Are you bothered by unwanted hair? Do you wish there was an easier way to get silky smooth skin than shaving every day? Luckily, there is. And unlike waxing, it’s not painful. At Allure Enhancement Center in Lafayette, LA, we are proud to offer laser hair removal, an astoundingly innovative method for removing unwanted hair.
Laser Hair Removal FAQs: Answered
1. What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is one of the most common cosmetic treatments in the United States. It involves beaming highly concentrated laser light energy into hair follicles which are in their growth phase. The hair is destroyed when the follicle’s pigment absorbs the light, converting it into heat.
2. How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Most of our clients find they need between four and six treatments to see long-lasting results. However, you may need up to a dozen treatments spaced between four and six weeks apart to target multiple areas with hair in different growth phases.
How soon you will see results depend on several factors, including how many hair follicles are in their growth phase during treatment, the type of skin you have and the color of your hair. While laser hair removal treatment is safe for people with fair skin and light hair, such individuals will need more treatments than someone with fair skin and dark hair.
3. How Long Does Each Treatment Session Take?
How long your laser hair removal treatment session will take depends on several factors. The most important factor is the size of the area or areas being treated. If you’re only targeting your upper lip and underarms, each individual session will not take long at all. In fact, the underarms can often be treated in under a minute.
However, you will need to wait at least four weeks between each treatment session. Thus, it might be three to four months before you can stop shaving your underarms altogether. If you’re treating your chest, abdomen and pubic region in the same treatment session, you will be in the office significantly longer.
4. What Areas Can Be Treated?
The most common areas targeted for hair reduction via laser therapy are the upper lip, neck, bikini region, feet, hands, back, legs and arms. The underarms and chest are less common areas targeted for treatment. This hair reduction method may be right for you if you have tried tweezing, plucking, shaving and waxing and find none of these methods to suit your lifestyle.
5. What Does Treatment Feel Like?
There is a common misconception that all types of laser treatments burn. This is absolutely not the case for laser hair removal treatments. The laser does not feel anywhere near as hot as wax. Your physician will ice the treatment site before and after treatment to ensure you feel no pain or discomfort during or after your session.
The more treatments you receive, the finer your hair becomes. Therefore, treatment sessions will not take as long. By the time you come in for your final treatment, you will become accustomed to the feeling of laser energy penetrating your hair follicles. If you’re really worried about discomfort during your treatment, talk to us about applying a topical numbing cream to the treatment site. This cream will take between 30 and 60 minutes to take effect, but it will ensure you don’t feel anything during treatment.
6. Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
There’s an extremely common misconception that hair reduction methods are for women. Yet roughly half of our clients are men looking to remove unwanted hair from their back, neck, chest or abdomen. Most of our female clients target their bikini lines, legs and underarms.
There is another common misconception that people with fair skin and blonde hair or dark skin and dark hair are poor candidates for laser hair removal treatments. This was the case back when lasers started being used for cosmetic treatments. But our lasers are state-of-the-art and can be customized to your unique skin tone and hair color. As long as there’s not an active infection at the treatment site, there’s a very good chance you are a good candidate for laser hair reduction.
7. Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
Unfortunately, laser hair removal is not permanent. Electrolysis is the only FDA-approved treatment for completely removing unwanted hair. However, laser hair removal treatment does reduce hair growth to the point that you will never need to shave again. Therefore, it is considered to be a permanent solution.
8. What Are the Benefits of This Type of Treatment?
There are slight variations in how many treatments are necessary for your final results to be achieved, but it can be safely generalized that individuals with pale skin and dark hair need only a few treatments in smaller areas, like the underarms and upper lip.
Larger areas will require between four and six treatments. Individuals with fair skin and blonde, red or gray hair will require eight to 12 treatments to remove unwanted hair from multiple large areas.
We only use state-of-the-art lasers in our office. No matter where you fall on the Fitzpatrick scale, your physician will expertly calibrate the laser to target your unwanted hairs while leaving the surrounding skin tissue untouched.
