There’s nothing better during spring and summer than spending time in the outdoors and feeling the warmth of sunlight on your skin. But if you are living with unwanted hair, baring your skin can bring complicated feelings. If you’ve thought about getting laser hair removal, now is the perfect time to get rid of that unwanted hair and feel more comfortable in the skin you’re in. Chetco Medical & Aesthetics in Brookings, OR is here to care for all your hair removal needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Sessions Do You Need for Laser Hair Removal?
Everyone’s body is different, and different biological factors can impact how many sessions you need in order to fully remove your unwanted hair. Generally, clients need about two to six laser treatments in order to completely get rid of hair.
You can expect to see about a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after your first treatment. As you continue your treatments, more and more hair will fall out, and you’ll notice that it continues to grow back more slowly.
How Often Can You Have a Hair Removal Treatment?
Is laser hair removal permanent? If not, how long do you need to wait between laser treatments? It depends on several factors, and your doctor will let you know how long you should wait between treatments. Generally, clients can have hair removal every four to eight weeks.
One factor to keep in mind in regards to future treatments is that hair does not grow at the same rate on different parts of the body. If you are having treatments on an area where hair grows quickly, such as your upper lip, you might have laser treatments every four weeks. If you’re having treatments done on a part of the body where hair grows slowly, like the back, you might only have treatments every 10 to 15 weeks.
Is there a permanent hair removal?
After having your full set of laser treatments, you will be hair-free for months or even years. If you grow hair again in the treated area, you will notice that it’s far thinner and less noticeable than your hair was prior to treatment. You may require occasional maintenance treatments in order to remain hair-free.
Can Laser Removal Help With Other Issues?
One great benefit of laser removal is that it helps with ingrown hairs. This is a miracle for people who tend to get ingrown hairs from shaving their legs or bikini area. Switching to laser removal won’t just get rid of the hair more effectively and permanently, but it will also give you clearer, smoother skin with less irritation.
Is There Any Downtime?
There is no downtime for this treatment. You should be able to go about the rest of your day normally without discomfort.
How Long Does It Take for Your Hair to Fall Out?
The hair in the treated area doesn’t fall out immediately, but it will shed over a period of time: usually days to weeks. Hair growth happens in cycles, and the repeated treatments work best when they target the follicles in the new-growth stage.
As you continue having treatments, your hair will continue to fall out and thin until it’s gone. You might need maintenance laser treatments to keep your hair gone long-term.
What Body Parts Can Undergo This Treatment?
The most common locations to have laser removal treatment for unwanted hair are the legs, armpits, upper lip, chin, and bikini line. That being said, you can basically have this treatment done anywhere on your body except on your eyelids and the surrounding areas.
What About Home Lasers?
There are home hair removal lasers available on the market, and it can be tempting to go for an at-home device rather than go in for treatments. But these devices tend to not be effective, especially in the long-term.
Furthermore, the FDA considers them to be cosmetic, not medical. meaning that they are not inspected with the level of scrutiny that they should be. Overall, these devices are dangerous and ineffective. If you’re going to invest in laser hair removal, it should be with a trusted doctor otherwise you would have laser hair removal side effects.
Is Laser Removal the Only Way to Get Rid of Unwanted Hair?
Definitely not, but it is the most effective and the most popular. Let’s take a look at the alternatives to see why.
This is perhaps the most popular way to get rid of unwanted hair, because it’s easy, fast, and cheap. But, there are plenty of downsides. Because you are only cutting the hair off at the skin rather than removing or damaging the follicle, the hair grows back much faster. Plus, when you shave hair consistently, it has a tendency to come back thicker and darker.
Waxing involves covering your unwanted hair with wax, then ripping it off. This has the benefit of pulling out the follicle in addition to the hair and means that the results last for a much longer time because the follicle has to regrow. This also means that when the hair does grow back, it tends to be softer and thinner. However, this method tends to be more than just a little painful, which is why so many individuals don’t choose to wax.
