Know Before Deciding Whether To Have Laser Hair Removal
It is believed that women started removing their body hair in Ancient Egypt thousands of years ago, the hair would have been removed using tweezers made of seashells although some women may have used beeswax. However, it is believed that this hair was removed not for the sake of beauty but to help them stay clean, the hot and dusty climate they lived in made lice an issue, no body hair meant the lice were deprived of a breeding ground. Hair removal didn’t really become a fashion statement until the 20th century.
Fortunately, it is much easier to remove unwanted body hair today, but you do need to know all the facts before you decide whether to go ahead with laser hair removal or not.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Lasers are extremely powerful but are also very easy to target and control, this allows a laser hair removal specialist to move the laser across your skin without damaging it.
A laser is effectively a beam of light, when the beam of light hits the root of your hair it finds the melanin, also known as the pigment, this absorbs the laser light and turns it into heat. Enough heat will distort or even destroy the ability of the hair follicle to grow, effectively eliminating existing hair and preventing regrowth.
It’s worth noting that the darker the hair the more light that needs to be applied to generate sufficient heat to destroy the root.
In this sense laser hair removal is permanent; however, it will depend on several factors:
- The Anagen Phase
Hairs in the angen phase can be completely removed with laser treatment and won’t grow back. The angen phase is the growing stage of a hair, approximately 60-80% of your hair is growing at any one time, the rest of the hairs won’t be affected.
Laser works because the pigmentation in your cells absorbs the light and converts it to heat, if you have no pigmentation left in your hair then this process won’t work. In other words, laser hair removal won’t work on white or grey hair.
- Skin Colour
The lighter your skin is the easier it is for the laser treatment to work as the power can be turned up. If you have darker skin the power level must be kept low reducing its effectiveness at destroying hair follicles. Turning the power-up means you could damage your skin cells as the laser can’t tell the difference between the pigment in hair or skin.
Don’t Remove Hair before A Laser Session
If you’ve decided to have laser hair removal then you need to know that it is more effective if it has hair to heat. Should you have already removed your hair the laser will be unable to warm the pigments in the hair and will be unable to destroy the follicle.
In short, if you want the laser hair removal to be successful then you need to let your hair grow as per the clinic’s guidelines before you have it done. The good news is this doesn’t mean you have to look like a yeti, you’ll just need to limit your hair care to shaving until the laser hair removal treatment is finished.
Choose A Laser With Cooling
Laser hair removal is not painless although the pain is marginal, most people compare it to feeling a prick on the skin. However, multiple pricks can easily make your skin start to feel sore and inflamed, that’s why it’s essential to choose a laser with a cooling system.
In effect, this is simply a cool breeze blowing across your skin as the laser works, it calms agitated cells and minimizes any issues after the procedure.
It Takes Time
The length of the laser session will depend on several factors including the area being treated and the size, thickness, and colour of your hair. One session will not be enough to remove all the hairs as they are in various stages of growth, to see the best possible results you will need to be patient and accept that it takes time.
In most cases that means 8-12 treatments over a number of weeks to get the best possible result. That said, the actual treatment time is usually just twenty minutes.
Consider Lotions Carefully
Your skin is surprisingly sensitive; you need to consider what it is exposed to for at least four weeks prior to any treatment. Specifically, it shouldn’t see the sun or any fake tanning products in the 4 weeks before the laser treatment, sun exposure will make the treatment ineffective and tanning lotion can increase the risk of issues, including skin damage.
At the time of your laser hair removal, you will have to ensure your skin has no lotions on it, including makeup and deodorant. The clinic will have special wipes to remove these if you forget.
Avoid Heat Afterward
To prevent any unwanted damage or infections it is essential that you avoid heat for 24 hours after treatment, which means no sunbathing, saunas, or even hot showers. It’s because the heat generated by the laser stays in your skin for 24 hours and further heat exposure will create the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, you don’t want that to happen.
It Can Promote Growth!
In most cases, laser hair removal is very successful, but there are some instances where it doesn’t perform as well, this is generally due to your hair type. This is why it is essential to have a consultation first, you’ll be advised if this is potentially an issue and whether it is worth proceeding or not.
You should note that it is generally people with a specific type of fine hair that encounter this issue.
Final Thoughts on Laser Hair removal
Most people are very happy with the results and love the fact that they don’t need to continually remove hair in the future, it can be liberating. In addition, the laser treatment can help destroy in growing hairs and improve the look and feel of your skin.
For most people, it’s a good choice but you should always make sure you know all the facts before you commit to the procedure.