Although laser hair removal is often touted as a way of getting rid of hair for good, it has only been approved for permanent hair reduction — not permanent hair removal — by the Food & Drug Administration. Most patients require more than one treatment to get the results that they are looking for.
What To Expect During And After The Treatment
The treatment involves using a handheld device that emits a specialized laser that targets the hair follicles. The laser automatically detects hair follicles by searching for the darker coloration of the hair. Hair in the treated areas will start to fall out approximately one-and-a-half to two weeks after treatment.
Typically, patients have to go in multiple times to have the same area treated. This is because of the different stages of hair growth. At any given time, some hairs are growing whereas others are resting or shedding. Hair has to be in the growth stage in order for the laser to work. Because of that, the same area will usually require more than one treatment over time to get the best results.
Advantages Of Laser Hair Removal
Minimizing excess or unwanted hair can make you more confident and can also reduce the amount of time and effort you have to put into shaving or other hair-removal techniques. Even though laser hair removal may not result in permanently smooth skin, the hair will be much thinner, making it less noticeable. The Mayo Clinic estimates that laser treatment can reduce the overall amount of hair by as much as 80%.
Unlike other treatments where the hair needs to be a certain length, this procedure doesn’t require hair growth. That means that you can shave right up to the day of the treatment according to Dore Aesthetics.
The process itself is also relatively fast compared to other treatments. With procedures like electrolysis, every hair has to be treated individually. When using a laser, on the other hand, large sections of the body can be treated at the same time, helping to speed up the process.
Disadvantages Of Laser Hair Removal
There is a chance that the skin may be damaged during the procedure, resulting in blisters, scarring, or burns. Although this is rare, it can occur and is important to be aware of.
In terms of cost, laser treatments are quite expensive – especially when you take into account the fact that more than one treatment is usually required. Most people need as many as six treatments over time to get the results they are looking for.
This procedure works better for certain people, based on the color of their skin and the color of their hair. The ideal candidate is someone who has dark hair and pale skin since it makes it easier for the laser to target the follicles. Scientists are currently working to develop lasers that can more effectively treat darker skin tones. However, for now, the procedure may not be the best choice if the hair follicles are not easy to see.
How Much Does It Hurt?
The amount of pain that patients experience can vary significantly from one person to another, depending on everything from the area of the body that is being treated to the pain threshold of the individual. The sensation has been compared to snapping a rubber band against the surface of the skin. Patients usually find the first treatment the most painful. Typically, subsequent visits are less painful. Because darker hair draws in more light from the laser, people who have dark, thick hair may find the procedure more painful than people who have lighter, thinner hair.
How Much Does It Cost?
The pricing for laser hair removal can vary, depending on where the treatment is done. At the lower end of the scale, you can expect to pay $200 for a visit. At the upper end of the scale, you may find some places that charge as much as $900 per visit. Additionally, the price can vary depending on the overall size of the treatment area.