Laser Hair Removal Treatment: What it is and How it Works
With all of the industry-wide focus on beauty and body positivity, it seems that the concept of hairlessness and laser hair removal is gaining traction. Other methods abound.
The most common ones are waxing, plucking, shaving, or using depilatories — but all these come bundled with some downsides such as pain, skin irritation, rashes, infections, bleeding, and more.
Fortunately, with today's technology, there is no need to go through concerning side effects and constant pain of hair removal in order to maintain your desired look.
Laser hair removal is a revolutionary method of removing hair from the root, and it's also the safest way to get rid of all types of unwanted hair on the face and body without discomfort or pain.
What does laser hair removal do?
Unlike other hair removal methods that only work on the top layer of the skin, laser hair removal treatment works on the skin's surface layers by targeting cells beneath the skin's surface without causing skin irritation or risk of infection. The laser penetrates into the skin at a low level and breaks down a pigment called melanin from the hair follicle using a concentrated beam of light.
In simple terms, melanin is a pigment found in a variety of human tissues, including hair follicles. It offers protection from UV radiation and is also responsible for pigmentation in people's skin tone.
By targeting this particular pigment instead of removing hairs completely, the laser hair removal process does not damage surrounding tissues or cause unwanted pain or scarring, leaving behind smoother, finer-looking skin that feels less irritated and looks younger.
The different types of laser treatment for hair removal
Looking back at its origins, laser hair removal started out as a treatment for dark skin tones in the early 1970s. Today it can be tailored based on a patient's specific needs, targeting all types of skin and tones.
Therefore, many different technologies are used in laser hair removal procedures, including Diode, Alexandrite, CO2, Nd:YAG, and pulsed ruby — each of them acting differently in the hair removal process.
For example, Alexandrite laser hair removal is best suited to dark-haired or pale-skinned individuals who have trouble finding appropriate hair removal treatment for their skin.
It works by starting with a blue LED which excites the material it touches, resulting in a blue fluorescence. This process then emits up to 200 times more energy than UV light, which allows Alexandrite laser hair removal to penetrate deeper into fat tissue, targeting the hair's roots.
After targeting all of the hairs at once, the epidermis is then treated with a topical cream that nourishes and regenerates cells.
Moving on to another technology, the Ruby laser, also known as the 685 nm diode laser, has been proven to be more effective and less painful than the Alexandrite laser in some cases.
This is a type of laser treatment with a slightly different wavelength than the usual wavelengths used in hair removal, meaning that they are sometimes able to remove hair where other lasers cannot because of their wavelength.
The 685 nm diode uses an elliptical beam of only 0.5 mm at its widest point. This relatively small beam is more focused on the area where it's being used than the bigger Alexandrite beam that spreads around more and uses more energy.
Altogether, laser hair removal methods differ in their effectiveness on distinct skin types as well as the expected reduction in regrowth time after treatment.
Depending on your necessities, you may need to do some research and find the right one for you so that you can achieve the greatest results with minimal side effects.
Benefits of laser hair removal treatment
With the rising popularity of laser treatment for hair removal, many patients can't resist this option. And they can't be blamed because it has many winning benefits compared to other traditional hair removal methods.
- It is quick - Laser hair reduction can be completed in a matter of minutes with minimal discomfort and can also reduce the time needed to reach a maintenance state after shaving or waxing.
- Totally safe - Laser hair removal doesn't use chemicals that may cause irritation or skin allergies, making it an ideal solution for those who have sensitive skin or suffer from hypersensitivities.
- Precision targeting - This is one of the greatest benefits of laser hair removal - it's possible to target just one area or treat more body parts in one single session.
- Cost-effective - Statistics show that women who shave will spend over $10,000 on shaving products during their life, and those who wax 1-2 times per month end up spending about $23,000 on waxing products in their lifetime.
- Laser hair removal treatment can decrease these costs by reducing the number of shaving or waxing sessions you need to take in order to maintain your desired level of cleanliness.
- Efficient in the long term - A single laser hair removal treatment can reduce hair by 10%–40% and repeated treatments by as much as 90%. Most patients can achieve permanent hair loss within 3 and 7 sessions.
- Eliminates and prevents ingrown hairs - Unlike other methods, it also prevents ingrown hairs(which form when hair grows back into the skin and causes inflammation and infection in the follicle) without causing any permanent damage or scarring.
- No hair grown between procedures - If you are starting a laser hair removal treatment, you will not have to worry about your growing hair because you can shave between sessions.
- Ideal for dark skin tones - Melanin is present in larger quantities in dark skin and, in addition to being responsible for protecting the skin from the sun and heat, this pigment can also cause sensitivity to light and make it harder to see hair follicles on the skin.
With this in mind, laser hair removal is less likely to result in hyperpigmentation and dark spots than other methods such as electrolysis. It leaves behind a thin layer of skin that regrows in a few weeks, creating an even smoother complexion.
Side effects of laser treatment for hair removal
Like any other procedure, there are a few general side effects of laser hair removal that may occur for some people who undergo the treatment and usually vary from person to person:
- temporary stinging or itching;
- porosity or thinning in the skin;
- unevenness and uneven pigmentation on the treated area;
- discoloration of the skin due to excessive light exposure;
- warming and swelling in the treated area.
Some patients may also experience skin redness and dark spots after laser treatment(symptoms that usually go away in a short time) and also scarring or hyperpigmentation if the procedure is not done properly.
Moreover, during the laser hair treatment, the skin responds by producing more melanin, which can create a thin layer of inflammation that may take up to six weeks to heal.
In order to prevent any adverse effects from the laser treatments, you should first get informed of the things you need to do before starting the first treatment, what to do between sessions and after the treatment is completely done.