Speed is probably the most significant benefit of laser treatment for hair reduction. Each laser pulse takes only a fraction of a second and can treat several hairs at once. In fact, our lasers can treat a region roughly the size of a quarter every second.
While spending four hours having your hair treated over the course of four months may sound like a lot, consider how often you shave your legs. Even if it only takes you five minutes to shave your legs, and you only shave every other day, you will have spent an hour shaving your legs every 24 days. If you schedule your first laser appointment in January, you could have hairless legs by May. This will leave you the entire summer to enjoy the sun without worrying about razor bumps or razor burn.
9. How Should I Prepare for Treatment?
It’s important to understand that a little preparation goes into laser hair reduction. Six weeks before your treatment, limit electrolysis, plucking and waxing. The laser targets the roots of your hair. While you might want a smooth, hairless upper lip before your treatment, waxing and plucking temporarily remove the roots of your hairs and make it harder for the laser to work properly. You can, however, continue to shave.
You must also avoid unprotected sun exposure for the six weeks prior to and following your treatment. If you go outside, put on sunscreen with a broad spectrum sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 55. If you have very fair skin, you may need an SPF of at least 75. Remember to reapply your sunscreen every four to six hours. You should also remember that clothing does not block the damaging rays of the sun effectively. Do not consider your clothes a replacement to sunscreen.
10. What Can I Expect During Treatment?
Shortly before your treatment starts, your physician will trim your hair to just a few millimeters above the surface of your skin. Ice will be applied to the treatment site to numb it unless you mention that you want a topical numbing cream. Once the treatment site has been numbed, the laser will be calibrated to the unique location, thickness and color of your hair, as well as your skin tone.
Depending on what part of your body is being treated, you may be given eye protection specifically designed to protect your eyes from the bright laser light. This is particularly important when areas such as your upper lip, neck and chest are being treated. If cold laser therapy is not used to treat your unwanted hair, you will be given a cold gel to protect the superficial layers of your skin while helping the laser light penetrate the deeper layers of your skin.
11. What Can I Expect After Treatment?
After treatment, you will be given an ice pack or anti-inflammatory cream to soothe your skin. You are strongly encouraged to schedule your next treatment for four to six weeks after your first treatment. The day after your treatment, you can wear makeup and moisturize as you normally would. Over the next four weeks, the hairs that were in their growth phase during treatment will fall out. When they start to grow back several months from now, they will grow back much finer and lighter than they used to.
12. Why Will I Need Several Treatment Sessions?
First of all, we try to keep each of our treatment sessions to no longer than an hour. Thus, if you need to treat two large areas, like your back and legs, you will need two treatment sessions.
Second, not all the hairs in your treatment area are in their growth phase at the same time. Since the lasers only treat hair in their growth phase, you will need several treatments to target all the hairs in a treatment area.
13. What Is the Hair Growth Phase?
There are three phases of the body hair growth cycle. These are the anagen, catagen and telogen phase. The anagen, or growing, phase of body hair lasts between four and six months and determines how long your hair grows. The catagen, or transition, phase slows the growth of your hair until it stops completely. This phase takes roughly two to three months.
The final phase your body hair goes through is the telogen, or resting, phase. During this phase, which lasts roughly three months, hair stops growing and falls out. At this point, the anagen phase starts again.
14. Why Is Head Hair So Much Longer Than Body Hair?
Head hair is so much longer than body hair because the anagen phase is so much longer. The hair follicles on the human head have a growth phase of two to seven years. In head hair, the catagen stage lasts only 10 days. The telogen phase, as with body hair, lasts only three months. Finally, head hair goes through an exogen, or new hair, phase where roughly 50 to 150 hairs fall out each day as new hairs grow up to take their place.
The Bottom Line
With incredible advances in laser technology, removing unwanted body hair is easier and more comfortable than ever before. Gone are the days of daily shaving and regular plucking and waxing. To learn more about laser hair removal, contact the dedicated medical experts at Allure Enhancement Center in Lafayette, LA today to schedule your initial consultation. When it comes to skin health, you should only trust the best. Our highly trained medical professionals have proudly served the community for over 39 years. We can’t wait to help you enhance your outer beauty.