Laser hair removal refers is a cosmetic treatment which uses a pulsating, intense beam of light for the removal of unwanted hair on the skin.
In the process, the light beam- laser, is passed through the skin to destroy hair follicles, individually. Because of the intensity of the heat, the root of the follicle is destroyed, preventing it from growing hair in the future. This treatment works most effectively on people with dark hair and light color skin.
Why go for a laser hair removal?
The reason why people get a laser hair removal treatment is to get rid of unwanted hair, reducing the need of regular shaving/waxing. The common areas of the body where a laser treatment is received are underarms, legs, bikini, upper lips and chin. One can get a laser treatment for areas of the body, except areas close to the nose and eyes.
Skin type and hair color play a significant role in the success of a laser treatment. For instance, laser hair removal procedure shows best results at people with dark hair and a light skin as the laser targets the melanin (pigment) of the hair follicle. Advancements in technology however has improved the process and people with different types of skin and color can now also receive the treatment for successful results.
Laser hair removal is generally not very effective for red, white, blond or gray hair as the laser is unable to detect light hair. Research continues to find solution for this problem.
How does it work?
The first step is to consult your physician who will review and discuss the following:
- Your medical history and current use of medication
- Discuss benefits, expectations and results including a written information of what a laser treatment will do and what it will not do
- Test a patch of your skin to assess how well your skin responds to the treatment
Your physician will provide you the following guidelines:
- Avoid sun- a laser hair removal treatment cannot be performed on a sun tanned skin. Sun tan aggravates the skin, causing side effects like burns and skin lightening. It is recommended to wait for the tan to fade before you receive a treatment. Avoid sun for at least 4-5 weeks before a laser treatment
- Avoid waxing: Waxing disturbs the method of removing hair follicle. You should shave instead of wax, before the laser hair removal treatment as shaving does not remove the shaft.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
Laser hair removal slows down the hair growth, however it does not guarantee a 100% removal of hair. Typically, one has to go through several laser hair removal procedures to achieve 90% results. The results also vary from one person to the other. Some skin types readily respond to the procedure whereas for some it takes many sittings to successfully achieve the desired results. Periodic maintenance procedures of six to 12 months are required to prolong the hair loss results.