How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Today, laser hair removal is emerging as a popular alternative to tiresome and frustrating hair removal methods, such as waxing, plucking, shaving, etcetera. More and more people are following this trend which falls under the category of medical hair removal. Interested clients, before opting for this procedure, may most likely want to get to know what laser hair removal is all about.

Let’s get into the details to know how this technology actually works and bust some of the most common myths (keep reading till the end!) people associate with laser hair removal.

How Does It Work?

This medical procedure makes use of a laser (a concentrated ‘beam’ of light) to get rid of unwanted hair. This treatment can be used on nearly all areas of the body, including face, armpits, legs, bikini line, etcetera. However, special care is taken to avoid the eyelids and the surrounding areas during the procedure, because the laser can cause mild or severe eye injuries.

During the laser hair removal procedure, the laser that is used emits a light that is ‘absorbed’ by the pigment in the client’s hair. This light energy converts into heat, which damages hair follicles (sacs within the skin that produce hair). This damage retards, delays or inhibits future hair growth on the treated areas.

When Are Sessions Scheduled? 

Laser hair removal therapies are very effective in successfully delaying hair growth, but they still don’t usually result in permanent growth retardation.

During the initial stage of hair removal, multiple sessions are needed. After the initial stage, treatment sessions for maintenance will also need to be accommodated.

In normal laser hair removal cases, a series of 2-6 treatment sessions are required. The time interval between sessions varies, depending on the site (area) that is being treated. For areas where hair growth is slow (e.g, back), a treatment session is usually needed every 12-16 weeks. For areas where hair growth is quick (e.g. upper lip & arms), treatment is usually repeated in about 4-8 weeks.

What Affects A Laser Hair Removal Treatment?

Since the inception of this hair removal method, it has been based on the contrast between pigments. The laser targets the pigment in the unwanted hair and should be absorbed by the pigmented hair, not the pigment in the skin. The laser is meant to damage just the hair follicles and avoid causing any damage to the skin.

This is where the skin type and the hair color influence (not too greatly now) the success of this procedure. A conventionally ideal laser hair removal case would involve a visible contrast between skin and hair color-light skin & dark hair. In cases when the contrast between these two is mild, the risk of skin damage is greater.

However, technological advancements have paved the way for people of all skin and hair types to benefit from laser hair removal technology. Today, laser treatment options for even those with hair colors which aren’t good at absorbing light, such as blond, grey, white, red, are being developed.

What To Expect During A Laser Hair Removal Procedure?

During the procedure, your medical practitioner will use a hand-held laser device, usually with a cooling component attached to its tip to protect the skin from side effects. Alternatively, a cool gel may be used for this purpose.

The doctor will press the instrument on the skin being treated and activate the laser. Upon activation, the light beam emitted transmits intense heat to the hair follicles, damaging them and inhibiting hair growth.

How much pain an individual experiences cannot be defined for certain, because it varies greatly from person to person. Some might feel as less as a pinching sensation while others might feel a lot of discomfort. The cooling device or cool gel help in alleviating feelings of discomfort and irritability during the procedure.

How To Prepare?

For those interested in getting laser hair removal therapy, it is important to hire the services of an experienced and board-certified cosmologist or dermatologist. This is the first step that is crucial for a laser hair removal treatment to be executed the right way.

It’s also important to understand that your skin will need to be prepared for your laser treatment. Here’s how you can prepare your skin for a laser hair removal treatment.

  • Stay out of the sun. Clients are usually advised to avoid sun exposure for up to 6 weeks before the treatment day. Daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen is also essential in avoiding the sun.
  • Avoid other methods of hair removal. Methods such as electrolysis, waxing, and plucking should be abandoned completely for about 4 weeks before treatment. This is necessary because these methods ‘disturb’ the hair follicles, which can often hinder success during laser hair removal treatments.
  • Try lightening your skin. For those with recent tans or darker skin tones, doctors might prescribe skin bleaching or lightening creams to help in generating a better contrast. It is not necessary though.
  • Avoid blood-thinners. Consult your doctor and ask about the medications you should avoid taking before the procedure. These might include anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin.
  • Shave the treatment area. Most people view this component of laser hair removal treatment negatively. However, this is done before the treatment just to remove excess hair spread above the skin. Removing these is important as burnt hairs are likely to result in surface skin harm. Shaving removes the hair above the surface, leaving the hair shaft intact below it.

Some Common Myths About Laser Hair Removal And The Truth About Them

Several myths and misconceptions about the modern laser hair removal technology are circulating among the public, despite its widespread use and popularity. They unnecessarily instill a sense of fear among interested clients, which ultimately results in them going for other ‘better and safer’ hair removal options.

Below are the most common myths about this procedure.

  • The treatment can lead to skin cancer.
    This is a completely baseless statement. Laser hair removal treatment is approved by the FDA, is fail-proof & extremely safe. No solid and evidence-supported links or connections between this treatment and the development of cancerous cells has been found to date.
  • The procedure is extremely painful.
    Laser hair removal is actually relatively less painful when compared to other methods, such as waxing or threading. As we discussed earlier, pain varies from person to person. Even the maximum amount of pain experienced by an individual falls within a bearable window. Professionals take sufficient and necessary measures to ease the client’s discomfort.
  • Laser beams cause harm to internal organs.
    This is not true. The light beams are not intense enough to penetrate your skin that deeply and affect your internal organs.
  • The treatment does not work on dark-skinned people.
    As we discussed earlier, this might have been the scenario years ago, during the initial stages after the introduction of this procedure. Today, thanks to modern technology, treatment machines have been developed that treat both dark and light-skinned clients.

If you want a professional, experienced team who can provide a long-lasting solution that has you looking and feeling better than ever then contact Louisville Laser Med Spa or visit us at 2114 South Hurstbourne Pkwy Louisville, KY 40220 or Call us at (502) 890-9726.