Laser Hair Removal
Undesirable hair anywhere on the body can be safely and effectively removed with laser treatment. The most common areas for removal are the legs, armpits, upper lip, chin and bikini line. It’s important to understand that laser hair removal is not guaranteed to be permanent – but it does dramatically extend the “hair free” period, which can vary from several months to years. Laser hair removal can reduce hair counts by 40 – 80%, depending on several variables. With multiple treatments, it provides a sense of permanence and may indeed become permanent.
What is it?
Laser treatments utilize an intense, pulsating beam of light that effectively blasts away the hair. These treatments work best on short, visible hair. Overall, the treatment tends to be most successful on people who have dark hair (brown or black) and light skin, though it can also be effective for people with dark skin as well. If you’ve recently used sunless tanning products, or have a tan, you may have to wait for the tan to fade before undergoing laser hair removal, since a tan can increase the risk of side effects. Sun exposure must be avoided for four to six weeks before treatment. Having a tan can mean a greater likelihood of problematic side effects, which can include blistering and discoloration.
Two to three weeks prior to your treatment, you will be asked to shave the area to be treated and then to allow the hair to grow to a stubble. Do not wax or pluck the hair or undergo electrolysis for three weeks before your treatment date.
What does it do?
A hand-held laser instrument will be applied to your skin, possibly with a coolant device on the tip or, alternately, a cool gel may be used. When the laser is turned on, the light passes through the surface of your skin to the hair follicles. The light pulse heat damages the hair follicles and slows or stops hair growth. Depending on how large the area being treated, this application may take a few minutes (upper lip) to several hours (back).
What does it feel like?
You will be asked to wear goggles during the procedure to avoid accidental exposure to the laser light. You may feel a slight stinging sensation when the laser is activated. You may notice a strong odor. After laser treatment, you should avoid exercise and exertion for 24 hours as perspiration may increase temporary discomfort. There may be slight redness or swelling for a few hours. Some patients experience mild stinging for up to 48 hours. You’ll need to avoid sun exposure for several weeks, including tanning booths.
Though it may not be permanent, laser hair removal achieves a dramatic extension of the “hair free” period, which can vary from several months to years while also reducing volume. Multiple treatments often provide a sense of permanence and indeed may become permanent.