There are many ways to get rid of unwanted body hair. One you may have heard mentioned a lot is laser hair removal. You have probably heard it can work wonders when other methods seem to fail. The question is what does laser hair removal really mean for you? Is it the miracle cure it appears to be for that offending body hair?
When Laser Hair Removal Procedures Work
The first thing to understand about laser hair removal is it works to some degree whenever it is used. However, it cannot be done on just anyone. There are certain conditions that may prevent you from undergoing the procedure. For example, since lasers create a lot of heat, they can cause burns when they mix with excessive amounts of oil. Therefore, if your skin is naturally oily, you may need to explore other hair removal options.
Laser hair removal also tends to be most effective when performed on a person who has hair comparatively darker than his or her skin. If you are such a person, you can expect excellent results from most laser hair removal machines, but your results may not be as good if your skin is darker. That is because the melanin that gives your skin and hair their colors can be affected by the laser beam. Nevertheless, there are now lasers that can be used on darker skin, so you should not rule out laser treatment based solely on the color of your skin.
The Laser Hair Removal Technique Basics
The laser hair removal technique is different from shaving or other hair removal methods in several ways. The laser beam uses light and heat. It is absorbed by melanin, which is the substance that gives color to your hair and skin. When the melanin in each hair strand absorbs the laser beam, the hairs become weak. Eventually, after several treatments, they fall out. That technique varies from shaving, which only gets rid of part of each hair, allowing the hairs to grow back quickly. Even other procedures, such as waxing, are not as efficient.
When you undergo a laser hair removal procedure, expect the hairs in the treatment area to be trimmed by the technician, first. After that preparation, the laser will be used to target the offending hairs in the chosen treatment area. A numbing agent or cool air may be used during the procedure to keep you as comfortable as possible. Since the beam can treat many hairs in one short burst lasting less than a second, a full procedure should take under an hour. If you have a small area treated, such as your upper lip, the appointment may be completed in minutes.
Scheduling Repeated Laser Hair Removal Treatments
Laser hair removal does not remove hair right away. It can take 10 days or more to see any results. To get the best possible results, you also need multiple treatments. For example, you may see up to an 80 percent reduction in hair after approximately six treatments. The treatments must be scheduled every four weeks for the best results. After completing a full series of treatments, the hair may still return, but it will do so much slower than after a procedure like waxing or shaving. You may be hair-free in the treated area for several weeks. Some hairs may not regrow at all.
Getting Ready to Have Laser Hair Removal
Ask your clinician what you need to do to prepare for laser hair removal. You may be required to shave the area to be treated on a certain day to get ready for the procedure. In some cases, recent shaving is preferred, but certain laser treatments are better performed after a few days of growth. Additionally, you cannot apply lotions, creams or sprays to your skin before treatment.