Laser hair removal (LHR) is an effective way to remove unwanted hair and has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures nationally. Razor burn, regular shaving, unevenness, ingrown hairs and painful waxing will become past worries when you choose to remove your hair using LHR. Imagine not having to worry about replacing your razor or dark, coarse hair growing in so soon after you shave. With laser hair removal, your beauty regimen becomes so much more simple, and your skin so much more smooth!
The most popular question we are asked about laser hair removal is where it can be used and who is a good candidate for the treatment. While this treatment can truly be performed on anyone, there are conditions ideal for the best and longest lasting results.
Where LHR Works
The great part about laser hair removal is it can be used to remove hair from any part of the body. The laser can be adjusted to accommodate more sensitive skin on different parts of the body, and even small areas can be treated with this focused procedure.
The most popular areas to treat are the legs; many patients, especially women, seek relief from the annoyance of regular shaving and coarse hair growth in such a large area. Also popular are the bikini line, underarms, and arms, all areas that are often exposed during the summer months and can be a pain to keep up with regular shaving.
When you choose LHR for your hair removal, several treatments allow you to avoid the growth of coarse, dark hair that appears after shaving. As shaving merely trims hair from the base of the skin, it typically grows back thicker and more unruly. When you remove hair from the root of the follicle, it tends to grow back thinner and, over time, the number of hairs growing back reduces dramatically.
Ideal Skin + Hair Types for Laser Hair Removal
While laser hair removal can be performed on virtually every skin type, it is more effective on certain types of hair. Blonde, white, gray or red hair cannot be successfully treated with laser. Dark, coarse hair is easily removed by laser technology, as dark colors absorb light more effectively and dark hair can absorb laser energy in the same way.
The laser used for LHR is attracted to melanin, or dark pigment, in the hair and is able to distinguish this from the color of your skin, heating only the hair follicles and not damaging your skin in the process.
Because LHR works to define the contrast between the melanin in your hair from that of your skin, it is most effective on patients with dark hair and light skin. However, at Coastal Plains Surgical Care, we use the latest laser technology, which is able to successfully target dark hair even in patients with darker skin tones.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Our hair grows at different times and in different phases. Especially if you are used to shaving and waxing, you know that you have hair in the same area that grows in different cycles.
In reality, our hair goes through three phases during growth, and laser hair removal can only target hair in its first active growth phase, from the follicle. Therefore, it takes multiple sessions to affect all of the hair in a single area. Most patients see the most success after seven sessions, but some require more and some require less. Treatments are usually scheduled a month to 6 weeks apart, similarly to your regular waxing sessions. The benefit to starting your laser hair removal treatments is that you will no longer have to schedule your hair removal following those seven sessions; the hair in the treated areas will be removed for good.
Lighter hair or dark hair on darker skin usually takes more treatments for optimal results. It is also important to grow out your hair for about six weeks before you begin treatments. Avoiding long periods of sun exposure will also help the melanin in your skin to fade and increase the contrast for best results with LHR.
Side Effects and Risks
When you opt for laser hair removal, as with any other treatment that affects the skin, it is important to be familiar with side effects that may affect you. These are typically uncommon, but all skin is different and we are all affected by new treatments in different ways. Immediately after your treatment, you may experience itching, irritation, and swelling, which will all subside within a few days of your procedure.
More serious side effects include hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation. If the laser settings are improperly adjusted or the wrong laser is used, it can affect your skin and cause damage to its color and tone, rather than just targeting the hair. These results can be avoided if you choose a practitioner who is experienced and qualified to operate the laser effectively.
Efficacy of the Laser Operator
When you choose an LHR provider, it is important to consider experience, knowledge and education to avoid complications with your skin and ensure the fewest number of treatments for the procedure’s success. We encourage you to always do your research and ask questions when you meet your doctor.
Keep in mind whether the person operating your laser has a medical degree, the level of experience they have, a number of treatments they have administered, the quality of the laser being used and even the reviews from past clients. Ensuring your safety and satisfaction is necessary when you are investing time and money in looking and feeling your best. These elements are invaluable, even at an extra cost.
At Coastal Plains Surgical Care, we provide only the best in treatment and care for our patients. Dr. Schlotter ensures your comfort, care, and success and will guide you through your treatment from your initial consultation through recovery. His patients consider him the best in Beeville, and you will learn why from the moment you step into our office. Call us today to schedule your first treatment: (361) 354-2832.