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Laser hair removal

Laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a laser to remove unwanted hair. During laser hair removal, a laser beam passes through the skin to an individual hair follicle. The intense heat of the laser damages the hair follicle, which inhibits future hair growth.

Laser hair removal is most effective for people who have light skin and dark hair. Although laser hair removal effectively slows hair growth, it doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal.

Why it’s Done?

Laser hair removal is used to remove unwanted hair. Common treatment locations include legs, armpits, upper lip, chin and bikini line. However, it’s possible to treat unwanted hair in nearly any area — except the eyelid or surrounding area.

Hair color and skin type influence the success of laser hair removal. Laser hair removal isn’t generally effective for white, gray, red or blond hair — although treatment options for lighter hair continue to be investigated.

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Risks & How you Prepare

Laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. The most common side effects of laser hair removal include:

  • Skin irritation. Temporary discomfort, redness and swelling are possible after laser hair removal. Any signs and symptoms typically disappear within several hours.
  • Pigment changes. Laser hair removal might darken or lighten the affected skin, usually temporarily. Skin lightening primarily affects those who have darker skin, especially if an incorrect laser is used at an incorrect setting.

Rarely, laser hair removal can also cause blistering, crusting, scarring or other changes in skin texture.

If you are planning on undergoing laser hair removal, you should limit plucking, waxing, and electrolysis for six weeks before treatment. That’s because the laser targets the hairs’ roots, which are temporarily removed by waxing or plucking. You should also avoid sun exposure for six weeks before and after treatment.

What can you Expect & Results

Just before the procedure, your hair that will be undergoing treatment will be trimmed to a few millimeters above the skin surface. The laser equipment will be adjusted according to the color, thickness, and location of your hair being treated as well as your skin color.

  • Precision. Lasers can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
  • Speed.  Each pulse of the laser takes a fraction of a second and can treat many hairs at the same time. The laser can treat an area approximately the size of a quarter every second. Small areas such as the upper lip can be treated in less than a minute, and large areas, such as the back or legs, may take up to an hour.
  • Predictability.  Most patients have permanent hair loss after an average of three to seven sessions

Results of laser hair removal vary greatly from person to person. Multiple treatments can prolong the duration of hair loss — up to years in some cases — but hair regrowth is still possible. For best results, you might need four to six treatments spaced a number of weeks apart.