Are you tired of shaving, tweezing, and waxing? Laser hair removal can be an effective way to reduce or eliminate unwanted hair growth.
Proper treatment can permanently reduce your need for manual hair removal. However, you will likely need to shave or pluck occasionally, as hormonal changes may cause new hair growth.
Unwanted hair is a problem for many people, and it can be difficult to remove using traditional methods like shaving, waxing or plucking. Laser hair removal uses heat from a laser to destroy the hair follicle and prevent it from growing new hair. This process is called selective photothermolysis, and it works by targeting the pigment (melanin) in the hair without damaging the surrounding skin. The laser’s light energy is absorbed by the melanin in the hair, and then it converts into heat, which destroys the hair follicle and prevents future growth.
The procedure is safe and effective for most people, but it’s important to follow the doctor’s instructions to avoid complications. During the treatment, a technician will press a handheld device against your skin and then activate the laser. The sensation might feel like a series of stings, and it can last for a few minutes to over an hour. You may also notice a burning sensation, and you might see smoke and vapor in the area that is being treated.
Your hair growth cycle can affect how well laser treatments work, and you should avoid plucking, waxing or shaving before a laser session. You should also limit your exposure to sunlight and use a high-SPF sunscreen. If you are taking blood-thinning medications, talk to your doctor about whether or not it’s okay to continue them before a treatment.
Hair grows in a cycle that involves resting, shedding and growing periods. After a few laser sessions, most patients don’t notice any more hair growth in the treatment area. When it does regrow, the hairs are usually finer and lighter in color than before.
How Long Does It Take?
Laser hair removal works best on people with dark hair and light skin because the contrast between these colors makes it easier for the pigment in the hair follicle to absorb the laser’s energy without damaging surrounding tissue. It does not work on white, grey or red hair because there is not enough melanin to be targeted by the laser. Patients with a skin tone that is too light for laser treatment must use other hair removal methods such as electrolysis.
Before your laser treatment, you’ll need to shave the area of the skin that is being treated. You should also avoid waxing and plucking because the hair follicle needs to be intact for the treatment to work. Your practitioner will put on special goggles and then apply a cool gel or cooling air spray to protect your eyes. They will then give the treatment area a pulse of light and monitor it for several minutes to ensure that they aren’t causing any damage to your skin.
You’ll probably feel a slight sensation of heat as the laser pulses touch your skin, but it is usually not painful. Many patients compare it to the feeling of a warm pinprick. Once the treatment is complete, you’ll notice that your hair has begun to fall out. This is because the hair follicles that were in the active growth phase have been destroyed by the laser.
Most patients need between two and six laser treatments before they can see full results. Since hair grows in cycles, you’ll need to schedule regular sessions every few weeks. For the face, this will mean a session every four weeks, while for the legs and bikini area, you might need a treatment every six to eight weeks.
What Are the Side Effects?
Laser hair removal is a safe, effective procedure when performed by a licensed practitioner. You may experience minor side effects like redness and swelling after the treatment, but these should go away on their own. More serious side effects are rare but can include pigment changes in your skin (lightening or darkening), cold sore outbreaks, blistering, and scarring.
To reduce the risk of complications, you should avoid plucking or waxing your hair before a laser treatment session. You should also stay out of the sun and use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher before and after treatment. You should also avoid tanning beds and sunless skin creams, as the heat from these can make your skin less responsive to the laser’s treatment. It’s important to shave the area two to three days before your session. Shaving removes the surface hair and will help the laser target your hair follicles more effectively.
Some people need multiple sessions to get satisfactory results, especially if they have dark hair. Other people might require yearly maintenance sessions to keep their hair growth under control.
Blisters are a rare side effect of laser hair removal, but they can occur when your hair follicles become damaged by the heat from the laser. It’s important to wear a sunhat and protect your skin from the sun after treatment to prevent blistering. You can also take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the pain and discomfort caused by blisters.
How Much Will It Cost?
The cost of laser hair removal varies depending on the area treated, the number of treatments required and your skin type. Many clinics offer packages for multiple sessions to help you save money. During your consultation, your doctor will help you decide on the best course of treatment for your needs. She will also be able to provide you with an accurate price estimate.
Before your laser hair removal session, you will need to remove any clothing or accessories that might interfere with the laser’s beam and prepare the treatment site. This will include shaving the area if necessary and applying a topical anesthetic to reduce any discomfort. You should avoid using sunless skin creams, a fake tan or other methods of hair removal, like waxing or plucking, for four weeks before your session.
Your provider will select the right laser for your skin type and hair color. Different lasers target pigment in hair follicles and don’t affect the surrounding skin. The three types of lasers used at Manhattan Aesthetics are the Nd:YAG, Alexandrite and Diode. The Nd:YAG laser is effective for most patients with darker hair and complexions. The Alexandrite laser is safe for most complexions and hair colors, and the Diode laser can effectively treat a wide range of hair thicknesses and textures.
While the upfront cost of laser hair removal is more than using a razor and waxing, you will save money in the long run. You will also be able to avoid abrasions and ingrown hairs that are common with other hair removal methods. Some studies suggest women spend more than $23,000 on waxing and shaving over the course of their lives.
Where Can I Get It?
Unlike plucking, shaving, and waxing, laser hair removal is an effective, permanent hair reduction solution+ that removes unwanted hair from nearly any area of the body. It even prevents future hair growth by zapping and damaging the hair follicles.
Lasers can treat any area of the body, from the arms to the underarms, back face, legs and buttocks, bikini line, and more. The FDA has approved laser hair removal for both men and women, making it a great option for anyone who wants to say goodbye to razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and constant regrowth.
To prepare for your laser treatment, we recommend not plucking or waxing the week prior to your appointment. This is because the follicles need to be intact in order for the laser to target them. You should also avoid sun exposure, especially tanning beds, as this can cause pigmentation issues in the areas being treated. We’ll also provide you with protective eyewear to shield your eyes during the procedure and may apply a topical anesthetic cream for added comfort.