Many people choose to remove their body hair, and there are a variety of ways to do this, such as shaving, waxing, epilating and laser removal.
Shaving, waxing and epilating are temporary solutions, whilst laser hair removal is permanent.
The temporary solutions have their drawbacks, and many people seek a longer lasting solution, but what is laser hair removal, and is it actually effective?
This article aims to delve more deeply into the world of laser hair removal, and hopefully you will glean some useful information.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Every single hair on your body grows from a hair follicle under the skin. The hair follicle contains the root of the hair, and is where new hair grows from.
Laser hair removal uses lasers to destroy the hair follicle using heat, meaning they can no longer grow hair.
Other methods of hair removal like shaving and waxing, remove the surface hair, and don’t damage the hair follicle at all, meaning that the hair will grow back within a few weeks.
Common areas that are treated with lasers to remove hair are the legs, upper lip, bikini line, underarms, chest and back, although other areas of the body can be treated.
Laser hair removal works best on lighter skin with darker hair, as the laser works targets the melanin within the hair, and skin with more pigment could have the melanin destroyed and end up with lighter patches.
Is It Permanent?
Laser hair removal is not really permanent, however it is much longer lasting than methods that only target the surface hair.
The hair follicles are damaged when they are treated with laser, but the body is very good at healing itself, and the hair follicles will eventually heal, and start producing hair again. However, the hair that grows back is usually much thinner and lighter than before, and therefore less noticeable.
It is therefore recommended, after the initial treatment, to have regular follow up, or maintenance, sessions in order to keep away as much hair as possible.
The frequency of the maintenance sessions varies from person to person, and the clinician delivering the service will be able to work out a routine for you.
Always research laser hair removal first to get as much information as you can, such as laser hair removal services by Back to 30.
How Long Do The Initial Session Take?
The actual sessions themselves can vary on time depending on the area being treated. Smaller areas can take under five minutes, whilst larger areas can take up to thirty minutes.
If you are having a larger area worked on, then the clinician may give you the option to have local anaesthetic gel applied, to reduce the pain. If you go for this option, you can expect to be at the clinic another thirty minutes on top of your treatment time to allow the local anaesthetic to start working.
Most patients will need five or six sessions on average to get the best results, but each session has to be spaced out by four to six weeks to allow the skin to heal, so a full treatment plan can take several months to complete.
The laser therapy itself is uncomfortable, and it will be perceived differently by a patient depending on their own personal pain threshold.
Many people have described it as a rubber band being flicked against the skin multiple times, which some people will be able to take it in their stride, whilst others will find this incredibly painful.
Is It Safe?
Laser hair surgery is considered to be a very safe procedure, however, as with anything, there can always be side effects.
The most common side effects are pain and discomfort at the time of the procedure, that can lead to sensitivity for a few days.
The skin in the treated areas usually becomes quite red in response to the procedure, and in some people this can last for an extended period of time.
If you are considering laser hair therapy, it is important to have a thorough consultation with a registered, licensed and experienced clinician who can tell you if you are suitable for laser treatment.
There are some medical conditions, and some skin types that would make you an unsuitable candidate for laser hair therapy.
You should also not get laser hair therapy if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Is The Cost?
Laser hair removal is not cheap, but the actual price depends on the area you are having treated, and the area of the country you live in.
Remember that you will need to pay for a whole course of five or six sessions, so work this into your budget when you are considering laser hair removal.