershave products are major expenditures, with no end in sight.
Laser hair removal is the superior method to remove hair. For one, someone else does the process for you. Also, when you shave, you are only removing the hair on the skin’s surface.
With laser hair removal, the entire follicle is destroyed, preventing the hair from growing back.
Lasers also save you time over shaving. Imagine taking a shower, bath, or getting ready for work without having to touch a razor. Doesn’t that sound like heaven?
In What Ways is Laser Hair Removal Superior to Waxing?
Ah, waxing, where you pay a professional to torture you for an hour.
Simply lay down on a table and the waxing technician will pour hot wax on your most delicate parts. A fabric strip is then applied before it is ripped away.
The most difficult part of waxing is trying not to scream.
When performed properly, waxing yanks the hair from the follicle. You get smooth skin without visible skin on the surface. The follicle still remains, however, which makes it inferior to laser hair removal.
Because the hair follicle stays intact, you will have to return sooner for waxing than you will with laser removal.
Sure, waxing may be cheaper than lasers per appointment, but lasers will save you money in the long run. In just a few treatments with laser hair removal, the hair will grow back slower, if it ever grows back at all.
Also, if you are prone to ingrown hairs, waxing can produce them the same as razors. This is another reason laser hair removal is the best way to eradicate unwanted hair.
Common Questions About Laser Hair Removal
Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
You betcha. As Jenn Sinrich wrote in Self Magazine, “I Tried Laser Hair Removal Under My Arms and I Will Never EVER Go Back to the Razor.” You can expect a 10% to 25% reduction in hair following your initial treatment. For maximum removal, you might need two to six laser hair removal treatments. After each treatment, you can look forward to hair-free skin for several months and even years. When the hair eventually does grow back, there tends to be less of it.
If you tend to experience razor bumps and folliculitis, laser hair removal is definitely for you.
Nidhi Sharma Punjabi, beauty director, wrote in Vogue her advice for anyone on the fence about laser hair removal. “Laser hair removal is so much more accessible now. Ten years ago when we wanted to do it there were very few people who were doing a legitimate job with proper FTA-certified machines, but now [there] are many clinics that are giving you so many flexible packages with EMI options too. It’s become a lot more mainstream. It’s really the best gift you can give to someone like, ‘here, my birthday gift to you is this – get rid of the hair on your arms.’ I think that’s a good idea!”
Are There Side Effects to Laser Hair Removal?
Side effects of laser hair removal include swelling, skin inflammation, and a temporary formation of blisters, crusting, or scarring.
When Should I Start Laser Hair Removal?
You cannot have laser hair removal if you have a tan, so start in the winter or fall before the spring or summer months.
How Do You Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
Before showing up for your appointment, you are advised not to pluck, wax, or bleach the hair on the treatment area for at least four weeks. Stay away from hair removal creams also. You should shave. Shave the treatment area 24 to 48 hours before your appointment. Show up to your appointment wearing loose-fitting clothing that can be taken down to expose the treatment area comfortably.
How Many Laser Hair Removal Treatments Do I Need?
Most people require around six to eight appointments on average. You should allow at least six weeks between every appointment.
There is no downtime. You can expect stunting of hair growth following each treatment.
How Can I Treat My Skin After Laser Skin Removal?
You can soothe your skin following each laser hair removal treatment by applying a cool compress, applying prescription creams, protecting your skin from the sun, and refraining from shaving as your skin heals. Aside from not shaving, keep away from tanning beds, excess sun exposure, tanning lotions, deodorant (if the hair was removed under the arms), and body scrubs (at least for a few days).
Stay away from hot showers, saunas, hot tubs, swimming pools, and strenuous activity for at least a few days following laser hair removal, or until your redness has resolved.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a laser hair removal session is $293. The cost you are charged will depend on your treatment provider and how many treatments are needed. The fees involved will also depend on how much hair regrows between treatments, the number of hairs you are targeting, and the size of the treatment area.
Stop Shaving and Stop Waxing. Get Laser Hair Removal, the Superior Way to Remove Unwanted Hair
By now you are familiar with the origins of laser hair removal, how the technique works, the side effects, the costs involved, and so much more.
You also know that lasers last longer than shaving without skin wounds. As someone once said, “You had me at never have to shave my legs again!”
You also are also aware that laser hair removal is better than waxing because no one is pouring hot wax on your skin.
Or, take it from Claudia O. (Age 23) as reported in Women’s Health Magazine, “I went into my first appointment literally shaking. I had been burned both physically and emotionally by waxing, so I was apprehensive about laser hair removal. I was pleasantly surprised though. Don’t get me wrong – it still hurt to have a laser shot at my bikini line, but it definitely wasn’t as painful as I imagined it to be.”
You can think of the laser hair removal technique by this acronym: LASER: Lasting, Affordable, Safe, Effective, and Reliable.
Want to know who also loves lasers? Kim Kardashian. She once said, “I am Armenian, so, of course, I am obsessed with laser hair removal! Arms, bikini, legs, underarms, my entire body is hairless.” We can only guess that she forgot about the hair on her head, but point taken. If the standard of beauty – the Queen of the Kardashians – loves laser hair removal, you might too.
Want to learn more? Contact Moein Surgical Arts in Los Angeles, California. In addition to providing Southern California with an entire menu of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic techniques, Doctor Babak Moein is a specialist in laser hair removal. Schedule your consultation and get answers to your most pressing questions by dialing (310)694-4486.