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Laser Hair Removal

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Laser hair removal is a gentle and effective way to permanently reduce unwanted hair from virtually any area of the body. Locate a laser hair removal clinic in your area and acquire information on the latest laser hair removal options for men and women by reading the sections below.

Laser Hair Removal Procedure

Laser hair removal is most effective when hair is in the growth stage. Because hair grows in cycles, laser hair removal patients typically require a series of four to six sessions spaced approximately one month apart for maximum results. 

During Laser Hair Removal Treatment

Typically, the areas to be treated are shaved a few days prior to the laser hair removal treatment. On the day of the procedure, an anesthetic cream may be applied, although this step is not necessary. In addition, a cool laser tip, spray, or gel can be used to make the treatment feel more comfortable, depending on the type of laser that is to be used.

Both the patient and the laser hair removal technician need to wear special glasses that are designed to filter out harmful light during the treatment. Based on a relatively quick but comprehensive evaluation, the laser hair removal technician will properly adjust the laser and may use the laser on various test spots. The laser is adjusted for power, size, and pulse frequency to optimize the treatment for the patient's comfort.

The laser energy is then focused on the hair follicles using a hand-held laser. Most laser hair removal patients report little or no discomfort during the procedure, which ranges in length based on the size of the laser hair removal treatment areas.

After Laser Hair Removal Treatment

Although patients can return to normal activities immediately after laser hair removal treatment, some swelling and redness may occur. These byproducts of laser hair removal treatment typically go away within 24 hours. Ice, anti-inflammatory creams, or aloe gels or lotions may also be applied to the treated area to minimize discomfort and the risk of complications. Many patients have compared the ensuing discomfort to a mild sunburn.

The majority of patients are scheduled for subsequent treatments four to six weeks after the initial procedure. Treatments will continue until the growth of hair has been eliminated.

After multiple laser hair removal sessions, the results of your treatment will be evident. Most patients enjoy an 80 to 90 percent reduction in hair growth. Although the laser hair removal results are permanent, some patients may need occasional touch-up sessions to treat individual hairs.

Laser Hair Removal Treatable Areas

Laser treatment can be used for either facial or body hair removal, the latter including the back, chest, and bikini areas. Generally, wherever the human body grows hair, there is a corresponding laser treatment to remove it.

Laser Facial Hair Removal

Many women have problems with unwanted facial hair, particularly in the areas of the eyebrow, upper lip, and chin. Men may want to remove hair on their faces as well, such as from between the eyebrows or the beard area. Laser facial hair removal is a new, improved hair removal option that is safe, fast, and effective for those who are interested in facial hair removal. Laser facial hair removal is long-lasting and non-invasive, and there is a treatment for every facial area.

  • Upper Lip

The upper lip is a small area, and therefore takes less time for the laser to treat-usually just a few minutes of laser-time. Those who have fair skin and dark hair may be the best candidates for this laser facial hair removal procedure; the basic rule is that the hair should be darker than the skin in order to produce the best results.

  • Chin

Some women have unwanted facial hair on the chin area. The chin, like the upper lip, is a smaller area that will usually take less time to treat, depending on the number of hairs that are to be removed. Some irritation and redness may occur afterwards, but in general, laser facial hair removal of this area is a fairly direct, uncomplicated, and common process.

  • Eyebrow Area

Many women and men pluck their eyebrows daily or almost daily, and the tedium of this ritual may cause them to seek a more permanent solution. Laser facial hair removal of the eyebrow area is fast and helps to maintain a groomed, natural brow line for a longer period of time than tweezing. Laser hair removal is very effective for addressing the stray hairs between, above, and below the brows. The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes, with only minor irritation afterwards.

Because laser hair removal of the upper lip, chin, and eyebrows treats such a small area, laser hair removal prices are typically more reasonable.

Laser Body Hair Removal

Laser body hair removal is usually a more involved procedure than laser facial hair removal due to the larger surface area. It may take several laser treatments for effective body hair removal. Not all hairs grow at the same rate; some hairs are in a resting cycle while others are growing. Therefore, more than one treatment-spaced approximately a month apart-is needed to ensure that the laser treats all body hair in its growth cycle. The length of time for an individual laser treatment varies. Generally, the larger the body surface area, the more time the laser hair removal treatment will take.

  • Bikini, Genital, and Pubic Area

Laser hair removal of the bikini line or pubic area is a fairly quick process, taking 15 to 30 minutes per session. This area of the body may require four to eight laser treatments in order to become smooth and hairless. As a more naked or "bare" look becomes more popular, so does the demand for laser hair removal of the bikini area.

  • Chest

Thick or excessive chest hair can be embarrassing for men; they may have unwanted hair peeking out of the neck of their shirt, or they may be uncomfortable removing their shirt in public. Tweezing or waxing can be impractical for this area, as the hair will grow back quickly and there will be stubble. Laser hair removal of the chest area may take four to six treatments to remove completely, each treatment lasting approximately one hour. Laser hair removal may not be permanent, but the chest will be smoother for a longer time than with any other hair removal method.

