What Is Laser Hair Removal? A Quick Guide

Did you know that it can take six or more laser hair removal sessions to remove unwanted hair? Consider laser hair removal for yourself. If you’re asking, “what is laser hair removal?” we can help.

In this laser hair removal guide, we’ll go over the steps involved with this procedure.

Want to learn more? Keep reading.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal uses light to get rid of unwanted hair. During the removal, a laser will release light that gets absorbed by the pigment in the hair.

The light energy gets converted to heat. This damages the tube-shaped sacs in the skin that produces hair, and the damage will delay or stop future hair growth.

Laser hair removal will delay hair growth for an extended period, and it doesn’t result in permanent hair removal.

Many treatments are necessary for initial hair removal. Maintenance treatments might need to get done, as well.

Why Does the Procedure Get Done?

Laser hair removal removes any unwanted hair. People tend to get this treatment done on their upper lip, legs, armpits, bikini line, or chin.

Skin and hair color influence the success of the laser hair removal procedure. The main principle is the pigment of the hair will absorb the light.

The laser should damage the hair follicle but not the skin. The contrast between skin color and hair will result in the best outcome. Advances have made laser hair removal a possibility for people with dark skin.

Laser hair removal isn’t as effective for hair colors that absorb light well, like red, white, blond, or grey hair. Laser treatment options for lighter-colored hair have begun to develop.

What Are the Risks?

Risks of potential side effects will change with hair color, treatment plan, and skin type.

Also, side effects will depend on how well people keep up with pre and post-treatment care. Side effects include skin irritation or pigment changes.

Skin irritation can include redness, swelling, and temporary discomfort. Symptoms and signs will disappear within a few hours.

Pigment changes, however, can include things like lightened or darkened skin areas. These changes can be permanent or temporary.

Skin lightening will affect people who don’t avoid sun exposure. Also, skin lightening occurs after treatment and in people who have dark skin.

Laser hair removal can sometimes cause crusting, scarring, or blistering. Rare side effects include excessive hair growth or graying of the treated hair.

Laser hair removal isn’t recommended for eyebrows because of potential eye injuries.

How Can You Prepare?

Before the removal, you should schedule a consultation with your doctor. Figure out if this is a possible treatment option.

The doctor will review your history of skin disorders, scarring, and medication use.

The doctor can talk about benefits, expectations, and risks. This can include what laser hair removal can and cannot do. Look at photographs before and after the assessment, and read reviews.

During the consultation, talk about the treatment plan and potential costs. Laser hair removal tends to be an out-of-pocket cost.

The doctor can offer specific instructions on preparing for laser hair removal. They might recommend that you stay out of the sun.

You should follow your doctor’s advice and avoid sun exposure before and after the treatment.

When going outside, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Don’t use any creams that can lighten your skin or darken the skin.

Don’t pursue any other hair removal methods. Waxing, plucking, and electrolysis can end up disturbing the hair follicles. Avoid this for at least four weeks before the treatment.

You should also avoid blood-thinning medications. Talk about what medications to avoid before the procedure. Also, you shouldn’t shave the treatment area until the day before.

What to Expect

Laser hair removal will need up to six treatments, and the intervals between the treatments will depend on the location.

Where hair grows fast, like the upper lip, you might need to repeat the treatment in four weeks. On slower hair growth areas, like the back, you’ll need a treatment every 12 weeks.

For each treatment, you’ll need to wear specific goggles to protect your eyes. Some doctors will apply a topical anesthetic to protect your skin from discomfort.

The doctor presses a handheld laser instrument on your skin. Depending on the laser, a cooling device will be put on the tool’s tip or cool gel to protect your skin.

When the doctor activates the laser, the beam will pass through your skin to the hair follicles. The intense heat from the beam will damage the hair follicles, which inhibit hair growth.

Look For a Professional

Pick a doctor who’s board-certified in a specialty like cosmetic surgery or dermatology. Find someone who has experience with laser hair removal on your particular skin type.

If a licensed nurse or physician assistant completes the procedure, the doctor should supervise. Remain cautious about salons or spas that let nonmedical personnel complete the work.

Ask your friends if they could recommend someone. Most people prefer a recommendation from someone who had personal experience.

Take your time finding a doctor to complete your laser hair removal.

Will You Get Laser Hair Removal Done?

We hope we answered the question, “what is laser hair removal?” Consider what you would like to get done, and make sure you find a board-certified specialist.

Find a specialist with experience in the business.

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