Laser hair removal is proven to be a safe and effective method to permanently remove hair from the body.
Both men and women are able to achieve an almost 90% elimination of hair growth with a treatment plan performed by a reputable clinic that has high quality equipment.
Smooth skin after hair removal treatment; image source: urbanretreat.co.uk
The following offers an in depth guide of what to expect when undertaking laser treatment.
How does it work?
There many types of lasers that are used for the hair removal. Although models vary, the process that medical grade lasers use to destroy hair is referred to as selective photothermolysis.
As a form of micro surgery, the laser is designed to target the melanin in a hair, which also known as its pigment. The melanin will absorb the laser and the hair is heated as a result. This heat will destroy the follicle but not damage the surrounding tissue, meaning that the hair will be unable to regrow.
The term laser itself is actually an acronym for ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation,’ but rest assured, the light emanating from the lasers is calibrated to a specific wavelength that will only target the melanin and not destroy your skin.
Does it hurt?
No, many clinics will say that it is a pain free procedure. It does for some people though, feel a little prickly as the laser glides over the skin but it does not ache or hurt. You may also feel the warmth of the laser depending on the sensitivity of the treated area.
At your appointment you will probably get to lie down with some eye protection on your face as the treatment occurs. A soothing gel may be applied to the skin you are getting treated and the laser will glide over the top of the skin, guided by your clinician who will hold the laser wand. The wand will pass over an area a few times and you may feel the skin heat up.
Shaving beforehand will make the skin less irritated. A smaller laser will be used on delicate areas and a wider beam will be selected for larger surfaces such as the legs.
How many appointments?
It depends on your needs and density of your hair, but expect an initial consultation, first treatment and potentially 4-8 follow up appointments spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart to allow for the various stages of hair growth to be treated appropriately.
It is important to look after your skin following a laser procedure by keeping it clean, dry and away from UV to minimise any redness and prevent infection of the hair follicles. For this reason stay away from excessive sweating, spas, pools, scented cosmetics and avoid hot showers.
Use sunscreen for two to four weeks after your treatment and you may wish to use a neutral moisturiser to cool your skin.
Will it work for me?
Again, in your initial consultation you will be given more information. In the past laser was unsuitable for people with hair similar in colour to their skin as the laser found it difficult to properly target the melanin.
Today’s lasers are more sophisticated and efficient meaning that more skin tones and hair types are able to be treated with laser procedures. It does mean that you’ll need to seek out a practitioner that uses medical grade, next generation technology machinery to get the best results.
Older types of lasers or slightly lower grade ones may not work as well for you or only offer shorter term results. A good quality clinic with highly trained staff is worth the investment!