Everything you Wanted to Know About Laser Hair Removal

Swimsuit season may be over for another Summer but that doesn’t mean we want to let hair growth run rampant. There are so many hair removal methods on the market now; some short term, some longer term and some working on permanent.

Hair removal can be done at home, in salons and with any number of torturous devices but it doesn’t have to be that way. Waxing, shaving and plucking are all high maintenance and can be quite painful, not to mention a never ending cycle of hair removal.

If you want a relatively low maintenance, permanent hair removal routine then it’s time to look at laser hair removal, it is fast becoming the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in the US and is extremely popular in Australia as well.

What is Laser Hair Removal, you ask?

Laser Hair Removal beams highly concentrated light into hair follicles. Pigment in the follicle absorbs the light which in turn destroys the hair. Originally laser hair removal was designed for people with dark hair and light skin. Since that time a variety of lasers and light sources have been developed. These newer technologies have made the procedure safer for patients with darker skin tones. Various different types of lasers are utilized for laser hair removal, most commonly alexandrite, diode, Neodymium YAG and intense pulsed light sources (though IPLs don’t quite fit under the laser hair removal umbrella, it is a cheaper method developed from laser technology though not as effective).

Glamorous woman with perfect legs relaxing on beach

Why should you consider Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is for people who dislike the whole shaving, waxing, plucking drama. The short-lived results, the scratchy stubble, the having to allow hair to grow long enough to wax. Never mind the rashes, the nicks and the nasty in-grown hairs. Laser Hair Removal is a great way to avoid all of these issues.

Laser hair removal will target the coarse dark hairs while leaving surrounding skin undamaged. Each pulse of the laser takes a fraction of a second and treats many hairs simultaneously. The laser treats an area about the size of a 10c piece every second which means small areas like an upper lip can be treated in less than a minute and larger areas like the back or legs will take a lot longer, possibly up to an hour.

Also, if you have any number of conditions that result in excess hair growth this method destroys the follicle to reduce the likelihood of regrowth. Even laser hair removal is not the miracle cure, it will require a series of treatments to reduce hair over time. Hair grows in cycles so it needs to be removed in cycles. There is no guarantees how effective this will be long term on any given person; some people will see hair gone for years and other individuals will need to keep up maintenance treatments to keep the hair away.

As with any treatment there are risks, some of those associated with laser hair removal are blisters, pain, scarring, burns and problems with skin pigmentation. These risks can be minimised by ensuring you do your research and visit a reputable and licensed clinic.
Discount clinics and the cheapest option are not always going to give you the same results and when you are putting your body at risk you want to make sure that you are getting the best possible treatment.

In the lead up to treatment

You have done your research, found a reputable laser hair removal clinic, booked your treatment and are awaiting the big day so what do you need to do to help ensure your hard earned money brings you success.

Refrain from plucking, waxing and electrolysis for six weeks before your laser treatment. The reason for this is that the laser targets the root of the hair and that is temporarily removed by waxing and plucking.

Directly before and after treatment steer clear of perfumes, deodorants and other potential irritants in the treatment area.
Also avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements due to increased risk of bleeding

Exposure to the sun in the six weeks before and after treatment can also affect the outcome of your treatment, and exposure to the sun after treatment can make complications more likely.

After your treatment

  • Redness and swelling of the hair follicle is a normal occurrence after treatment
  • Pain and discomfort in the treated area is common and can be treated with over the counter pain medications
  • You can expect a prescription for a topical antiseptic cream to be applied after treatment
  • Be sure to avoid exposure to the sun

The most important thing I found when doing a little laser hair removal research is do your research. Don’t pick the cut-price clinic offering great discounts and low prices just because they are the cheapest. Make sure you find a clinic you are comfortable with, who answer all of your questions and do a consultation beforehand to ensure you are clear on what to expect.

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