Laser hair removal is the ultimate way to rock a hairless body; if you’re considering getting it, here’s everything you need to know.
The never-ending process of maintaining beauty can be hard to juggle sometimes, especially if you like to flaunt your skin. Grooming every part of the body where hair grows is essential to remain classy. Many people like to stick to the basic hair removal technique of shaving, which causes strawberry legs when done poorly. There is also the option of tweezing and waxing, but they do not come close to laser hair removal.
Several benefits of laser hair removal include reducing stubbles and ingrown hairs that cause pigmentation. It is also a permanent option to remove body hairs. But it would help if you still learned about the side effects and other factors why it may not be suitable for you.
We have researched for you to know what to expect, how to prepare, and things to avoid if you choose to go for a laser hair removal. Below are 17 facts you should know, including some misconceptions cleared up about getting a laser procedure.
1. Laser hair removal is government-approved
The use of light to target and destroy hair follicles underwent several experiments before making it to the mainstream beauty industry. Two dermatologists, R. Rox Anderson and Melanie Grossman, successfully applied the laser to kill cells of hair follicles back in 1996. Their findings contributed to the decision of government agencies like the F.D.A to approve the procedure in 1997.
It pivoted the treatment to popularity status, with almost every beauty clinic offering the service. A simple search for laser hair removal near me brings several results to back this fact. With more research going into the procedure, it has become one of the safest and most efficient ways to get hair-free skin.
2. Lasers are grouped by Wavelengths
The energy that laser light gives off can be visible or close to being infrared. And they get classified by wavelengths, from ruby (deep red light with 694.3nn), intense pulsed light (650nn), and the ND: YAG (1064nm being the highest). Laser lights also get grouped by pulse duration, as it combines with the size of the spot and laser beam to destroy the hair follicles effectively.
3. You need a pre-shave before laser treatment
You have to shave the hairs on the areas where you plan on getting a laser removal. If you’re wondering why you need to do that if the laser will remove the hair. A clear, smooth skin surface eases the laser procedure because you need the light beams to get to the roots. When there are long hair strands blocking off the lasers, it might irritate the skin. Also, it might burn and give off a foul smell, which can be avoided if you prep your skin correctly. Shaving must be done 24 hours before your session with a regular razor or shaving stick. Avoid waxes, or plucking the hairs, as this will irritate the skin.
4. Bare skin is best for laser hair removal
At your laser treatment, skip all your skincare routine, and yes, you read right. If you’re going for a total body hair removal, you cannot apply lotion or moisturizers and deodorant. If it’s just the face, keep it makeup-free and clear from face creams and sunscreen for the procedure. To ensure you go in with clear skin, exfoliate before laser hair removal. In addition, to ensure your skin is safe for lasers, you must sit out the procedure if you got fake tanning recently.
5. Laser hair removal is one of the quickest ways to get smooth skin
The procedure is super-fast that you could be in and out of the beautician’s studio in minutes. Sure, your skin will need to get prepped, and you’ll have to settle in position. However, a typical procedure for the face takes about 20 minutes to complete. Judging by the time taken for the facials, it will take longer if you’re going for a full-body treatment.
6. Laser hair removal is not as painful as it sounds
Suppose you judge by the laser procedure that uses light beams to kill hair follicles. You might think it will be super painful if the movies are anything to judge by. A standard laser machine uses cooling technology to soothe the skin with cold air while removing the hair. It reduces the pain you will feel, regardless of your pain threshold.
Although you will feel some pain, it isn’t so intense, and it passes quickly. The pain level also varies, in the different skin area, since the light travel into the hair bulb, regions with thinner skin covering. This means sensitive areas like the nose and temples might be more painful.
7. It might evade hair with light colors
Hair colors interfere with how effective your laser session will turn out. Suppose you have blonde, grey, ginger, and other bright-colored hair. It’s best to sit out laser treatment. They do not contain chromatophore, which combines to give strands their color. When hairs lack chromatophore, it becomes difficult for the laser to target them since the wavelength cannot absorb the color. Dark hairs with melanin work best for laser hair removal, as they drink the light transfer from the lasers.
8. You might not notice the results immediately
After your first laser hair removal, the resulting smooth skin might be noticeable. It takes about three weeks to spot the difference between your previous skin. To completely rid your skin of all the hair, you will undergo a dozen laser procedures for the best results.
While laser hair removal targets the roots, the hairs might be at different growth lengths. So, the lasers might not touch some hair follicles after the first session. That’s because laser technology targets hairs at their early anagen stage (actively growing). It is best to do regular follow-up procedures to reach all the hair follicles.
9. It might change your skincare routine
Most beauty products interfere with laser hair removal treatment, so you will have to keep your face creams and serums at bay. Anything that contains retinol and glycolic acid should not go on your skin for days before and after the procedure. Also, it would help if you avoided scrubs; only used mild exfoliating formulas during this time.
