8 Things You Should Know About Laser Hair Removal
Getting rid of unwanted hair has always been a tiresome task for women all over the world. Shaving, plucking, and waxing are just temporary solutions. Furthermore, the last two methods are rather painful and can irritate your skin. It is no wonder that so many women decide to undergo laser hair removal and put an end to battling their hair once and for all. In fact, one of our most popular treatments is laser hair removal in NYC.
Even though the laser hair removal procedure is extremely common and popular among women, you should take it seriously. Here is what you should know before making a final decision and going through the process.
1. How It Works
First things first﹘you should understand how laser hair removal works. A laser that emits heat energy is used. Highly-concentrated light beams into hair follicles. Absorbing the light, pigments in the follicles get damaged, and this destroys the hair. We use the laser to remove undesirable hair from the face, legs, arms, the underarm area, bikini line, etc.
2. Stay Away from the Sun
Laser hair removal requires planning. Even though it is a very common procedure, you have to go through proper preparation before the actual treatment. A good candidate can’t be sunburnt or have a tan. It is important to stay away from the sun at least four weeks prior to your appointment. That is why many women choose to do laser hair removal in winter.
Take this seriously, as it can affect the results. Since the laser targets the pigment, if your skin is dark, it will be harder for the laser to distinguish the skin from the hair. In addition, the pigment in your skin will attract the laser beam, and that could potentially result in burns or discoloration.
3. Don’t Wax or Tweeze
The hair has to be present in the hair follicle since the laser targets its pigment. In order for laser hair removal to work, avoid doing anything that removes the root of the hair from the follicle. You shouldn’t wax or tweeze at least two weeks before your scheduled treatment.
4. You Can and Should Shave
While they forbid waxing and tweezing, doctors do recommend shaving. It is totally understandable that you don’t want to live with your unwanted hair for two weeks, and you don’t have to. You can shave your hair during that period, and you definitely should shave it one day before the treatment. By shaving, you will make your follicles more accessible, and the laser will be able to easily target the pigment.
5. Don’t Expect Miracles After the First Treatment
Laser hair removal promises miracles and silky skin for good. However, you will have to be patient before getting your dreamy, smooth skin. Depending on your skin and hair color, it will take from three to ten sessions. When your hairs are in an active growth phase, they are most successfully removed. But, this happens only once every six weeks. Furthermore, not all of your hairs are in the same phase at the
same time. That is why you will have some leftover hairs after your treatments.
6. Not Everyone Can Do Laser Hair Removal
Unfortunately, the procedure isn’t suitable for every single person. The laser isn’t perfect, as it is more likely to spot darker pigment (meaning darker hair). So, women with light hair might not be suitable candidates for laser hair removal. The laser simply won’t be able to work on their light-pigmented hair. Gray, red, or blonde hairs are often hard to detect since they don’t contain enough pigment.
7. There are Side Effects You Should Consider
Laser hair removal is as safe as it can be. Still, a number of women will experience some side effects after their treatments. It is important to know what to expect.
Since an intense, pulsating beam of light will be focused directly on your skin, and this sometimes includes the most sensitive areas, you can definitely expect some irritation and redness after the treatment. It is normal, and you shouldn’t worry about it. The irritation can last up to a couple of days, and some women even notice swelling around the follicles. A cool compress or ice could help with persistent irritation.
Although the majority of these burns are very mild, there have been reports of serious burns in a number of cases. Such burns might occur if a wrong type of laser is used for your skin type.
Hyperpigmentation and Hypopigmentation
The laser treatment triggers melanin production, and this might cause hyperpigmentation, a.k.a. the darkening of the skin. The opposite phenomenon, hypopigmentation, happens when the absorption of the laser light inhibits melanin production, and your skin becomes lighter.
Bruising, Crusting, and Scab Formation
Although these side effects usually appear on extremely sensitive skin, you should be aware of them. If you notice bruising, crusting or scab on your skin after the treatment, you don’t have to worry. They usually appear in the first few days after your treatment and disappear shortly after.
Infections are very rare, but they can happen. To avoid them, make sure that the treated area is clean after the procedure. Simple care can easily prevent any kind of infection.
8. Laser Hair Removal Doesn’t Last Forever
Contrary to the popular opinion, laser hair removal isn’t something that will last until the end of time (at least for most patients). Some regrowth is considered normal, and many women experience it. Typically, the hair that does come back is lighter, thinner, and finer. So, some patients will require touch-up treatments. However, there are those who claim that their hair never came back. Since everyone’s hair and
skin are different, our experiences are bound to differ too.
All things considered, is laser hair removal worth it? According to the majority of women who did it – yes; it definitely is. Most patients have had satisfactory results and some even permanent ones. Although there are some things to consider before starting your hair removal sessions, you can be sure that this treatment is the most effective way to fight unwanted hair on any part of your body.
If you’re considering laser hair removal, our board-certified dermatologists at the Dermatology and Laser Group are always available to answer your questions. Just contact us through our website or give us a call at (212) 444-8204.