  • Back

A back with excessive hair can be a major source of embarrassment for some men. Laser hair removal of the back is often the best answer for this difficult-to-reach area of the body. Instead of asking someone else to shave the area, for instance, laser hair removal treatments can remove back hair in a series of appointments. Each single treatment lasts approximately one hour, and treatment will be complete after five to eight sessions.

  • Legs

Shaving is a popular method of hair removal for legs, but it must be repeated daily or near-daily. Waxing is another solution, but it also must be repeated frequently and can be painful. Laser hair removal of the legs is a more permanent solution. Each session takes approximately one hour for both legs; and four to eight sessions of laser hair removal will render your legs free of hair.

  • Underarms

The underarms are areas that are often shaved daily. The monotony of daily shaving and the stubble that comes in shortly after can make women or men desire a more permanent hair removal alternative. Laser hair removal is a good solution, and because the surface area is small, the laser treatments are completed in very little time.

  • Breast

Men and women may have hair growth on their breasts that they would like to remove permanently. Laser body hair removal can address these hairs and may provide a permanent solution for this problem, eliminating embarrassment.

  • Arms

Some people have thick hair growth on their arms that they find excessive. Shaving and waxing may be impractical for these areas, as the person will probably dislike the accompanying stubble. Laser hair removal can provide an answer when a person wishes to thin down the hair on their arms or to remove it entirely.

Laser Hair Removal Benefits

Laser hair removal is not only extremely effective in permanently reducing unwanted hair, but it is also extremely convenient. Smaller areas can be treated in 10 minutes or less, and patients are able to return to normal activities immediately. Additionally, most patients find that the many benefits far outweigh the minor risks associated with laser hair removal treatment.

Permanent Results

Patients enjoy a permanent reduction in unwanted hair and smooth, soft skin after laser hair removal treatments. While results can, in some instances, slowly fade and necessitate touch-up laser hair removal treatment sessions, they are typically necessary only once a year or less. However, most patients experience long-lasting, beautiful results.

Effective and Convenient Treatment

The appeal of laser hair removal stems from its effectiveness, efficiency, and convenience. Laser hair removal can easily treat large areas of hair growth in a relatively short amount of time. For example, an entire back can be treated through laser hair removal and optimum results can be achieved in as little as an hour.

The treatment is much more efficient than shaving or tweezing on a regular basis. While at-home self-treatment may be cheaper, it also takes much more time and effort to remove hair than it does with laser hair removal. Also, tweezing and shaving do not offer permanent results like laser hair removal does.

Laser hair removal also makes it possible to achieve satisfying results without the pain associated with other types of treatments like waxing. While people who undergo waxing often describe the treatment as repeated burning sensations, laser hair removal involves only minor discomfort.

Lastly, laser hair removal provides excellent results with less risk of skin irritation than the use of depilatories, or hair removal creams. The main active chemical in depilatory creams can actually melt away skin cells, causing mild to severe skin irritation. And, while hair removal creams can provide good results, they are only temporary.

Electrolysis vs. Laser Hair Removal

Electrolysis is one of the more popular alternatives to laser hair removal. Electrolysis hair removal applies an electric current to a fine needle inserted into an individual hair follicle root. The electrical current, in effect, burns the root of the hair, inhibiting it from producing any more hair. While electrolysis hair removal does offer permanent results, it is a slow, arduous process that often requires multiple sessions to completely destroy the hair follicles. Additionally, there are currently no standardized guidelines for licensing qualified electrolysis technicians, making it difficult for prospective patients to find a reputable, experienced professional.

Unlike electrolysis, which uses an electrical current to destroy each hair root individually, laser hair removal treats many hair follicles at once. Areas can typically be treated with laser hair removal in a fraction of the time needed for electrolysis. Additionally, there are more dangers associated with electrolysis hair removal techniques than there are risks associated with laser hair removal. The major risks associated with electrolysis include electrical shock, infection, and scarring.

Risks of Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal can be an extremely pleasing and gratifying procedure for many patients who wish to get rid of unwanted or excessive body hair. However, as with any other cosmetic procedure, laser hair removal inherently provides both benefits and risks; even the latest laser hair removal systems, while safer than conventional methods, cannot provide completely risk-free procedures. Learn more about laser hair removal benefits and the risks of laser hair removal.

Latest Laser Hair Removal Systems and Technology

The latest laser hair removal systems and technologies have proven to be great improvements over older, more conventional methods of hair removal. All laser hair removal systems carry their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. While each laser hair removal clinic typically has a preferred hair removal system, some clinics may offer patients multiple hair removal technologies.

Laser Hair Removal Cost and Financing

The cost of undergoing any of the latest laser hair removal procedures is consistently one of the highest concerns for potential patients. The cost of laser hair removal will undoubtedly vary from clinic to clinic. However, there are a number of financing options available for those who wish to undergo laser hair removal but can’t afford to pay for the whole procedure up front.

Find a Laser Hair Removal Clinic near You

DocShop connects you with local doctors and clinics so you can get information on the latest laser hair removal methods. To locate a laser hair removal clinic in your area, search through our directory of cosmetic dermatologists.

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