Excessive hair growth and hair at unwanted places has always been an issue for both men and women. We spend a considerable amount of money and devote a considerable amount of time to remove hair from our arms and legs and different body parts. The traditional methods of hair removal like shaving, waxing, depilatories and electrolysis are time-consuming, painful, and expensive.
Laser hair treatment has been used as a cosmetic treatment since the past decade with increasing popularity. It works well for all areas of the body like the face, chin, arms, and the rest of the body. It is performed by plastic surgeons across the world and can effectively reduce unwanted hair permanently with minimal risk.
The treatment makes unwanted hair and fine lines disappear just by a snap of your fingers. But in the wrong hands, the hair removal can cause equal harm. It can burn your skin seriously and scar permanently. So before you throw down your cash for laser hair removal, you should know where it works, about its pros and cons and other facts.
So, read ahead and make sure before what you’re getting into.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Treatment Work?
Laser hair removal treatment includes a laser that will emit heat energy, absorbs the light penetrates deep down the root of each hair strand and damages the follicle. Effective for most skin tones and hair types, this damaged follicle will not be able to produce any further hair for a long time, sometimes never.
- The treatment is relatively safe, and there is minimum disruption on the skin surface. The procedure works best on people with dark hair and light skin. It does not work on hair that is gray, white, light red, light brown or blonde. Several treatments and sessions may be needed for long-term benefits and permanent hair removal.
- Our skin is not adversely affected by the treatment because our skin cools down more quickly than the hair follicles. The treatment ends with the application of creams to cool down the skin and minimize the risk.
- Hair removal treatments on face and under the arms are normally completed in about 15 minutes. The other area of the body will need at least one hour to complete the procedure.
[Read: Top 10 Fruits That Fight Aging]
Laser Hair Removal Side Effects
While the procedure involved in the laser treatment is usually risk-free, there might be some side effects of laser hair removal to consider.
- The use of a laser to remove unwanted hair involves a lot of heat to burn the hair. This can lead to skin burns in some users. The laser hair removal burns occur more frequently in patients with darker skin, as skin with darker pigments absorbs the laser more readily. While, in most instances, the burns are mild, there have been a number of cases where severe burns have been reported.
- The laser may cause hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.
a. Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin that may occur after the laser hair removal. The laser treatment stimulates melanin production creating a reaction similar to suntan.
b. Hypopigmentation, on the other hand, refers to the lightening of skin that occurs after the laser treatment. The absorption of laser light can inhibit the melanin production, leading to a loss of pigment.
- It might also lead to eye injuries, so it is important to protect your eyes during the process of laser treatment.
- Itching is a normal side effect of laser hair removal during and after the treatment.
- The skin turns red for a few days following the treatment, and there is likely to be swelling around the follicle after the treatment.
- Pain, tingling, and numbness around the treated area by the laser are probably the most common side effects that can be considered normal.
- Laser treatment can lead to crusting and formation of scab around the area treated. A mild bruising may also occur on sensitive skin. These side effects appear within the first few days of the treatment and disappears shortly afterward.
- A very rare side effect of laser treatment is purple coloring of the skin on tanned areas.
- Another rare but significant side effect of laser hair removal is infection. It is important to keep the area clean after the procedure, or you could end up getting an infection after the treatment.
Facts About Laser Hair Removal Treatment
Laser hair reduction is a three step procedure which involves cleaning, shaving, and scanning of the area that is to be treated. During scanning, the laser energy is passed through the skin and is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle.
- The treatment and the sessions involved depends on the area, hair density, and the hair growth cycle that needs to be treated. Generally, a person requires six to eight sittings, and in every sitting 20% of the hair follicle gets permanently disabled.
- The success of laser treatments depends on two factors: hair color and skin type. Results vary from person to person, but it effectively reduces 40 to 80% of hair.
- The chance of hair growth is always there, but multiple treatments can lengthen the duration of hair loss.
- Laser hair removal treatment is effective only on actively growing hair follicles. The treatments are usually spaced apart so that hair follicles take time to grow again.
- It is recommended that the laser treatment should be spaced three to eight weeks apart depending on the total area covered and also on the hair growth cycle. The legs and arms usually require less frequent hair removal sessions than the neck and face regions.
- After the hair removal session, it usually takes two to three weeks for the hair follicles to shed off.
The Types Of Laser Used In This Treatment
1. Ruby Laser
This laser works best for very pale skin and is not very commonly used.
2. YAG Laser
This is one of the most common lasers used and is used to treat darker skinned people.
IPL is the most commonly used laser in the hair removing technique. It is most effective for pale to medium type skin tone.
Advantages Of Laser Hair Removal Treatment
- The biggest advantage of laser hair removal is getting rid of unwanted hair growth. Hair removed at a laser clinic will take a long time to grow than by other usual means. It burns and completely disables the hair follicle and in some cases removes the hair permanently. While waxing is still the most popular method of hair removal, laser treatment is long-lasting and at times permanent removal that is making laser treatment an increasingly popular method of removing hair.
- Laser hair removal treatment is the most effective of all treatments. The majority of people who have undergone this treatment have had positive results and in some cases even permanent hair elimination.
- Candela or Palomar, the machines used for treating laser hair removal are user-friendly and can be accessed by all age groups of people.
