What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser Hair Removal has been in the news a lot lately and has become to preferred way to eliminate unwanted hair. Unlike waxing or shaving, the results are long lasting or PERMANENT and unlike electrolysis, vast areas can be treated in one to three sessions.
What Areas On the Body Can You Treat with Laser Hair Removal?
The most popular areas are the back, chest and neck for men and the underarms, bikini area and facial hair for women. Initially the best candidates for laser hair removal had to have dark hair and light skin but newer technology allows hair removal for people of all skin types and hair colors.
Since the laser works by releasing its energy into dark pigment, those with dark tans should let them fade before the treatment, or some of the energy will be absorbed by the skin instead of the hair. The best time for laser hair removal is when tans have faded.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for the Laser Hair Removal Procedure?
Most adults who want to eliminate unwanted hair are good candidates for laser hair removal treatment. Typically, the best results occur when there is good contrast between skin tone and hair color. Coarse hair also tends to respond really well to laser hair removal. That said, you may still be a good candidate for treatment if you have brown hair or if your skin is slightly darker. Very light, thin hair and grey hair may not absorb enough of the laser energy for this treatment to work on those colors. Very dark skin may have too much melanin for the laser energy to pass through into the strands of hair. Your provider will measure your skin tone using the Fitzpatrick table to determine your candidacy for treatment as well as the number of sessions you may need to achieve lasting results.
How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
Before you attend your laser hair removal appointment, you should refrain from waxing or plucking hair in the treatment area. You may shave and should shave the day before your laser treatment. We want the hair in the treatment area to be short, but it must be present within the hair follicles. Otherwise, there is no vehicle to transfer heat into the walls of the hair follicles. It is also necessary to avoid excessive sun exposure before having laser hair removal. We would like your skin to be its natural, untanned tone. This way, the maximum amount of energy can be absorbed into the melanin in your hair. On the day of your laser hair removal, you can shower and clean the area. However, do not apply any lotion or other products to your skin.
Recovery and Aftercare for Laser Hair Removal
After your laser hair removal treatments, your skin may be slightly inflamed and irritated for a short time. This can last from a few hours to a few days. To avoid exacerbating these minor side effects, you should be gentle with your skin. Use gentle cleansers and light moisturizers. Avoid shaving and exfoliating until your skin has returned to its normal, soothed state. If needed, you can apply cool compresses to reduce the heat that may build up in the treated hair follicles. You may also take acetaminophen if your skin feels sunburned or irritated. And speaking of sunburn, it is important that you avoid excessive sun exposure after your laser hair removal treatments, as well as the use of sunless tanning sprays and lotions. If you have had laser hair removal in the underarm area, your provider may advise you to refrain from using deodorant, as this can be irritating to the skin.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is generally considered very safe for most people. Our team uses the latest laser devices to treat unwanted hair. We also perform a thorough examination of the skin to ensure that the right amount of energy is applied. Laser hair removal should only be performed by a fully trained, licensed, and reputable provider. With the proper use of the laser device, risks like accidental burns and scarring are significantly reduced.
How Long Does the Laser Hair Removal Procedure Take?
Your laser hair removal appointments may take just a few minutes or may take about an hour and a half. It all depends on the size of your treatment area and the number of areas you may want to have treated in a single session. Smaller areas like the upper lip may take less than 20 minutes, whereas the back or the legs can take quite a bit longer. Your provider will discuss how long you should expect to be in the office so you can plan your treatment days accordingly.
Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?
Most people want to know if laser treatment hurts. The laser we use at The Plastic Surgery Center of Dallas is Pain Free!
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
All lasers for hair removal are NOT the same. The lasers with higher power and longer contact time appear to offer the best results and are the most likely to result in permanent hair removal.