How to prepare for laser treatment for hair removal
Before everything else, you should consider getting a pre-procedure consultation with a doctor specializing in laser hair removal treatments. This consultation will give you more information about the type of laser that should be used on your skin, how long it will take for it to be effective, and, above all, it will tell you if you are suitable to go through such a procedure.
Although laser hair removal is recommended for all skin types, it should be avoided if you have a history of skin cancer or a blistering disease such as psoriasis or eczema, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
That being said, if you passed your medical exam and are ready to start treatment, there are a few things you should be aware of before so that your experience will be as comfortable and effective as possible.
✓ Avoid sun exposure before your laser treatment. You should also avoid tanning beds or UV rays while on laser treatment sessions.
✓ Try to eat well. Vitamin B6 helps with healing and prevents infection. Additionally, zinc enhances the healing of wounds caused by laser treatments.
✓ Keep your skin hydrated to lessen the risk of dryness and irritation.
✓ Make sure that your skin is clean and free from any oils or lotions; this goes the same for the face area that you should prepare by cleansing your skin and removing all traces of makeup and lotions.
✓ Shave at least 24 hours before undergoing treatment because laser treatments are more effective if follicles are not clogged by excess hair growth.
✓ Don't use peroxide or any hair dyes during the process to avoid damaging your skin's natural processes.
✓ Avoid picking at the treated area within the first week after treatment to prevent infection from occurring.
✓ Wear loose clothing for comfort during treatment and afterward.
✓ Limit your skin-care process to only products recommended by your doctor and avoid applying any other chemical substances.
Laser hair removal areas
Hair removal treatment performed with laser can be done on just about any part of the body, including parts that are hard to reach with waxing or other professional or DIY hair removal methods, having minimal downtime and no long-term effects on the skin.
However, not all patients choose to apply this treatment to the entire surface of their body. The most common areas chosen by both men and women are the arms, armpits, face, or legs.
Speaking about areas of interest, one of the most demanded procedures in recent years has been Brazilian laser hair removal, which has become more popular over time as a way to reduce hair growth and treat unwanted hair down there. The method has been used by many celebrities so far and is more requested by patients who are tired of waxing or shaving in such a sensitive area.
Yet, laser hair removal treatment can be done everywhere, including the face, sideburns, toes, chest, and back and it can be done in isolated spots or on several areas that are treated at once.
Laser hair removal is a very effective solution for unwanted body or facial hair. This treatment has been clinically proven to reduce the amount of time and effort needed to shave, wax, pluck, thread or tweeze your hairs.
The treatment can be used on any part of the body and is relatively simple and pain-free, offers long-term results, and doesn’t have the same side effects that come with other traditional methods like irritation, ingrown hairs, bumps on your skin caused by razor burn, etc.
If this sounds like something worth exploring that could solve your problem area in life (literally), then you can contact us straight away to discuss which laser hair removal treatment would work best for you.
How long does hair laser removal last?
Permanent laser hair removal can be achieved after a period of the continuous procedure. In most cases, laser hair removal lasts several months, and in some cases, it might last for years.
This treatment does not last forever, though; it will need to be repeated every few months or years depending on how thick your hairs are and how often you visit your doctor for checkups.
Is laser hair removal painful?
It depends - while some patients may find it painful because they are hypersensitive to pain, meaning that just a small touch can cause them to feel intense pain, others may find it to be very comfortable and painless. The procedure can be felt differently depending on the type of laser being used and the person's skin condition.
Is laser treatment better than waxing?
The answer is YES, if you're looking for long-term results. Laser hair removal is a process that uses light to destroy hair follicles, while waxing removes the entire hair from the root. Laser hair reduction is more effective than waxing because it delivers lower energy during the laser treatment.
It can be done safely on sensitive areas like your face or armprints, making it a great alternative for those who have sensitive skin or want to avoid the pain associated with waxing.
Can you get laser hair removal on your face?
The face is the most sensitive part of our body. Since laser hair removal is an effective way to remove unwanted hair from sensitive areas like the bikini line, arms, legs, it can also be done even on the face.
Therefore, laser hair removal is a process that can be done on any part of the face(except the eyelids), and it is better than the traditional methods such as waxing and electrolysis because it doesn't cause irritation or leave marks behind.
How many sessions of laser hair removal do I need?
Laser treatments generally require multiple sessions, and patients typically need a few weeks between sessions to see the procedure's full results.
The typical timeframe for permanent hair reduction is 7-8 weeks. Still, some people need to have their laser hair removal treatments less often due to their skin type or because they are experiencing any kind of damage, so it could take longer than that.
"Today was my first of 6 laser hair removal treatments. Suzanne was fabulous and made me feel totally comfortable during the treatment. The staff was also friendly and very helpful! If anyone is looking for hair removal, this is the place to be!"
Book Your Laser Hair Removal Today
If you are ready to throw away the razors and enjoy smooth skin free from unwanted hair, make an appointment to discuss laser hair removal with Dr. Sidhu and his staff today. Serving the communities of Everett, Issaquah, Bellevue, Kirkland, Newcastle, Seattle and Sammamish, Dr. Sidhu is ready to help your true beauty shine.
For more information or to make an appointment, call us today at 425-250-9999. For your convenience, use our online Request an Appointment form.
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We Use Nitrox for Pain Relief
Nitronox is a proven safe and effective treatment for managing any pain and anxiety you might feel during treatments. The Nitronox system delivers a mix of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen directly to you on an as-needed basis to provide comfort. This treatment enhancement is ideal for short, minimally-invasive treatments such as tattoo removal when pain is a concern.
You won't need this extra comfort for most of the services at VIVAA, but we want you to have it available for you should it be helpful.