Laser hair removal is the latest trend for people wishing to rid themselves of unwanted body or facial hair. Using a laser to remove unwanted hair is touted as a procedure based on state-of-the-art technology, which is a fact. You’ve also heard the claims that the laser hair removal procedure is the ultimate in permanent hair removal. You’ve seen the advertisements claiming that laser treatments are fast, painless, and safe. If you would like to learn more about this, please check out this post
It all sounds very enticing, but is it all too good to be true? To answer this question, let’s take a hard look at this high-tech hair removal procedure and see if these claims prove reliable.
How does laser hair removal work? The laser hair removal procedure focuses on the delivery of light into the skin, measured at a specified wavelength, from a hand-held instrument. The light concentrates on darker material in the skin. This targeted material is the pigment found in hair. The intense light damages the hair follicle, which slows or eliminates future hair growth. This process occurs without affecting the surrounding skin tissue.
A great advantage of laser hair removal treatments is the speed in which the procedure can be administered. Small areas, like the upper lip, can be treated in a matter of seconds. Larger areas, such as the back or legs, can be treated in as little as an hour. By contrast, electrolysis can take up to 125 hours of treatment for the back area alone.
Are laser treatments for everyone? Individuals who response best to the laser hair removal treatments tend to possess lighter skin tones and a darker hair color. The greater the contrast, the easier it is for the laser light to focus on the darker material, or the pigment in the hair.
The latest technological advancements in laser hair removal have made the procedure more effective for those with darker skin. The concern for the risk of tissue damage, from the laser targeting the darker skin rather than the hair follicle, has been significantly reduced.
In most cases, people with darker skin can take advantage of the laser procedures. However, these individuals should not expect results as dramatic as those experienced by candidates with the most favorable characteristics, fair skin and dark hair.
Is the procedure really safe? In almost all cases, laser hair removal devices used in these procedures have been evaluated and deemed safe by the FDA for hair removal purposes. Of course, an important caveat also applies here – the procedure must be performed by a licensed medical specialist or doctor. When looking for a hair removal clinic, it is recommended that you use a licensed medical doctor to perform these treatments.
Are laser hair removal treatments truly pain-free? The laser treatment involves a light delivered through a hand held instrument that is attached to a laser console. As the high intensity light is being administered, some patients report a stinging sensation. Thanks to new technology, this stinging effect can be reduced. Many new lasers now incorporate a cooling system that automatically reduces, or removes, heat from the skin’s surface during the laser exposure.
Most people describe the sensation as a slight tingling of the skin, and tolerate the laser procedure very well. That’s not to say that some areas of the body aren’t more sensitive than others. In these cases, a topical anesthesia can be administered prior to the procedure. General anesthesia or pain medication is usually not required.
Are results from the laser hair removal procedure really permanent? At the present time, the medical consensus regarding laser hair removal is that the procedure results in a range of outcomes, dependent on the individual’s physical characteristics (i.e. skin tone, hair color, etc.). Generally, after a series of laser hair removal treatments, one can expect a very dramatic reduction in hair growth. If and when hair does re-grow, it will come back lighter in color or finer in texture. Overall, laser is still the most effective technique for permanent hair removal that exists today.