I Bet You Didn’t Know: 10 Facts on Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is the procedure in which hair follicles are heated to high enough intensity where the attached bulb is destroyed. The hair follicles are attacked by light beams that are fired from the laser and absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicles. While laser hair removal may be viewed as an easier alternative to waxing and shaving, there are several points to take note of in making your decision.
1. Laser hair removal is not effective against all hair types and colours.
Laser technology cannot target light coloured hairs; so white or grey hairs will likely be missed be missed by the laser. Thick and course hair is more easily detectable by the laser than thin hair. Clients with fine hair should expect 45-60% reduction of hair appearance, while clients with thick hair should see 85-90% reduction of hair appearance.
2. You may experience side effects.
While generally safe, common side effects of laser hair removal include red, irritated skin, short-term pain, and discomfort. In rare circumstances, clients may experience skin discoloration, scarring, skin infections in the form of bruising, blistering, crusting or other form of swelling, burns, and bacterial infections.
3. Laser skin removal sessions must be regular.
Laser skin removal is not a one-time quick fix. A typical laser hair course of sessions lasts approximately 6 months. It will take several weeks before a difference in hair appearance is noticeable. Additionally, depending on the stage of the hair growth, it is recommended 6-12 sessions should be booked to reap the full benefit of laser hair removal. Regular sessions are required afterwards as a form of upkeep.
4. Laser hair removal works on all skin tones.
Despite myths that state laser hair removal is not effective on darker skin tones, laser hair removal works on all skin tones.
5. Laser hair removal can reduce ingrown hairs.
Laser hair removal promotes straight hair growth; therefore, regular sessions may reduce ingrown hair growth.
6. Shave before laser hair removal sessions.
Shaving just before laser hair removal sessions is highly recommended because it allows the laser to focus on the hair follicles under the surface of the skin, as opposed to the hair shaft above the skin’s surface.
7. For some hair types, laser hair removal may actually promote growth stimulation.
Vellus hairs are a particular type of fine hairs that are stimulated into growth from the light exposure the laser gives.
8. Avoid heat for at least 24 hours following laser hair removal sessions.
Since the heat from the laser stays in the skin for 24 hours, it is highly advised to avoid sources of heat (fitness centers, saunas, hot tubs, how showers, tanning beds, etc.) for a minimum of 24 hours following all laser hair removal sessions. Failure to do so creates the environment for bacteria to multiply and grow.
9. There is little-to-no pain.
Although experiences are going to differ from one another, laser hair removal aims to be pain free. While the typical experience is described as a “sharp tingling “ sensation, there is no indication that the sensation results in a feeling of pain.
10. Hair treatments must be restricted.
As a general thumb of practice, you should not pluck, wax, or dye your hair as you prepare and go through your laser hair removal course sessions. The manipulation these techniques carry on the hair can impede the hair removal process. While shaving is viewed as okay, the blade must be clean and fresh, and the skin must be cleaned, moisturized and exfoliated prior to shaving.
Laser hair removal should not be viewed as a quick-fix, but an investment that requires maintenance and upkeep. Should you decide to make the investment, be sure to do your research on the facility and treating providers. The entire staff should be certified, well-seasoned, and the facility and equipment should all be cleaned and thoroughly sanitized. It is also recommended to consult with your doctor prior to booking laser hair removal, as well as if any side effects become noticeable after any laser hair removal session.