There are numerous methods to remove unwanted hair, but not all of them provide long-term results. Laser hair removal has gained popularity over the last several decades, primarily due to the long-term effectiveness of the treatment. At Verve Weight Loss & Laser Aesthetic Medical Spa in Upland, CA, we provide this hair removal method because it offers a permanent solution to unwanted hair.
How Permanent Is Laser Hair Removal?
Undergoing laser hair removal treatments will result in permanent hair reduction. While not every hair will be removed forever, the majority will be long gone permanently. However, this hair removal treatment is still one of the most effective methods of permanent hair removal. Hair growth is dramatically reduced to the point that shaving will no longer be necessary. You’ll need only sporadic touch-up treatments to keep your body smooth and hair-free.
Every single hair-removal technique falls into one of two categories. Treatments are classified by if they attack the actual hair only or if they work on the follicles, the spot where the hair grows. Shaving with a razor and using depilatory creams only impact the hair that has risen above the skin’s surface. They are removing only the visible hair. There is still hair and the follicle underneath the skin that these types of removal do not address.
Techniques such as plucking, sugaring, or waxing are similar, but they remove the whole hair. These treatments take longer for the hairs to grow back because the entire hair is removed. The follicle remains and will eventually produce more hairs. Methods such as electrolysis, intense pulsed light (IPL), and laser treatments go straight to the source by addressing hair follicles. The hair removal methods in this category last much longer than other forms of removal.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
During laser treatments, the intense light energy radiating from the laser beam converts to heat. The heat targets the melanin in a strand of hair, traveling down the hair until it reaches the follicle. The follicle becomes disabled by the extreme targeted heat.
Compared to Intense Pulsed Light
Laser treatments and intense pulsed light work on virtually the same principle. They are both using light to generate heat for hair removal. However, intense pulsed light is significantly less focused than a laser removal treatment. This diffusion results in the light and warmth of the IPL applicator scattering uselessly. The scattered heat never reaches the follicle, and as a result, IPL cannot damage the hair follicles as intensely as a laser.
IPL requires more treatments to get the same effect as laser treatments, and the results do not last as long. Another issue with the scattered light of the IPL is that it is more likely to reach the skin than the hair, making it less suitable for those with a darker complexion. The more recent IPL models have remedied these problems somewhat, but not enough for the IPL to match the effectiveness of laser treatment.
Compared to Electrolysis
Electrolysis can provide 100% permanent hair removal, but there are several reasons that we recommend avoiding this method. Electrolysis uses electricity to destroy your hair follicles instead of using light to heat and damage them. This hair removal technique comes with three serious downsides. For the applicator to deliver electric current to the hair follicles, tiny needles are painfully inserted into each hair follicle.
In addition to being more painful than laser hair removal, electrolysis is also much more time-consuming. Each hair is targeted individually; this means the process takes a great deal of time, and the patient receives a needle prick for each strand. Lastly, electrolysis is a costly venture. Due to the complexity of the device and the time commitment, removing hair from a large portion of your body is an expense many people would rather avoid.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
Noticeably Reduced Hair Growth
Hair follicles disabled by laser hair treatment may eventually be able to grow hair again, but for most people, that doesn’t happen. This result makes this treatment as good as permanent for a lengthy amount of time following the removal. Also, any hair that does end up growing back will usually be significantly thinner and grow at a much slower rate.
Treat Your Whole Body
With laser body hair removal, your options are limitless. If there is hair present, you can use this removal method on the area, such as legs, bikini line, face, and underarms, but it also works on the stomach, chest, and back. Women have traditionally been associated with receiving hair removal treatments, but they hold just as much value for men. Laser hair removal is an efficient way to get rid of or thin hair on the neck, chest, and face.
Anyone who has ever used wax to remove pesky patches of hair knows the pain of having hair ripped out by its roots. We are happy to tell you that laser treatment is nothing like that painful process. At your appointment, we will use ice to alleviate any heat from the laser, and the laser is also built with a cooling tip to keep you comfortable. We also offer numbing cream for those with high levels of sensitivity.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
How many treatments you need is entirely dependent on your goals and the dimensions of the target area. If you’re doing a smaller space, such as your face, you may be able to complete the process in one session. If you have multiple areas to treat, for example, bikini line, both legs, and lower back, you may need two sessions to cover all the zones. It is also vital to consider your ideal level of hair removal.
Someone wanting to rid their legs of hair entirely and never shave again will require more sessions than someone coming in to thin their facial hair to avoid razor burn. During your consultation, we will help you set up a treatment outline to provide your desired results. The average person will need anywhere from three to seven sessions to get optimal results.
Can I Receive Treatments Close Together?
While creating your treatment plan, you’ll likely note we schedule several weeks between hair removal sessions. We do this because of how hair growth occurs. Hair growth occurs in a natural cycle of stages, it spends the most time in the active growth stage, but additional stages require a few weeks to pass through. Hairs don’t all grow at the same rate, which means not every hair will be in the same phase simultaneously.
This irregularity is a good thing! If hair growth occurred evenly across all hairs, we would notice the hair on our head growing consistently for years, then ceasing to grow for months or years. It is only during the active growth stage that the laser can disable the follicle. Any hair in another growth stage will be unphased by the laser treatment.
How Do I Know if I Am a Good Candidate for Treatment?
Previously, laser treatments were not as effective on those with higher levels of melanin in their skin or those with light-colored hair. Modern technology has provided us with more capable lasers, so limitations are much less common.
The best way to know if laser treatment would be suitable for you is to come to talk to us and see if you would be a great candidate for laser hair removal. Those who have conditions that cause photo-sensitivity are usually not suited for laser hair removal treatments and those who have an active infection in the area to be treated.
What Is the Best Way To Prepare for Treatment?
You should avoid epilating, plucking, or waxing the area to be lasered for six weeks before your treatment. Without hair to target, the laser cannot reach the follicles to disable them. However, you aren’t doomed to be wild and furry for six weeks! Shaving is fine as it leaves the root intact.
We will ask you to shave the area the day before treatment. Make sure you discuss your desire to undergo this hair removal treatment with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you. You’ll also need to stop any medications that increase photo sensitivity.
What Happens During Treatment?
At your treatment session, we will make sure the area is shaved and applying numbing cream or ice, based on your preference. Protective eyewear will be worn by both you and your aesthetician, even if your face is not actively being treated.
The handheld laser applicator will be moved in a grid-like pattern around the area being treated; you may feel warmness during this time. Once your session is over, you can continue your normal daily activities without a recovery period.
What Happens After Treatment?
Once you have finished your treatment, you’ll treat the area as if you received a light sunburn. You will keep it protected with sunscreen, and well-moisturized, avoiding extreme heat for a day or two. Some people may experience a slight reddening of the skin.
Is Hair Removal Worth the Cost?
It is normal to wonder if purchasing hair removal treatment is worth it. However, when you consider that the typical woman will spend more than 80 days of her life shaving and approximately $10,000 on hair removal products, laser hair removal holds up as an excellent alternative. While there may be an initial commitment of time and money up front, in the long run, the savings are astronomical.
Get Rid of Unwanted Hair Today!
If you can think of a million things you’d instead do with your time and money than shave, it’s time to consider laser hair removal treatments! Call us at Verve Weight Loss & Laser Aesthetic Medical Spa in Upland, CA, to schedule a consultation today to discuss how laser hair removal can help you feel and look fantastic.