Name the method to remove unwanted hair, and you’ve tried it. Shaving, waxing, plucking and depilatories – some are more painful and difficult than others, and none of them eradicate hair for the long term. Laser hair removal is the solution you’re seeking for unwanted hair anywhere on the body. In the past, laser hair removal was recommended primarily for those with light skin and dark hair. With new technology, almost everyone is a candidate for laser hair removal. At Englewood Cosmetic Medical Spa, we offer the best laser hair removal services in the area, performed by a physician.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
*Hair contains melanin, a pigment – also found in skin – that absorbs light. Laser hair removal involves a laser beam going through skin to individual hair follicles, honing in on the melanin. The concentrated heat of the laser damages the hair follicle’s “germ” cell, the structure from which hair develops, and inhibits future hair growth.
Prior to treatment, the area is cleansed. Patients then receive a numbing gel, but the laser hair removal process is not painful. The feeling is often described as “having rubber bands snapped against the skin.” During the procedure, you and the doctor will wear protective eye gear. The doctor tests a small patch of skin first to ensure it will react well to laser treatment.
The length of the session depends on the size of the area treated. Small areas may take just five minutes, while larger sections may need an hour or more of treatment.
Once is Not Enough
You will notice some hair loss after your first session, but that’s just the initial stage. Since hairs grow at different lengths, clients require several treatments over a period of months to get rid of all the hair. The entire process takes between six and nine months. The number of treatments needed for complete laser hair removal varies by the individual, but most people require between four and seven sessions scheduled every 4 to 6 weeks. The interval between treatments mirrors the hair growth cycle.
Tip: If you want to sport smooth, hairless skin for summer, start your treatments in the fall.
With laser hair removal, preparation consists of avoiding certain practices for the month prior to your first appointment. During this period, do not wax, bleach or pluck your hair. The laser needs to get to the root of the hair, and these processes temporarily remove the root. Stay out of the sun for the two weeks before your initial session. Follow this procedure until your laser hair removal treatments are finished.
There’s no real downtime after laser hair removal. Most people don’t experience any side effects from laser hair removal treatment, other than some reddening or minor swelling. Put an ice pack on the affected area if swelling ensues. Use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 on the treated area when you are outdoors. Sunbathing restrictions also apply to indoor tanning for the next few weeks post-treatment. For the day or two after treatment, avoid hot showers and perfumes.
In rare cases, some skin discoloration develops, but the affected area will eventually return to normal.
While laser hair removal eradicates hair for the long-term, it’s not necessarily permanent. You may find some hairs cropping up now and again, although they are not that noticeable. An annual maintenance session takes care of those unwanted hairs.
To learn more about laser hair removal or any of our other services, or to make an appointment, call us today at 201-569-0920 or email us.