What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is soon becoming one of the most popular and commonly done procedure. It is a cosmetic procedure to be done only by a trained therapist or a dermatologist. It is a laser treatment where a laser beam passes through the skin to an individual hair follicle. The intense heat of the laser damages the hair follicle, which inhibits future hair growth. Laser hair removal is most effective for people who have light skin and dark hair.
What are the Indication?
Laser hair removal is use to reduce the unwanted hair. It is more effective for dark hair with fair skin. It is possible to treat unwanted hair in nearly any area. It is a common problem faced by both men as well as women, though hair removal for women is more popular. However in my clinic if a young female patient with excess hair on the face (Hirsutism) comes for the treatment I like to take a detailed history and blood test to rule out any hormonal imbalance (PCOD).
Face – Full face, Jawline, Forehead, Upper lip , lower lip, sidelocks, cheeks, chin, earlobes, shaping of beard in men
Body – Hands, leg, underarms, back, neck, bikini
Delicate areas – Around the nipple and chest
What are the benefits of laser hair removal?
Benefits of laser hair removal are
- Hair free – No need for waxing threading or bleaching
- Only the coarse hair is targeted hence leaving the surrounding skin undamaged
- Helps to treat ingrowth
- No pain & no side effects while removing hair
How is laser hair removal different from electrolysis?
Electrolysis is a tedious and painful process that involves destroying one hair follicle at a time. It is a slow process, whereas laser hair removal is a quick process that treats many hair follicles simultaneously.
- Avoid sun exposure like a sun holiday for 1 – 2 weeks before and after doing laser, because on tanned skin the efficacy of the laser reduces.
- Apply a good sunscreen every 4 – 5 hours.
- Limit plucking, waxing, shaving in between the laser sessions.
- No facial, bleaching or any other skin treatment should be done for 1 week before the laser session.
How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal requires intense training and understanding of the laser physics. Laser hair removal requires a clean and fresh skin, free from all kinds of chemicals and products. The area is shaved and then depending on the light source the patient and technician compulsorily must wear eye protection. After that a cold jelly is applied to the skin in order to protect the outer layer of the skin which will help the laser light to penetrate the skin and target only the hair melanin. Depending on the thickness of the hair and color of the skin, various parameters are set for the laser machine.
After the procedure is completed the jelly is wiped off and if the skin is red, then ice packs are given to soothe the skin. Slight redness or erythema maybe present after the laser session which is desirable and will subside in some time.
How many treatments are needed?
Not all the hair is growing actively at the same time, and hair actually goes through three distinct phases – growth, regression, and resting. The laser primarily works only on the hair that is principally in the active growth phase. Since other hair will enter this active growth phase at different times, additional treatments may be necessary to damage all of the hair follicles in a given area. About 10-25% reduction in hair growth can be expected with each treatment. The hair that grows following the treatment tends to be lighter and finer in texture. About 6-8 treatments are generally required with ongoing maintenance for some patients. Areas which are hormonally dependent like face and central abdominal area might require ongoing maintenance sessions for women with hormonal problems.
What happens after the treatment?
Three to seven days after the treatment, you may experience what seems to be regrown hair. The hair is actually just being shed as a result of your treatment and is not really regrowing. Between treatments you should not wax or pluck your hair, but it is permissible to shave the area.
When to schedule the next appointment?