If you’re planning on getting a chemical peel, or other chemical-related beauty treatment on your skin, you must wait for about 2-4 weeks. When your skin gets very dry from a lack of beauty products, you can include a moisturizer or hydrating mist in your skincare routine.
Related article: Chemical Peel Black Skin: Which Chemical Peel is Best for Dark Skin?
10. The treatment works for all skin tones
There was a time when beauticians could not use laser machines on dark skin tones. They come configured to target dark hair pigments on the skin. Hence when used on people with dark skin tones, the lasers confuse some parts of their skin as hair and beam it. Yes, it is not a myth, this caused skin burns, and many dermatologists warned against using it on dark skin.
However, all that is a thing of the past, as several advanced laser technologies are available to remove skin hair precisely. Depending on how dark your skin is, your doctor will know the best machine that will cause no harm to you. Nowadays, you can DIY for the comfort of your home with kits like BESTEK IPL Permanent Painless Laser Hair Remover Device. You can also use the upgraded Laser Hair Removal IPL hair removal with 999,900 Flashes from Artolf.
11. The sun will not do you good after a laser treatment
Your beautician will advise against having direct sun contact, both before and after getting a laser hair removal. Suppose you’re not clear on that; imagine how vampires avoid the sun at all costs in the movies; that’s how you should protect your skin. It doesn’t mean you cannot go out, but ensure you keep your skin from getting hit with direct U.V. rays.
So, if you have a job or previous engagement that will not allow you to stay out of the sun, then it’s best to postpone your laser procedure. Be sure to time your session during a free period, preferably during the holidays, when you can stay indoors.
12. Your workout calendar will be affected
If you’re dedicated to exercise or can’t go without a daily gym fix, you will have to reconsider a laser hair removal treatment. After the procedure, you can go to the gym or use steam rooms for the next 48 hours. Since lasers use light, a heat source, it gets trapped in the skin for about a whole day after the procedure. So, when you participate in activities that heat your skin, you create a perfect environment for bacteria growth. Microorganisms thrive on moist and warm areas and can cause spots to appear on your skin.
13. Laser hair removal can sometimes give opposite results
On rare occasions, laser hair removal can cause hair growth instead of killing them. Some hair types react with the laser treatment and induce the development of long and thick hairs. This usually happens with fine hair, with light textures, called vellus hairs. When they encounter laser lights, they become sparked off to grow thicker than it was before. Thus, it defeats the use to get hairless skin. A good dermatologist should be able to recognize the areas with such hair and advise a suitable treatment.
14. One session might not meet your hairless body goal
If you’ve opted for laser hair removal, you wish for smooth, hair-free skin and hope to see such results. Although a laser treatment gives just that, the impact varies for different individuals. This becomes coupled with the fact that it takes a few weeks to see the difference in visible hair follicles.
Your natural hair regrowth rate and hormones can affect the treatment results during this period. That’s why follow-up sessions must become recommended to kill off all the hair with time. They usually give a time gap between sessions to top up the results and get strands that escaped previously.
15. You can say goodbye to irritations caused by ingrown hairs
As part of the incredible results of having smooth hairless skin, laser hair removal takes care of ingrown hair. People who shave regularly experience irritations after shaving caused by the skin reacting to hair growing into its follicles. Shaving the right way can resolve this, but that requires you to follow the growth pattern of the hair with lots of patience. Laser targets hairs in the focus area, including the ingrown ones, so you only have hair growing in the right direction when you rid them all. This gives you a permanent solution to irritations caused by ingrown hair.
16. Laser hair removal reacts to several hair removal methods
When you’ve committed to laser treatment, you must avoid other forms of hair removal that can obstruct the process. One thing you shouldn’t do before going in for the cycle is plucking on your hair. This irritates the skin and alters the hair follicles; you should leave it alone.
Also, laser hair removal can get hindered by waxing. The chemical and process of waxing make the skin too sensitive to get a laser treatment. The bottom line is keeping chemicals and other harsh ingredients that remove the hair from the roots away from the skin area you want inches removed. Before the first laser session, you must shave your hair down. Even if you notice more hairs before your next session, you should only shave them and nothing else.
17. Laser hair removal does not trigger carcinogens
The light emission from a laser treatment might sound serious, but it causes no harm to skin cells that can trigger cancer. The laser is only strong enough to penetrate your skin layers and destroy the hair follicles. It is generally harmless unless the light intensity is too high, which should only give you a slight burn.
Struggling with your hairy body parts should be a thing of the past with laser hair removal. We hope these 17 facts cleared your doubts about this effective non-invasive procedure. Whether it is your bikini line, armpits or legs, and another body part, laser treatment works for all so that you can bare more skin confidently.
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