Unwanted body hair can be a source of frustration for many. Shaving, waxing, and other hair removal methods offer temporary solutions, but what if you desire a longer-lasting option?

Laser hair removal has become a popular choice for achieving smoother, hair-free skin. This article will delve into the benefits of laser hair removal, explain the treatment process step-by-step, and explore what to expect during and after your appointments.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

You might have already heard laser hair removal is more effective than normal waxing or shaving. This effectiveness comes from destroying or damaging the hair follicles, or roots of the hair in simpler terms, which inhibits future hair growth.

Laser Hair removal works by targeting the pigment in hair follicles. The follicles are damaged from the light from the laser beam which turns into heat upon contacting the pigments. As the follicles are completely destroyed or damaged to a great extent during the process, the time taken for new hair growth is increased substantially. In fact, if the follicles are destroyed completely, the hair never grows back.

While this process might effectively remove hair growth from several body parts including the face, legs, arms, underarms, and bikini line, there are a few things that determine its success. The effectiveness of this process varies greatly depending on factors such as hair color, skin type, and quality of the treatment administered. So, choosing a certified plastic surgeon with proven work is essential.

Benefits Of Laser Hair Removal

This process of removing hair more or less permanently using laser treatment has several benefits over traditional waxing or shaving procedures. It is easy, quick, less painful, and most importantly cheaper in the long run.

So, here are some of the most celebrated benefits of the laser hair removal process you should consider if you are trying to decide to get one.

Long-Term Solution

As we already discussed, this process damages or destroys the hair follicles which inhibits the growth of the hair. The destroyed follicles never grow back and the damaged ones tend to take a while before they are healthy enough to grow hair. So, this treatment provides a long-term solution to hairy problems.

Low Maintenance

Once the process is done and your hair is removed, maintenance is a breeze. You just need to get touchups once or twice a year, depending on how effectively your process was done, but that's all. Imagine spending hours and hours shaving and waxing once or twice a week, which will no longer be the case.

Super Quick

Getting a laser hair removal treatment is super quick. Once, everything is prepared and you lie on the chair, it'll be done before you know. Depending on the area or intensity of the treatment, it can be done as quickly as 15 minutes. Compare that to 20 to 30-minute sessions for shaving or waxing once or twice a week.

Less Painful

While it is not completely non-painful, it is much less painful as compared to waxing, tweezing, or threading. This process is much less painful than people imagine, think of repeatedly getting zapped with a rubber band, that's all.

Cheaper In The Long Run

Although the initial cost of getting a laser hair removal treatment might be discouraging for most people, it will be a cheaper option in the long run. It saves time and costs of having to get a professional wax or temporary hair removal over and over.

Step-By-Step Process

Preparing for laser hair removal treatment can start as early as 6 weeks before your appointment. So, here is a general step-by-step process guide to help you prepare for the appointment. However, you should consult with your doctor for a detailed process depending on your particular case.

Step 1: Consult With Specialists

Find specialists or certified plastic surgeons in your area who have successfully demonstrated positive results in this treatment and seek guidance and counseling. They will evaluate your specific case and instruct further steps necessary. They will also quote you the estimated cost of the treatment and will walk you through the entire process.

Step 2: Limit Sun Exposure

Limiting exposure to direct sunlight is an essential part of the laser hair treatment process which should start 4 to 6 weeks before the appointment date. The brighter the sun, the longer you should keep your body away from direct sunlight. The tan from sunlight can increase the risk of side effects as it is more sensitive to laser beams used during the process.

Step 3: Avoid Hair Removal

Avoid waxing, plucking, threading, or using depilatory creams on the area being treated for at least four weeks beforehand. Laser hair removal targets the hair follicle at the root, and these methods remove the hair from the root, making the treatment less effective.

Step 4: Avoid Certain Skincare Products

Some elements found in skincare products can interfere with the hair removal process. So, discontinue using such products that can increase sun sensitivity, such as retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) for about a week before your treatment. Consult your doctor or aesthetician if you're unsure about any products.

Step 5: Shave The Target Area

Shave the area you want treated 1-2 days before your appointment. Shaving removes the hair at the surface of the skin, allowing the laser to target the follicle directly. Shaving also helps to minimize the sensation of burn when the hair follicles are targeted and destroyed by a concentrated beam of laser.

Step 4: Prepare For The Appointment

On your appointment day, you need to keep a few things in mind. Avoid applying any lotions, creams, oils, makeup, or deodorant on the area being treated. These products can interfere with the laser's effectiveness. Cleanse the area with gentle soap and water. Arrive at your appointment with clean, dry skin. Wear loose-fitting clothing that allows easy access to the treatment area. You also need to follow any additional instructions given by your service provider or doctor.

However, this is just a general guideline for the preparation, and following everything that your doctors or service provider says is essential for a safe and effective treatment. 

What To Expect During And After Laser Hair Removal?

In most places and clinics, laser hair treatment is not a one-time solution. Often, the treatment is done in several phases, generally between two to six times depending on the success of each laser treatment and different other factors.

So, keeping that in mind, people might have several questions about the procedure itself, the time between the two procedures, and after the treatment is completed. So, here is what generally happens.

During The Procedure

Thinking about the procedure can be daunting, especially if you are trying it for the very first time. However, in reality, the procedure is very simple and easy. During the procedure, a technician will first assess your skin and hair to choose the most suitable laser settings for your needs.

They might shave the area again for a clean, uniform surface. You'll likely be given special eyewear to wear to protect your eyes from the laser's light.

The technician will apply a cooling gel to the treatment area for additional comfort. Some clinics may even use a numbing cream beforehand. You might feel a snapping or zapping sensation as the laser pulses your skin. The level of discomfort can vary depending on your pain tolerance and the specific area being treated.

After The Procedure

Once the session is complete, you may feel irritation, and swollen, or red skin looking similar to a sunburn. Although these symptoms vanish within a few hours, putting on ice packs can help with managing the condition.

Additionally, you might also feel itching or a sense of getting stung in the area, but be mindful of not scratching the surface as scratching can lead to complications or even infections.

Although you might notice hair growth after a few days of the treatment, those hairs will fall off eventually after detaching from the follicles. Maintaining a strict no-sun routine for the entire duration of the treatment is essential for effective results, so use high-quality sunscreens when walking outside and avoid tanning beds.

Bottom Line

Laser hair removal treatment has gained popularity in recent years due to its numerous benefits. With benefits such as speed and the potential for long-term hair reduction, it’s no surprise that many people are turning to this solution.

However, there are a few drawbacks to this technology as well, which you might want to consider before getting this treatment done. Although there are no known serious or long-term side effects of this treatment, temporary effects such as redness and swelling, irritation, and discomfort are worth considering.

So, make sure you consult with a licensed plastic surgeon and a dermatologist to determine if this treatment is suitable for you, and follow the instructions given by the professional. While this guide aims to provide general things to know about the process, each case is unique and might not have the same experience.

Content Sources: