What Are The Pros & Cons of Laser Hair Removal
Is laser the right hair removal method for you? Let us guide you through the process with this helpful guide.
What are the pros pros and cons of laser hair removal is a common question our clients ask us. The truth is, when it comes to removing body hair, you’ve got many options. You can shave everything away quickly, but the hair grows back in a matter of days. You can use depilatory creams that dissolve hair in minutes, but they have a tendency to smell like wet dog mixed with gasoline. If you want a more thorough hair removal, you may have considered waxing, which snatches the hair at the root and rips the hair follicle out. Hair doesn’t grow back for weeks, but waxing is a painful process, and it itches like hell when the hair grows back in. Laser hair removal could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
There are more long-lasting options for hair removal such as, electrolysis. Electrolysis uses a super-fine needle inserted into each hair follicle to send an electric current that kills the hair follicle at the root. If you’re thinking it sounds painful, you’d be right and a session can be very time consuming.
Finally, that brings us to laser hair removal, a popular semi-permanent hair removal option that damages the hair follicle to minimise the hair growth. The laser detects the hair exclusively by focusing on the pigment cells that reside in the hair follicle, causing heat the laser burns all the way down the hair follicle and root. After a few sessions, you can stop waxing and starting showing of your hair free areas. However, before you run of and book your first laser appointment, we have wrote this guide to help break down the pros and cons of laser hair removal.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work
Laser Hair Removal offers a convenient alternative to the hassle of regular shaving, waxing or plucking, with a single course of treatment providing clients with a permanent reduction in unwanted hair growth. Laser hair removal works by heating the hair follicles to stop new hairs from growing. This puts the hair follicles in a state of dormancy for a long period of time. When the hairs do grow back, they’ll be lighter, finer, and fewer in number.
Laser hair removal destroys actively growing hair follicles, so for some clients we can say that the end result is permanent hair removal. Laser hair removal will only affect actively growing follicles and has no effect on dormant or ‘resting’ hair follicles. After your laser hair removal treatment it is possible that new hair growth may take place from hair follicles that weren’t growing at the time of treatment.
Quick Facts About Laser Hair Removal
- Its success depends on two major factors namely hair colour and skin type.
- It is effective only on actively growing hair follicles.
- Not a guarantee to permanently remove hair.
- It is recommended that the laser treatment should be spaced three to eight weeks apart depending on the total area covered and also on the hair growth cycle. The legs and arms usually require less frequent hair removal sessions than the neck and face regions.
- It takes a longer period of time for the hair follicles to shed off usually within 2 to 3 weeks.
Pros Of Laser Hair Removal
While laser hair removal has been around for over two decades, it took a while before this technique was fully embraced. Today it is a widely embraced practice, from medical practitioners and clinics to dermatologist. Here are a few benefits of laser hair removal over other methods.
- While laser hair removal doesn’t get rid of hair forever (only electrolysis is FDA-approved for permanent hair removal), it does drastically reduce hair growth, to the point that you can stop shaving altogether. Therefore we do see that many of our clients can go 5 years without needing any further treatment.
- Its virtually-pain free and takes less then 15 minutes to complete each treatment session. It can help stop in-grown hairs and reduce unwanted time ridding hair. The laser head at most reputable clinics, will cool to help numb the area before and after the laser treatment. It also gets progressively less painful as treatments continue and the hair becomes finer.
- Laser hair removal offers the fastest solution to removing unwanted hair permanently. It can treat fairly wide areas of the affected part within few seconds. Smaller parts of the body such as the lower lip region can be worked upon in seconds, while broader body parts including the legs or back can be done in just about 15 minutes.
- You can get it done anywhere on the body, and the machine can cover large places fast and effortlessly. Legs, back, underarms, bikini line, stomach, face and more. There is no limit to the places you can get laser hair removal.
Cons of Laser Hair Removal
Of course no hair removal method is perfect which is why there are also some cons to laser hair removal which you should keep in mind when deciding if you want to get this treatment.
- It is not yet approved as a form of permanent hair removal.
- It’s a long process. A session of laser hair removal on the underarms takes less than a minute. However, it takes multiple sessions to see real results (anywhere between three and eight depending on the size of the area), and you generally have to wait six weeks between treatments.
- If done by an untrained technician, laser hair removal could leave burns or scars on the skin. Unfortunately, licensing procedures vary from state to state, and sometimes there are no requirements at all. Beware of ‘laser centres’ and make sure to ask where your laser technician was trained and ask for prof of insurance.
- Side effects can occur including itching, swelling, slight pain, tingling, and numbness around the treated area. Skin discolouration is another side effect, although clinics like ourselves use the Nd:YAG, which are better at distinguishing between hair and skin on all skin types.
- It can be highly expensive, although once the treatment is complete you will only need maintenance treatments.
Get Prepared For Laser Hair Removal
Removing unwanted hair using laser hair removal can be daunting especially for first time clients. As daunting as it may be, most service providers have a program that helps make your first time experience a memorable one. You will be greeted at a face-to-face consultation appointment where an advance aesthetic practitioner will assess your skin, medical history and suitability for treatment. You should, however be aware that it has potential risks and should check for reviews and credentials before choosing a laser hair removal service. Don’t trust sites such as discount sites as any good clinic will not use these sites.
It is also important that you keep away from certain activities including electrolysis, body waxing and hair plucking for about eight weeks prior to your laser hair removal procedure. Body tanning, sun bathing should also be avoided within this time frame as otherwise you may experience complexities and limited results. A patch test treatment is carried out prior to the treatment, along with your consultation appointment to ensure suitability for treatment. During this procedure, the device will be adjusted to match your skin’s colour, and texture while mapping out the area that needs to be worked upon.
Post Laser Hair Removal
After your laser hair removal treatment, you might experience skin redness or bumps, this is normal and your practitioner will recommend moisturisers to use with the correct SPF and aloe vera gel to help with cooling. If you have any serious side effects, you must contact the clinic as soon as possible.
For face treatment, it is highly recommended that patients wear make up for a couple of days after the treatment. The treated hair will be removed completely within four weeks, so make sure you have the correct SPF (we recommend SPF 50+) to reduce skin’s exposure to sunlight. Don’t worry if you notice some scars as this is common especially among dark skinned complexion. Though scars are rare occurrences, laser hair removal patients are also prone to blisters, skin discolouration and temporary skin nodes.
Other Things Todo:
- DO NOT go out in UV light, use sunbeds or tanning products between treatments.
- Under no circumstances should you undergo any further IPL work undertaken during this 4-6 week period.
- Avoid the sun for 7 days after the procedure.
- Avoid topical sunless tanning products for 7 days.
- If the skin is sensitive or irritated you may use over the counter (OTC) medicine.
- If a blister appears contact your provider for direction, but in most cases you may apply an antibiotic ointment to the area until healed.
- Avoid any other type of skin treatment for 2 weeks after the procedure.
- Slather on the sunscreen daily, at least 30+ SPF.
- Gently exfoliate the area in the shower.
- Do not wax, pluck or otherwise remove the hair by force, shaving is allowed.
- Due to skin sensitivity avoid excess heat for 24-48 hours such as hot showers, saunas, hot tubs, or heat packs.
- Avoid make-up, deodorant, or other topical creams or medications for 24 hours.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
Although undergoing laser hair removal may be expensive, its benefits can be worth it. These treatments cost £150 on average for each session. The cost may be influenced by factors such as:
- Frequency of treatments and amount of sessions.
- The practitioner conducting the procedure.
- Standard of clinic.
- The area of the body for hair removal treatment.