Are you sick and tired of spending time and money shaving, tweezing or undergoing painful waxing treatments to achieve hairless perfection? If “yes,” then perhaps it’s time to consider a laser hair removal solution.
There are some things that you should keep in mind prior to treatment if you elect to go the laser route. Notably, you are advised to avoid direct sun exposure to the treatment areas for as long as six months before laser hair removal, as overexposure can impact treatment efficacy. Similarly, alternative treatments that impact the hair roots, such as waxing, electrolysis and tweezing, should be avoiding for four to six weeks prior to laser hair removal.
The treatment itself is straightforward. The laser is calibrated based on the unique characteristics of the patient, such as hair color, treatment location (lip, back, chest, etc), coarseness, etc. Treatment areas are first trimmed, and then hit with laser light pulses that penetrate the skin and target hair roots. Initial laser bursts may be monitored by the technician in case adjustments are needed. The laser is then applied across the treatment area to completion.
A minimum of four to six weeks is required between treatments should you elect to continue towards a permanent solution.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow – Benefits of the Laser Option
Laser hair removal has become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the United States in recent years thanks to many Americans desiring a permanent solution to unwanted hair growth. Today’s laser technology offers a simple, relatively inexpensive alternative to dated methods of hair removal, such as waxing, tweezing, shaving and even oral medications.
The precise nature of laser hair removal is such that surrounding skin damage is kept to an absolute minimum. Treatments are safely performed all over the body, including the face (bye bye upper lip waxing ladies), bikini line, neck, back, chest and more. Depending on the treatment area, laser hair removal could take as little as 60 seconds (upper lip hair removal). However, other treatments may take an hour or longer.
Quick and Easy, But What Sort of Results can be Expected?
Laser hair removal offers patients a permanent solution to unwanted hair growth. However, permanent loss is unlikely with a single treatment session. Rather, five or more treatments may be recommended, spread over weeks and months. This makes the treatment more expensive than traditional hair removal methods in the short term; however, the permanent nature of the removal means that you may actually save money in the long run. Not to mention time.
If not performed enough times to produce permanent results, laser hair removal still lasts considerably longer than the alternatives. For example, leg treatments can last up to 17 weeks before hair growth resumes. Mid-body and upper-body results tend to fade quicker, in as few as 10 and 11 weeks respectively.
Laser Hair Removal Recovery
Laser hair removal is a safe, quick procedure after which patients are free to go about their day as usual. However, there obviously are some effects of the treatment that should be considered for several days after. The area treated may be red, swollen and tender, not unlike a mild sunburn. Any discomfort can be managed in the same way, through the application of moisturizer or even a cold compress.
Direct sunlight should be avoiding or at least kept to a minimum to prevent delayed healing. As your hair begins to fall out over the coming weeks, it is important to manage sun exposure more vigilantly than normal to prevent discoloration of the treatment area.
As with any laser treatment, there are risks associated with treatment though they are minor. Laser hair removal is an incredibly safe procedure.
What does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
The cost of laser hair removal can range from office to office, though the national average is approximately $235 per session, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Upper lip laser hair removal will be less expensive than back hair removal. And combination treatments will be even more expensive.
Many spas and plastic surgery offices offer discounted rates to patients who elect to receive multiple treatments. Find laser hair removal providers in your area and evaluate their respective costs to get the ball rolling and the hair falling.
- Laser Hair Removal: Author: Mounir Bashour, MD, PhD, CM, FRCSC, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA
- FDA: Removing Hair Safely (n.d.)
- AAD: Laser Hair Removal Overview (n.d.)
- ASDS: Unwanted Hair (r.d.)