If the thought of slipping into a swimsuit without having to worry if you shaved or if you have razor burn or bumps sounds good, then laser hair removal might be right for you. According to a British survey, women spend 1,728 hours, or 72 days shaving their legs over the course of a lifetime. Shaving also ranked as womens’ most hated beauty ritual, with 35 percent of women polled saying they loathed shaving their legs more than anything else (doing their hair, tweezing their brows, etc). Perhaps women hate shaving so much because it feels like time wasted. So, if you are busy juggling life and looking to recapture wasted time, consider laser hair removal. A common laser hair removal package consists of at least 6 sessions, spaced 4 – 6 weeks apart, so consider starting now so you will be ready for the summer.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal uses energy to destroy hair follicles without harming the skin around them. The laser damages the hair follicles and prevents hair growth from occurring in the future. Laser hair removal is most effective for people who have light skin and dark hair because the laser beam targets the pigment (melanin) in the hair. Laser hair removal isn’t generally effective for white or grey hair.
After a series of sessions, you’ll experience permanent hair reduction. Since the hairs on your body cycle through different phases, and laser only treats those hairs that are in the active phase, you will need 6-10 sessions to treat most of the hairs. Permanent hair removal is not always guaranteed, but laser hair removal will, at very least, slow down hair growth. Additionally, maintenance sessions may be required a couple times per year to capture any remaining hairs in the cycle into the active phase. Common treatment locations include legs, armpits, back, chest, upper lip, chin, and bikini line. Men with razor bumps often treat their necks as well, and it’s possible to treat unwanted hair in nearly any area.
How Should I Prepare For Treatment?
It is important to avoid sun exposure for up to 6 weeks before and after your session. Because the laser targets pigment, it is best for your skin to be as fair as possible to distinguish from darker hairs. Exposure to the sun will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment and could lead to complications, such as burns. Before the procedure avoid plucking, waxing and electrolysis, because the hair needs to be present to attract the laser. Shaving is recommended because it preserves the base of the hair, so the laser has an appropriate target.
What To Expect During Each Session?
The technician will adjust the settings on the hair removal equipment to suit your skin color as well as the color, thickness, and location of the hair undergoing the treatment. A cooling gel will be applied directly on the skin to protect the skin from any damage. Most patients describe laser hair removal as a snap of a rubber band or hot pinch that goes away quickly. A lot of the new lasers are much less painful due to improved technology and better cooling of the skin.
What To Expect Immediately After The Treatment?
Your hair follicles may be slightly inflamed and red immediately after the treatment is performed. This is normal and it is nothing to worry about. Direct sun exposure should be avoided for a few weeks after the treatment. After a few weeks, you will notice the hairs becoming thinner and your need to shave will become less frequent. Enjoy all of that extra time you are saving by not having to shave every day!