Laser hair removal is a convenient, noninvasive method for permanently reducing or removing unwanted facial or body hair. It leaves the skin looking smoother and silkier than waxing, electrolysis or razors and is a gentle technique that can treat larger areas effectively with minimal discomfort and with no downtime. Today, laser hair removal is one of the most common aesthetic procedures performed in the United States.

When to Consider Laser Hair Removal

  • If you have unwanted facial or body hair that makes you feel selfconscious or limits your ability to wear certain clothing
  • If you have dark hair and light skin
  • If you are looking for an alternative to waxing, electrolysis, shaving and bleaching
  • Considerations

    Pros

    • Both large and small areas of the body are effectively treated
    • May make skin color and complexion more uniform
    • Most patients have permanent hair loss after an average of 4 to 6 sessions

    Cons

    • Multiple treatments are usually required to produce satisfactory results
    • Patients with darker skin may not respond well due to inadequate discrepancy between skin and hair colors
    • Blonde or gray/white hair is less responsive due to lack of ample pigment in the hair

    These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering laser hair removal. If you want to focus on what is unique to you, please consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon.

    Are you a good candidate for a laser hair removal?

    The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider laser hair removal:

    • You have unwanted facial or body hair that makes you feel selfconscious
    • You are looking for an alternative to waxing, electrolysis, shaving and bleaching
    • You have dark hair and light skin

    Darker hairs will absorb more of the laser light and lighter skin allows more transmission of the laser light into the hair follicle. Age, ethnicity, medication, hormone levels and body area affect the length, coarseness and color of body hair, which in turn will influence the results of any cosmetic
    laser treatment.

    A Laser hair removal is safe for all parts of the body, including the face, but a protective eye cover is usually used.

    B Permanently removing or reducing hair on the legs can save time, money and aggravation on shaving and waxing.

    Detailed Procedural Info

    How is a laser hair removal procedure performed?

    Before your Laser Hair removal Treatment, protective eye shields will be placed over your eyes to prevent injury to your corneas or retinas. The hair that will be undergoing treatment will be trimmed to a few millimeters above the skin surface. To protect the outer layers of your skin, a cold gel or a special cooling device will be used. This will also make the treatment more effective by facilitating laser light penetration through the skin.

    The most popular lasers for hair removal use a low-energy laser beam which will be adjusted to your skin color and to the color, thickness, and location of the hair that is to be removed. A test treatment will first be done by directing a test pulse light to the treatment area. A low-energy laser
    beam will pass through your skin and be absorbed by the pigment of a percentage of the active-growth hair follicles. This area will be observed to make sure that the settings are correct and to check for any adverse reactions to treatment.

    If the test proves successful, the low-energy laser beam is then systematically directed spot-by-spot to the areas to be treated, instantly and permanently disabling the active-growth hair follicles with each treatment. Hair follicles in the dormant phase are not affected by the treatment. When the procedure is completed, you may be given ice packs, cold water or anti-inflammatory creams or lotions to soothe the treated areas and diminish any discomfort.

    Multiple sessions are required for optimal results. Usually four to six are needed initially, but additional treatments at later dates should be expected, especially if you have endogenous hormone secreting states or exogenous hormone use.

    Preparing for Your Procedure

    Your Technician will provide you with pretreatment instructions and answer any questions that you may have.

    In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:

    • Wear sunscreen and/or avoid the sun
    • Avoid pretreatment plucking, waxing, or electrolysis
    • Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing treatment to promote better healing
    • Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding
    • Hydration is very important before and after treatment for safe recovery

    What can I expect on the day of laser hair removal?

    Laser hair removal is performed on an outpatient basis. A cooling gel may be applied before treatment, and skin cooling during the procedure will help keep you comfortable. In most cases, you should experience minimal pain and may feel a slight stinging sensation during the procedure. Most laser hair removal procedures take fifteen to thirty minutes; however, a longer time period may be required, depending on the area being treated.

    Aftercare and Recovery

    In most cases you may return to work and other daily activities immediately following your treatment. After the procedure, you will receive detailed instructions about your post-treatment care, including
    information about:

    • Skin care
    • Normal symptoms you will experience
    • Potential signs of complication

    Immediately following Laser Hair Removal

    Immediately after treatment you will have smoother skin and a reduction in the number of hairs in the treated area. You may notice redness or minor skin irritation after the treatment, but this usually resolves quickly.

    Sunscreen is a ‘must’ on any treated areas that are exposed. You should contact your technician if your skin leaves redness and irritation persists to see if there is a problem that needs to be treated.

    Week two to six

    You may notice an increase in hair growth in the treated area as dormant hair follicles that were not affected by the earlier laser treatment enter their active growing phase. Most Technicians recommend follow-up treatment intervals of approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

    How Long Will the Results Last?

    Hair removal is permanent but it may take as many as three to eight different sessions to ensure that all active-growth hair follicles have been satisfactorily removed.