In case you’re not happy with tweezing, waxing or shaving to get rid of unwanted body hair, then laser hair removal could just be the option worth considering for you. This painless hair removal treatment is one of the most commonly used cosmetic procedures in and around the world. It is even growing in popularity as a procedure for facial hair removal for men. The procedure uses concentrated beams of laser light to target the hair roots (follicles). The pigments in the follicles absorb the light and this in turn destroys the hair.
Benefits of Laser Treatment
Laser treatment is useful for removing unwanted hair from the face, arms, underarm, legs, and bikini line. Prominent benefits of laser hair removal include:
- Speed: Every pulse of the laser light takes only a fraction of a second and treats several hairs at the same time. Small areas like the upper lip can be treated in under a minute, and larger areas like the back or leg hair removal could take up to one hour.
- Precision: The laser selectively targets only dark and coarse hair, whist leaving the surrounding skin unharmed.
- Predictability: Almost 90% of the patients achieve permanent hair loss after an average of 3 to 5 sessions.
Preparing for the Procedure
In case you are planning to undergo hair removal treatment, you must limit waxing, plucking, and electrolysis for at least 6 weeks before the procedure. That is because the laser targets the hair follicles (roots) that would be temporarily removed by plucking or waxing.
You must also avoid sun exposure for 6 weeks before and after treatment. Exposure to sun makes the procedure less effective and also increases the possibility of complications after treatment.
What to Expect During Treatment
Before the procedure, the hair will be trimmed to a few millimeters above the skin’s surface. The laser will be adjusted according to the color, thickness, and location of the hair being treated and your skin color.
Depending upon the laser being used, you will need to wear appropriate eye protection. The outer layer of skin will be protected by using cold gel or a cooling device. This also helps the laser light to penetrate the skin better.
Next, the doctor will use a pulse of light on the treatment area and watch the area for some time. This is to ensure that the best settings are used and check for negative reactions. After the treatment is complete, you will be given anti-inflammatory creams, ice packs or cold water to help ease any discomfort.
Recovery and Risks
For a day or two after treatment, the treated area will look and feel like it’s sunburned. Moisturizers and cool compresses will help. Over the next month, the treated hair will fall out. Potential side effects include redness, swelling, blisters and scarring. However, blisters, permanent scarring and changes in skin color are rare.
Costs of Treatment
The cost can vary, depending upon various factors that include:
- Size of the treatment area
- Number of treatment sessions required
- The place where you are undergoing treatment