Shaving, waxing, tweezing, and creams can get really old, really fast. Laser hair removal is a great way to non-invasively remove that frustrating, unwanted hair for the long term.
In this article, we’ll discuss how laser hair removal works, what to expect before, during, and after the procedure, as well as its risks, cost, and benefits.
What Is Laser Hair Removal and How Does It Work?
Laser hair removal is the process of eliminating body or facial hair using a laser that emits light. That light is absorbed by the hair pigment or melanin, and the energy of the light is converted into heat that then destroys the hair follicle.
But how does laser hair removal work to actually change hair growth? The answer lies in the targeting of the hair follicles specifically, which can delay or even stop hair growth entirely, giving you long-lasting results after laser hair removal.
The most common areas that people get laser hair removal treatment are the:
- Bikini line
- Upper lip
Laser hair removal doesn’t work the same for everyone. Make sure to consult an expert to see if it’s right for you.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
Is laser hair removal worth it? Well, it has many benefits over other methods, including:
- Speed: The laser moves quickly, every second, the laser can treat about a quarter-sized amount of hair. Your pesky upper lips hairs can be gone within a minute!
- Precision: Unlike shaving, where you’re bound to miss strips of skin, lasers are precise, targeting hairs at the follicle without damaging the surrounding skin.
- Predictability: Within 3-7 sessions, most patients report significant hair loss.
- Long-term costs: Despite the cost of treatment, never having to buy shaving or waxing products again will save you plenty in the long run.
- Less irritation: If you’re wondering what to expect after laser hair removal, say goodbye to razor bumps and ingrown hairs. There’s some irritation at first, but it lessens.
How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal
So you’ve scheduled the treatment, and now you have to ask yourself what to do before laser hair removal appointments. Firstly, avoid plucking or waxing any hair in the area being treated. Instead, shave the area so that the hair isn’t in the way, but the follicle remains intact. Additionally, be sure to avoid any extended sun exposure and tanning beds.
Also, avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours before the treatment, as well as taking blood thinners, like anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics. When preparing for laser hair removal, don’t apply any lotions or creams to the treatment areas, and be sure to take a pain reliever about 30 minutes before.
What to Expect During and After Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal can require anywhere between 2 and 6 treatments, and depending on where you’re being treated and the hair growth cycle, it should be repeated within 4 and 16 weeks. It is helpful to book a series in advance and plan your treatment over several months.
During The Procedure
When you arrive at your appointment, your first question might be how long you’ll be there. How long does laser hair removal last? Your session depends on the area being covered. The upper lip might not take more than a few minutes while getting both your legs or your back done can last over an hour. The thickness and amount of hair that will grow back will lessen with each session.
Your more burning question is probably, “does laser hair removal hurt?” The laser hair removal process involves a handheld laser being passed over the skin, the settings adjusted based on skin tone, hair thickness and color, and location. It isn’t really painful, most describe it as a warm or snapping sensation that is directly followed by coolness from a device or gel.
After The Procedure
So, how many sessions for laser hair removal until you see results? It takes a few treatments to be completely done, but you should start to see laser hair removal results after the first treatment.
After the procedure, your skin might be red, swollen, and irritated, and at that point, laser hair removal aftercare is crucial. If needed, use ice and moisturizers to minimize any discomfort, use sunscreen every day, and ask the specialist if a steroid cream is recommended.
At Metropolitan Skin Clinic, we have medical-grade skincare products that your AP esthetician can recommend.
Laser Hair Removal Risks and Recovery
There are some laser hair removal side effects and risks to look out for. First, redness, swelling, skin irritation, and itching after laser hair removal are common and usually temporary. Laser hair removal hyperpigmentation and other pigment changes can occur and are usually temporary. Finally, excessive hair growth and graying of hair at the treated area, blistering, scarring, crusting, and other skin texture changes are rare but possible.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts during recovery:
- Use cool compresses and moisturizers to soothe irritated skin.
- Apply sunscreen daily.
- No hot showers, sauna, or gym for at least 24 hours after.
- No tanning beds or excessive sun exposure for 6 weeks.
Costs of Laser Hair Removal
I’m sure you’re wondering: just how much is laser hair removal? Well, it’s hard to estimate the average cost of laser hair removal because the price depends on different factors, including:
- The area being treated and its size
- The number of treatments needed
- Where you get the procedure done
- The color and texture of the hair
Before settling on a clinic, discuss prices and payment options to pick the right fit. Keep in mind that you should buy sessions or a series if you are new to laser hair removal.
Now that you know what laser hair removal is, how to prepare for it, what to expect during and after, as well as the laser hair removal risks, recovery, and cost, it’s time to schedule your laser hair removal appointment! If you’re near the Twin Cities, the best place to get laser hair removal is the Metropolitan Skin Clinic. Check out our website or contact us to learn more about our team and extensive services.