Depilatories are creams that basically burn your hair off. Some depilatories work on the hair above the surface of the skin, while others can penetrate through the skin to the follicle. The effectiveness of these creams varies depending on the thickness and color of the hair. Of course, this method also has some major downsides. Because depilatories are chemicals, they can irritate or even burn the skin.
Electrolysis is similar to laser removal because it involves sending energy into the hair follicle. Electrolysis, however, sends electrical energy directly into the follicle, whereas laser removal involves using light energy that is converted into heat energy.
Using electricity is a more effective way to get rid of the follicle, meaning that electrolysis is more likely than laser removal to permanently remove hair.
That being said, electrolysis involves literally sending an electrical pulse into your follicle. Because of that, the treatment tends to be very painful. Another reason people do not tend to choose electrolysis over laser removal is that you can typically only have this treatment done on small areas, like the eyebrows and face.
All About Laser Hair Removal
This medical treatment utilizes a laser to remove unwanted hair. During the treatment, a laser emits a light that is absorbed by the pigment in the hair, called melanin. This light energy is converted to heat and travels through the hair to the follicle within the skin. The heat energy damages the follicles to inhibit or delay future hair growth.
A Closer Look
The basic principle of hair removal with lasers is that the pigment of the hair, but not of the skin, should absorb the light energy. This allows the skin to remain unharmed while the unwanted hair absorbs the energy so the follicle can be damaged. This means that the treatment works best when there is a contrast between hair and skin color.
In the early days of this treatment, it was difficult to effectively perform it on individuals who did not have a high contrast between their skin and hair colors, meaning light skin with dark hair. However, technological advances have been made that allow for effective hair removal for individuals with dark skin using long-pulsed NDYAG lasers.
How to Prepare
Your first step towards getting rid of your unwanted hair is to schedule a consultation with Chetco Medical & Aesthetics. At your consultation, your doctor will ask you about what you’re looking for with laser hair removal. They will ask you about your medical history and any medications you take, both prescriptions and over-the-counter.
Make sure you include any supplements or herbs you take as these can impact the treatment. Your doctor will also take photos of the areas of your body where you are having hair removed for before-and-after assessments. Your doctor will also provide you with specific instructions to prepare for the treatment.
Stay Out of the Sun
Your doctor will advise you to stay out of the sun as much as possible before treatment. When you can’t avoid being in the sun, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF30.
Lighten Your Skin
The treatment is most successful when the pigment of your skin is lighter than the hair. It’s important that you avoid any sunless tanning creams that darken your skin. It’s also possible that your doctor will prescribe a skin bleaching cream if you have a recent tan.
Avoid Some Methods of Hair Removal
It’s important that the hair follicle remains intact for the laser treatment to be effective. Your doctor will ask you to avoid plucking and waxing for at least four weeks before the procedure as any of these can disturb the follicle.
Avoid Blood-Thinning Medications
When you are having your consultation with your doctor, they will advise you about which medications are not safe to take before this treatment. Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs can have the side effect of being blood-thinning and must be avoided prior to treatment.
Shave Treatment Area
Trim or shave the treatment area the day before you come in for your laser treatment. This removes hair above the surface but leaves the follicle intact below the skin. It also ensures that the hair doesn’t burn your skin during treatment.
During the treatment, you will be given special goggles to protect your eyes from the laser. If your hair is still too long on the area being treated, an assistant may shave the site again. Your doctor will apply a topical anesthetic to your skin so you don’t feel anything at all during the treatment.
The doctor will use a handheld laser instrument to treat the skin area. The light will pass through your skin and damage the follicles beneath the surface. Treating a small area will only take a short period of time, while a larger area requires more time to treat.
After each laser treatment, avoid sunlight as much as possible. Don’t use a tanning bed for at least six weeks and make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF30 daily.
Get Rid of the Hair
It’s time to free yourself from the burden of unwanted hair. Laser hair removal is an easy and effective way to achieve long-term hair reduction so you can not only look your best but feel your best, too.
If you have any further questions about this treatment, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation, give us a call at Chetco Medical & Aesthetics, conveniently located in Brookings, OR.