Do you have hair where you don’t think you should? I’m not a vain person by any means but I have to admit I’ve thought about getting laser hair removal – shaving my legs is a pain in the butt and takes precious time when I could be blogging! Thankfully, guest blogger, Sara, sent in this article about everything you need to know about laser hair removal!
Laser hair removal is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the United States. It first became commercially available in the 1990’s, after two-decades of experimental research. Since it became commercially available, laser treatments have skyrocketed in popularity. Many people detest a daily regimen of waxing, plucking and shaving, which is why they book appointments to have their hair permanently, or sometimes semi-permanently, removed.
Despite its popularity, many people still wonder if there are any long-term side effects, or if the procedure is safe in general. It’s important to familiarize yourself with any cosmetic procedure before moving forward with the treatment.
The following guide has been created to help assist you in your decision, answer your questions, and outlines everything you need to know before scheduling a consultation with a qualified practitioner.
Who is a Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
Almost everyone is a candidate for laser hair removal, but people with light skin and dark hair are the ideal candidates because the laser has a better opportunity to see the hair, but not the skin.
People with dark skin tones are candidates for laser hair removal, but they are cautioned to seek out highly experienced practitioners with different types of lasers. This will ensure that the procedure is handled cautiously.
People with darker skin are higher risk for scarring because the laser may find it difficult to differentiate between skin and hair. Lasers that emit more light are the best option for a person with darker skin, as these highly advanced lasers will be able to better focus on the hair and not mistakenly focus on the skin.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for laser hair removal. People with white or blonde hair aren’t good candidates. People with dirty blonde or medium blonde hair may be candidates, so it’s best to schedule a consultation before determining if laser hair removal is or isn’t for you.
As a side note, laser hair removal cannot be used to treat uni-brows (hair between the eyes), or remove eyelashes.
What Hair Can Laser Treatments Remove?
Nearly every part of your body can be treated to remove unwanted hair, including sensitive areas like the pelvis and feet. Only the eyes, and the immediate area surrounding the eyes, are off-limits. Even your eyebrows can be laser treated to permanently, or semi-permanently, remove hair!
- Ear hair
- And, more!
How is the Treatment Performed?
Unwanted hair follicles are destroyed by pulses of laser light, which are applied by a skilled practitioner. The laser is able to identify hair by its pigment, or color, which is why people with dark hair follicles are the best candidates for the treatment.
Before your first scheduled laser hair removal, you’ll be required to shave the area that’s being treated. Your practitioner is going to request that you lay back in a position that exposes the area. She will then place protective eyewear over your eyes. Ultrasound gel will be gently rubbed on the area, before the practitioner sets her machine to match your skin tone. Finally, the treatment will begin with the laser’s tip gently pressing down for a length of 3 seconds. This will continue until the entire area has been covered.
How Long Does the Treatment Take?
Laser treatments are performed quickly, and most are completed within 15-20 minutes. Larger areas, such as the legs or back, may take longer. Smaller areas, such as the area surrounding your mouth, can take as little as 5 minutes. Once the procedure is completed you can return to work, or go about your business, and no one will know you’ve had your hair removed b y laser. There is no recovery time.
What Does Laser Hair Removal Feel Like?
Laser hair removal is sometimes compared to a rubber band snapping against the skin. Others have likened the procedure to mild sunburn, or a slight burning sensation.
“…the response is as individual as the treatment,” according to Dr. Phillips. Dr. Phillips is a leading laser hair removal practitioner, and he cautions that only the best machines will produce the best results, as well as his patients report less discomfort because he uses better lasers than his competitors. If you’re worried about pain, it’s essential that you seek out an experienced specialist who is using top-of-the-line lasers. If you are in the Orlando area, you can stop by Dr. Phillips office just off the Florida Turnpike.
How Many Treatments Does it Take?
Dr. Phillips recommends 4-6 treatments to effectively remove the hair in a given area. Hair grows in cycles, so what’s captured on the first visit may not be everything. In order to effectively remove all the hair, the treatment must be performed multiple times. You’ll be asked to return to the office every 4 weeks or so for another treatment, until all the hair has been effectively removed.
What are the Side-Effects?
Laser hair removal is quite safe and there are very few side-effects. The most common side-effects are slight discomfort and itching. Although they are rare, more serious side-effects may include scab formation around the treated area, and a loss of pigment. Most side-effects will clear up on their own.
About the Author
Sara is a freelance writer who most often writes about business and health. In her spare time, she enjoys maintaining a healthy lifestyle through swimming and practicing yoga.
Hmm… not sure about those side-effects… And I wonder how much treatments cost? Has anyone reading this had laser hair removal?