There are lots of ways to achieve a hair free body and hair removal can be a very time consuming task for many people.
While traditional methods such as shaving, waxing and tweezing may be effective, they do not provide long-term solutions for hair removal and need to be repeated often and sometimes even several times per day.
Of these traditional methods, waxing has the highest risk of complications including causing in-grown hairs that can be painful, unsightly and even become infected. (Laser hair removal can treat and prevent in-grown hairs.)
The most effective and longest lasting treatment available is laser hair removal. Because of effectiveness the treatment has become one of the world’s most popular nonsurgical aesthetic procedures performed (ranking after Botox and Dermal Fillers).
Laser hair removal can be performed virtually anywhere on the body where there is unwanted hair growth and can result in permanent hair reduction. Keep in mind that permanent hair reduction does not mean a 100% reduction of hair for life, but rather a 50-95% permanent reduction. New hairs can pop up over time but in most cases the new hair growth is thinner, finer, lighter and easier to manage with touch up treatments recommended to maintain ideal results.
Laser hair removal works by emitting a concentrated laser beam of light and heat aimed at the targeted hair and hair follicle. This energy is absorbed into the hair follicle thus damaging the follicle enough to retard future growth.
In order for laser hair removal to be effective it has to be performed in a series of treatments. This is due to the hair growth cycles. There are three stages of hair growth; Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen and basically at any given time a percentage of hair is in each one of these phases. Which means some hairs are actively growing and some hairs are either falling out (shedding) or in the process of falling out. The laser can only effectively target hairs in the active (Anagen) growth phase. Most hair growth cycles range between 4-8 weeks depending on the area of the body.
This is why a series of treatments spaced out between 4-8 weeks is needed in order for laser hair removal to be most effective. A person can expect an average of a 20-30% reduction in hair after each session.
Most hair removal lasers on the market work best on a person with light skin and dark hair but, with the advancement of new technologies it is now possible to treat a much wider range of skin types and hair colors. (With the exception of grey hair. At this time, there are no lasers that can effectively treat grey hair. So in order to prevent this complication, “get it before it turns grey”.)
It is important to keep in mind that the number of sessions needed depends on the area of the body being treated, skin color, thickness or coarseness of the hair, sex, underlying health conditions, ethnicity and the type of laser being used.
Even with laser hair removal treatments, results and patient comfort levels can vary greatly depending on the type and age of the laser being used. Just like with electronics, technology is continually evolving and improving. So don’t expect the same results or comfort level with an outdated or older laser.
When shopping around for laser hair removal the type of laser used should be one of the most important considerations. The type of laser is a key factor influencing treatment efficacy and complication rates.
One good choice would be to look for a clinic that offers Pain Free, Hair Free technology with the Soprano laser by Alma. This laser is very effective and is currently the only laser offering virtually pain free treatments.
The best part of all is that laser hair removal is no longer an expensive option. As technology advancements have been made, treatment prices have come down. Pricing is generally structured around treatment areas, with the smaller the area treated, the lower the cost (for example upper lip, chin, under arms), while larger areas such as backs, full legs and chests will cost more. Because laser hair removal takes approximately 6-8 treatments to be effective, some clinics will offer discounts or package pricing when purchasing a series of treatments.
When preparing for a laser hair removal treatment patients need to eliminate waxing or plucking of hair for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment. The reason for this is because the laser targets the root of the hair and the root needs to be attached (not pulled out) for the procedure to be effective. It is OK to continue to shave the areas to be treated before and after treatment sessions. As a matter of fact, patients are instructed to come to their treatment sessions with a clean shave in the areas to be treated. This will allow the energy to penetrate deep down to the hair follicle and will make treatments most effective and more comfortable.
It is also important to avoid tanning before or after treatment sessions as sun exposure can make treatments less effective and can increase the risk of complications.
Taking photosensitive medications including some antibiotics and Accutane is also contraindicated during treatment. The amount of time a patient needs to be off of a photosensitive drug prior to treatment varies depending on the medication and only a qualified practitioner knows the safest guidelines.
Although laser hair removal is quite safe and effective, be sure to research the clinic and the laser they use prior to treatment. Because contraindications do exist and complications are possible if the practitioner providing the care is not educated properly, it is always a good idea to be sure to go to a reputable medical clinic specializing in these types of treatments.
Look for a clinic that offers the latest and best technology with a laser that is targeted specifically for laser hair removal. Ask to schedule a free consultation that will allow for enough time to develop a treatment plan, answer questions and will give you the ability to “test out or feel” the laser before committing to treatment.
Thanks to modern technology and laser hair removal, clients can now look forward to a safe, long-term solution allowing them to toss those nasty razors, stop that painful waxing and enjoy smooth, hair-free skin.