Laser hair removal is the process of hair removal by means of exposure to pulses of laser light that destroy hair follicles. The primary principle behind laser hair removal is selective photothermolysis (SPTL), the matching of a specific wavelength of light and pulse duration to obtain optimal effect on a targeted tissue with minimal effect on surrounding tissue.
Laser can cause localised and targeted damage by selectively heating melanin in the area with hair without any damage to the surrounding skin. Hair Removal Laser sends a high-intensity light beam to the hair follicles. The follicles colour absorbs the light, thus damaging the hair. Laser can selectively target dark, thick hair, leaving the surrounding tissue intact. Each laser pulse lasts only a fraction of a second and can target many hairs simultaneously.
Is Laser Hair Removal safe?
Laser hair removal has become very popular in recent years. However, it should be remembered that it is not the laser that does the job. Of course, a reliable and modern machine that is well maintained and new technology is needed, as well as an experienced certified operator who knows the peculiarities of this popular treatment. Ensure that the operator is a qualified physician or certified nurse – aesthetic physician, who is responsible for making the right assessment, taking into account the type of skin, hair colour and texture before determining the treatment schedule.
Does Laser Hair Removal hurt?
Most people experience a tingling or burning sensation. Some feel it like a hitting of stretched rubber. The darker and toughest the hair is, the more intense the nuisance, the darker hairs have a better effect. Another factor at the level of discomfort is the density of hair or multiple hair in each pocket. These factors will increase the nuisance.
People with dark hair and light skin feel more pain than those with light-coloured hair and dark skin. Usually, with the passing of the sessions discomfort is reduced because the hair is weakening. This applies to all skin types. The first two sessions tend to be the ones that cause the most discomfort. However, we should keep in mind that some people are more sensitive than others.
Are there any side effects with Laser Hair Removal?
For one or two days after the treatment, the treated area will look and feel like it was sunburnt. Cool pads and creams can relieve this feeling. If the treatment was applied on the face you can use makeup during the following day. During the next 10 days, the hair of the area will begin to fall. This process can take up to 2 weeks. Pustules are extremely rare, but are more likely to occur in people with darker skin complexions. Swelling and redness are other possible side effects. Permanent scarring or skin discolouration are extremely rare. To minimise the side effects, sun exposure should be avoided for at least 4 weeks before treatment, as well as during the treatment, while the use of sunscreen with at least SPF15 throughout the hair removal treatment period is essential. Lasers are used in medicine for 10 years and no long-term side effects have been reported.
In which areas is Laser Hair Removal applied?
- Face: upper lip, eyebrows, chin, cheekbones, sideburns
- Hands: arms, forearms, limbs
- Bikini: bikini line or full hair removal
- Legs: Lower legs, thighs
- Chest, waist, abdomen, buttocks, back
Preparation before LASER Hair Removal
- Do not use wax, electrolysis or tweezers for hair removal at the areas that will be treated with Laser for at least 3 weeks before treatment. Instead, you can shave or alternatively use depilatory creams as often as you want.
- Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds (solarium) on the areas of your body where Laser Hair Removal will be applied. In addition, the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen is also essential to achieve optimal results.
- One day before the scheduled hair removal session, shave the area where Laser Hair Removal will be applied, or alternatively use a depilatory cream.
- If you have a history of herpes, the Doctor should be informed.
- On the same day of Laser Hair Removal treatment, the area that will be treated should be clean and you should not apply make-up on your face.
Laser Hair Removal Sessions
Hair grow periodically, and the hair growth cycle usually lasts 4-6 weeks, depending on the body area. Laser hair removal is only effective in active hair. Therefore, it is expected that 4-6 sessions will be required to effectively treat a specific area. In each session, 80% of hair in the active growth phase are removed in each session. A new session is scheduled every 4-6 weeks, depending on the area under treatment. During the initial examination, the physician is able to inform you accurately, but on average, at least 4-6 sessions will be required. After all sessions have been completed, you will have to return for a maintenance treatment occasionally.
Can I remove hair myself between treatment sessions?
Yes, you can shave or cut your hair. However, you should not use tweezers nor depilatory creams (unless your doctor agrees), and you should avoid waxing, as these methods remove the hair from the follicle.
What type of care should I follow after a laser hair removal treatment?
Immediately after treatment, mild redness and swelling may occur at the treatment site, which may last up to 2 hours or longer. Redness can take up to 2-3 days. The treated area will have a sunburn sensation. Apply ice for 15-20 minutes during the first hours after treatment so as to reduce any discomfort or oedema. If redness or swelling persist, you can continue applying ice for 15-minute periods 3-4 times daily. Avoid sun exposure until your skin’s appearance and texture return to normal. Protect the area with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Avoid scrubbing the treated area. Do not use other hair removal products and do not apply any other treatment (waxing, electrolysis or tweezers) because the hair follicles of the area under treatment are disturbed. Wash and dry the area smoothly, do not rub it, for 3 days after treatment.
Disadvantages of other methods versus Laser Hair Removal
The choice of Laser Hair Removal is made more often during recent years… find out why. Shaving – the cheapest and most common method, shaving, is quick and effective. But despite the ease of use and its affordable cost, shaving has many disadvantages. Depending on hair type, it should be applied at least once every two or three days for perfect softness. Furthermore, shaving can cause folliculitis around sensitive areas and cuts, no matter how careful a person may be, which are sometimes unavoidable around the knees and ankles. Creams – the most common complaint is that the product is not effectively removing hair and the awful smell during the application (like sulphur). Ineffectiveness is the greatest disadvantage of depilatory creams. Despite being effective for certain consumers, most persons still need to use razor or wax stripes to remove remaining hair. In addition, redness and irritation may appear in some users. Waxing – Unfortunately, the advantages of waxing are only temporary, while at the same time waxing can cause more side effects as compared to its positive outcomes. Waxing usually causes redness and inflammation, especially if you have many hair or sensitive skin. Inflammation may also lead to pimples or more serious conditions, as bacteria enter into the pores. Another common side effect is ingrown hairs, which in severe cases can become infected. Finally, waxing hurts, especially when applied on sensitive areas.
Advantages of Laser vs IPL
The main advantages of Laser versus IPL are:
- Laser technology is simply much more effective, and achieves substantially better results than IPL. Ninety percent of patients have permanent hair loss after 4-6 sessions.
- IPL is a cheaper, less effective technology for reducing body hair.
- Lasers are far more precise, and can selectively target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin intact.
- Each laser pulse takes a fraction of a second and can treat several hairs each second.
- Laser hair removal can be used to treat larger body areas.
- Laser settings can be adjusted to suit your specific skin tone and hair colour.
- Lasers are safe for all skin colours, whereas IPL can cause burns on darker skin tones.
The cost of a Laser Hair Removal session
The cost depends on the areas that will be treated. This varies from person to person, depending on hair and skin colour. It is a cost-effective solution for the safe and effective removal of unwanted hair.