- Laser hair removal is suitable for removing hair from all parts of the body.
- It is much less painful than waxing, plucking, threading, and electrolysis. A prickly feeling is experienced, but that can be counteracted with an anesthetic cream. The laser treatment resembles a rubber band snapping against the skin for a quick second with each pulse.
- The procedure involved in laser treatment is fast and quick. The length of the treatment depends on the size of the area being treated. Each laser pulse will treat an area of 9×9 mm.
- If there is hair re-growth after treatment, it will be finer and lighter in texture as compared to before.
- Laser hair removal rarely comes with complications and even if there is some sort of complication, it is never permanent in nature. If any pain or swelling or redness is seen, it subsides quickly. The best technicians and clinics will greatly reduce the likelihood of having any of these complications.
- With diode laser removal, there is speed, accuracy, and most of all; it is safe and non-irritating. Compared with other epilating techniques, the diode laser is a non-evasive method. So there is less likelihood of having a bacterial infection.
- Laser hair removal gives smooth skin and enhances the beauty of the person. It is also safe for sensitive areas near eyes and mouth.
Disadvantages Of Laser Hair Removal
- The main disadvantage of laser hair removal is the cost associated with the treatment. Six initial sessions are necessary to gain the full benefit of the treatment. You can’t get away from the treatment once you start it. You have to complete the sessions to make it work, and this adds to the cost. A session can cost anywhere between $250 to $350.
- Another disadvantage of laser treatment is that it gives full results to only a specific type of people. Laser is not beneficial for red, blonde, and gray hair. People with dark skin have this melanin shade throughout their body. Thus, laser treatment is not much effective on dark skin. Even very pale toned people will also not get 100% results and at times no result at all.
- Laser hair removal treatment is effective only on actively growing hair. It permanently removes the hair follicle that is in an active growing phase. However, the treatment does not prevent new hair follicles from growing. So it is not a permanent hair removal treatment, and some re-growth is possible.
- Sometimes, the treatment works only in areas where the hair is thin.
Pre-Laser Treatment Precautions
- The area to be treated should be protected from sun tanning and sun exposure for at least four to six weeks. Apply a high SPF sunscreen on the area. Avoid exposure to the sun during the course of treatment as this can cause sunburn.
- Avoid bleaching, plucking, waxing the area for four to six weeks before the treatment.
- If you have a history of herpes, go for anti-viral therapy before and after the treatment.
- Do not take any photosensitive drugs or herbals for 24 hours before the treatment.
- Do not shave for three to eight days before the treatment. For further treatments, do not shave for one to two weeks so that the doctor can see the stubble growth on the day of treatment. Use a sunscreen throughout the course of treatment.
Post Laser Treatment Precautions
- There are possibilities of redness and swelling on the treated area which will not last longer than two hours. A clear aloe vera gel is recommended on the treated area for two to four days. Patients with darker skin may have more discomfort, so it is advisable to use the aloe vera gel for a longer time.
- If the area feels warm to touch even after 24 hours of treatment, apply ice to reduce the swelling and tenderness and promote healing.
- Avoid using cosmetics and creams over the treated skin as this can lead to skin irritations. Avoid scratch or picking the treated area
- Avoid internal or external heat i.e. sauna, hot tub, hot oven, steam or heavy exercises that may cause perspiration, for two days as they may stimulate melanocytes leading to hyperpigmentation. Do not wash the treated area forcefully as the skin is still tender.
- After the first three days of your treatment, it’s not recommended to sunbathe.
- Remember to take care of your skin. Especially when going out for a walk, always apply a good UV-filtered sun-cream; we prefer powerful, Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen SPF 70 that will keep your skin healthy as well.
Laser Hair Removal Cost
The cost of laser hair removal treatment depends on various factors which include:
1. Area Of Treatment
The area which the patient wants to treat is the most important factor in determining the final cost. Larger areas of the body are charged higher than small patches. The primary reason for this price discrepancy is that the procedure is precise and takes a long time. Larger areas take longer time as compared to smaller portions.
2. Number Of Sessions
The cost of the entire treatment is divided into a number of sessions which is priced differently. So it is important for patients to take a note of the number of sessions which they would need to complete the treatment. To complete the treatment, most patients would require at least six additional sessions which increase the overall cost of the treatment.
3. Type Of Hair
The density, thickness, and length of the hair play an important role in determining the overall the cost of the treatment.
4. Standard Of The Clinic
The total cost of the treatment also depends on the standard and quality of the clinic you visit to get the treatment. There are different types of clinics and hospitals that provide laser treatment and cost of the treatment varies from clinic to clinic. These clinics are determined on the level of luxury and service they provide and the overall standard of health care.
Most clinics charge around $250 to $350 per session. It is important to confirm the number of sessions before commencing the removal.
Some clinics and health care also offer a complete package and are competitively priced to attract the customers.
When going for a laser hair removal treatment always choose a skilled doctor who has proper experience in this field. This minimizes the chance of injury and burning during the treatment, and guarantees the best result. Never compromise on the quality to save some money as it damages the body which if you are unlucky can be permanent.
So there you have it, a lowdown on the latest trends in the cosmetic world, laser hair removal. Hope you liked the post, and if you do, please let us know in the comments below. We value our reader’s feedback.
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