This procedure has become increasingly popular over the past several years, though it was first tested over 20 years ago. For most it is a quick and easy solution to unwanted hair. Opposed to waxing and shaving, it can have very long term effects even after just one procedure. It usually is quite quick as well, especially in comparison to the time that would be spent shaving.
Typically, for best results you will need to have the procedure repeated several times, typically around seven procedures is enough to remove the growth of nearly all hair from the treated area, although some see full results in as low as three. If you don’t want to visit a high price clinic, you can even buy good at home laser hair removal machines. These products have great reviews and can be a much more economical option.
How Does it Work?
This laser hair removal works through selective photothermolysis, the idea behind this is the matching of wavelengths and light spectrum of lasers to achieve certain results. In this case, the wavelengths and light spectrum of the laser are honed to only affect melanin and to have little or no effect on other areas of the body; through the direct direct heating of melanin, the follicle is stunted and unable to produce hair for a long period of time.
Because melanin is most common in those with dark hair, as it is a pigmentation chemical, this procedure is much more effective on those with dark hair. Those who are blonde or have dark skin will have very little positive effect from this treatment, although new technologies are emerging that have shown to give great results for those with either dark skin and dark hair or light hair and light skin. However, for those who have light hair or dark skin, the best option for permanent removal at this time is electrolysis.
If you intend to undergo this procedure, you should avoid waxing, plucking or anything else that effects or removes the root. Otherwise the results of the treatment will be drastically reduced because it is necessary melanin in the root of your hair to deactivate the follicle.
Shaving, on the other hand is suggested prior to treatment. There are several reasons for this. Shaving prior to treatment allows the lasers to target roots better than otherwise. Shaving also helps because otherwise your hairs may heat up quite a bit and can result in much more pain than is necessary.
What to Expect
The two most commonly asked questions regarding this topic are, “Does it hurt?” and “How much does it cost?” While the answers to these questions can vary considerably depending on the area you are getting the procedure, the skill of the physician and more; we will give you a quick answer on each to help prepare you for your treatment.
Pain from this procedure has been described as being poked by tiny paperclips and seems to be the best analogy. The pain can differ depending on the clinic, many clinics have lotions and cryogenic sprays that can drastically reduce the pain. Taking a few pain relievers prior, if suggested by the technician or physician, can help dramatically. While the pain from treatment varies depending on skin color, it has been rated by most as much lower than waxing.
The cost of this treatment varies depending on the area you live and the area you intend to treat. According to AAPS, American Association of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a treatment is $235. While this is the average price, treating smaller areas such as the upper lip, can drastically reduce the price, as can living in a lower cost area. Definitely shop around for a good, lower price, clinic as it will give great results results.
It’s pretty rare to have any serious negative effects after the treatment, however, there may be some swelling and redness in the treated area. The most common side effect is redness and this can be treated with moisturizing lotions, and should be gone within several days of the treatment. Blisters are much less common, though they do occasionally occur. See a doctor for more advice on treating blisters effectively.
As stated previously, it’s best practice to avoid heavy sun exposure for several weeks after treatment. If necessary, use sunblock and try and protect the treated area with a hat or clothing.
Check out WebMD for more great information.