Hair removal is one of the most often requested cosmetic procedures. It tends to be simple, relatively painless, and have an overall low recovery time with obvious results. This is a clear win for most of us wanting to see an immediate fix to a problem area. Almost everyone has an area they’d prefer there was no hair; where this is depends on the individual though. Making the most of these services can help remove some of the frustrating maintenance associated with shaving in exchange for the fact that many laser hair removal treatments require many sessions to have a full effect. We’re getting ahead of things though as we all need to have a clearer understanding of what laser hair removal is and the potential variations on it. After all, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method and different factors can make laser hair removal easier on a person or make this set of hair removals methods entirely unsuitable for a given person. Let’s start by taking a closer look at what laser hair removal is though.
Defining Laser Hair Removal
A simple summary of most of these treatments is that they utilize lasers to heat up the hair follicles. This is possible thanks to the pigment in the hair readily absorbing the light of the laser. As the follicle heats, that heat passes downwards to the root of the hair and physically damages the area. This damage, in turn, reduces the ability of the root to grow new hair or prevents it from returning entirely based on many individual factors that are hard to account for in every patient. The use of heat can mean there is moderate discomfort during the process, but most people experience it as being within tolerable levels. It does need to be stressed that laser treatments need to be performed regularly for up to a year in areas of thick hair growth as only hairs in the current growth cycle can be targeted at a given time. Each new set must be “burnt” to ensure that that the hair growth is truly stopped or drastically reduced. As a result, a single treatment may result in some thinning, but it will not necessarily be the most pronounced. There are also limits on the treatment’s utility.
Any reliable professional will immediately inform you that there is, in fact, an ideal candidate for laser hair removal. People with light skin and dark hair will actually get the most reliable results from this treatment. This is due to how the laser works. Remember that technically the lasers are targeting pigmentation. People with light skin have comparatively little pigment in their skin while dark hair has a lot of pigment in it. This allows the treatment to target the desired problem without harming the skin. People with light hair tend to have issues with almost every form of laser hair removal because their hair simply doesn’t have the necessary pigmentation for the treatment to function effectively. This is similar to the reason that laser isn’t terribly effective for people with darker skin since the laser will end up targeting their skin more and as a result is more likely to cause unwelcome skin damage. The treatment is still being refined and there have been recent advances that allow some forms of laser hair removal to actually work for people with darker skin, but this is still a comparatively rare option.
We touched on this earlier by noting that some people do experience a level of discomfort when undergoing laser hair removal. This can become an outright pain in some bases, but most people offering laser hair removal apply a numbing agent to the overall area to minimize any overt pain. Most of your time will simply be spent allowing the technician to pass the device emitting the laser or lasers over the treated area until the treatment is done. Many laser treatments are relatively quick and last less than a half hour depending on the size of the area being treated. After the treatment, patients are expected to leave the hairs be and allow for them to be naturally shed over the course of the next three to four weeks. Temporary irritation of the treated are is relatively common with tenderness, redness, and itching being the most common side effects. These tend to fade relatively quickly. We do need to note that damage to skin pigmentation can occur and result in hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation depending on the nature of the damage. This is worth remembering when considering laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal’s nature as a comparatively quick, effective, and safe method of hair reduction is what makes it so popular. The technology is being refined regularly to try to overcome its shortcomings and as a result the current limitations may be overcome in the near future. For now, remember to discuss the viability of using it as a treatment with a professional. This is especially necessary if you’re not an ideal candidate. By the end of the discussion, you should know the best treatment to use to achieve your desired cosmetic goals.