How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

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About Laser Hair Removal

  • Laser hair removal is a series of treatments for long-term hair removal. People wanting lasting results choose laser treatments to avoid shaving, waxing and epilation. A laser is used on unwanted body or facial hair to heat the hair follicle at its base, destroying the hair and preventing regrowth. Laser hair removal can keep an area free of hair for extended periods of time and sometimes permanent results are achieved.

Laser Treatment Candidates

  • Candidates for laser hair removal will meet with a doctor to discuss how well laser treatments will work on their hair and skin type. The consultation will include risks and benefits including lightening of skin if you are darker skinned and darkening of the skin for lighter skinned people. It's recommended to let a tan fade before laser treatments are administered.

Before Laser Treatment

  • Before a laser treatment starts, a technician makes sure that there are no lotions, cosmetics or creams on the area to be treated. Chemicals can hinder the hair removal process and in some cases cause adverse reactions in the patient.

Laser Treament Process

  • A gel is applied to the area to be treated. This gel works as a conductor for the laser and helps keep the skin cool during the procedure. A technician will use a hand-held laser tool on an area to remove the hair. The procedure can cause discomfort in some individuals. Discomfort is usually slight and fades quickly.

How Laser Hair Removal Works

  • The light from the laser goes into the shaft of the hair destroying the hair at its root, effectively stopping or reducing hair growth in a given area. Lasers are set to target pigmentation; therefore laser hair removal is usually more effective on darker hair. Because of this pigmentation targeting, laser hair removal treatments were often avoided by people with darker skin. New laser technology has made laser hair removal safer and more effective for people with more varied skin tones and hair colors.

After Laser Hair Removal

  • Laser technicians will advise multiple sessions to ensure long lasting results. Hair growth is cyclical in that all the hair in a given area does not grow or show up at the same time. Repeated sessions over the course of several months to a year are recommended to keep an area hair-free. Anywhere from 3 to 8 sessions are usually needed over the course of a hair removal treatment.

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