You have probably heard the hype about laser treatments. They are commonly available in spas and skincare clinics. They have been for decades. There are many types of procedures that can be performed with skincare lasers. One of them is laser hair removal. But does laser hair removal actually work? If so, what makes it potentially better than any other type of hair removal procedure? Let’s examine some answers to those questions.
Understanding the Nature of Hair Growth
To understand if laser hair removal works and how it varies from any other form of hair removal, you must first understand the nature of hair growth. There are two main points you must know. One is that hair grows from deep down, much like a plant growing up from a root and eventually poking through soil. Therefore, methods like shaving that only shear off the part of each hair you can see are inefficient. The hair left behind quickly pokes back through.
The second thing you need to know about hair growth is hair regrows as long as the root (follicle) is intact. Therefore, a clinic hair-removal laser can get rid of hair for a while, but the removal is not always permanent. You have to expect some long-term regrowth. However, the hair that comes back may not be as dark. There may also be less of it.
Understanding How Long Lasers Take to Remove Hair
You must also understand how long lasers take to remove hair before deciding to book your first laser appointment. A laser machine is not a miracle device. It does not point at the offending hair and remove it immediately, in a magical puff of smoke or otherwise. Instead, the light from the laser is produced at a special wavelength that damages each hair. However, that damage is done over time. It can only be accomplished when the hair is in a certain state of growth.
Since hairs grow at different rates, several hair removal appointments are necessary. Your clinic may recommend you schedule four to six appointments initially. You can also opt to return for minor maintenance treatments in the future. By the end of a series of laser appointments, the hairs in the treatment area should fall out. However, no hairs are likely to fall out during your laser appointment, especially if it is your first appointment.
Preparing for Your First Laser Hair Removal Procedure
To prepare for your first laser hair removal procedure, you need to understand how the process works. First, the clinician may clean your skin. He or she may also use a numbing ointment to limit your discomfort. Although, cool blasts of air are also common as a way to offset the heat caused by the laser. In either case, you will still feel some heat. You will also feel a sensation against your skin like a light pinch as the laser treats each area. However, the process is very fast. Even if you are having a large area treated, it takes less than a second to treat a quarter-sized area. Therefore, your discomfort will be minimal and can be managed between laser bursts.
What to Do After Laser Hair Removal
Your clinician will tell you what you need to do after laser hair removal. Typically, aftercare instructions are minimal. You do not need to take time off work to recover or otherwise disrupt your schedule in a major way. However, you do have to be careful not to expose your recovering skin to the sun. Your clinician will tell you the best ways to protect it while it heals.
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