Men and women all over the world are using laser hair removal to permanently reduce the number of body hairs either all over or in a targeted area. For women, the four most common areas for laser hair removal are the upper lip, underarm, bikini line and legs. For men, full body hair removal, full face and neck, back and chest and brozillian and buttocks are among the most common requests.
Laser hair removal works by using pulses of laser light to destroy hair follicles. This in turn reduces the number of body hairs on the targeted area, completely eliminating hair from that area (at least temporarily) and greatly reducing the number of body hairs in that area permanently. The practice gained popularity in the mid-1990s and has since become widely practiced in clinics. There are also personal devices now available for customers to use in home, priced for consumer self-treatment.
The procedure works by administering pulses of laser light on the area where a client wants hair removed. Technology has created lasers that target the hair follicles by targeting melanin without damaging the surrounding tissue. Because of the way laser hair removal works, it is most effective on those with black, brown, red or dirty blonde hair. Those with light blonde, white or strawberry blonde hair do not respond as well because the hair lacks the melanin these lasers target.
Before the procedure, the area is waxed for best results. Clean-shaven legs make it easier for the laser to target the melanin. In most cases, an ultrasound gel will be spread on the treated area prior to the procedure to reduce pain, redness and swelling. The laser feels like a burning zap and is more painful for some patients than others. Many technicians say the treatment is best described as a rubber band being flicked against your skin again and again. Darker, coarser hairs hurt more to remove as the laser has to emit a h3er pulse to do so.
Undergoing laser hair removal reduced the need for other hair removal practices such as shaving or chemical hair removal. Both of these procedures are very temporary and can become time consuming. In some areas, women and men experience razor bumps and other skin irritations after shaving that they can avoid by doing laser hair removal. It’s also a good process for reaching areas that are hard to see on your own—such as the Brazilian. In many cases women and men are paying to have their Brazilian—or brozillian—area waxed, and laser hair removal cuts down on the need for these appointments.
Those who undergo laser hair removal report less hair in treated regions. In most cases the hair removal is permanent although without treatment some of the hair may come back, though it will be less dense. On average, laser hair removal is more effective than other hair removal methods, removing 90 percent of unwanted hair after three to five treatments.
For those who experience skin problems after shaving, such as ingrown hairs and itchy red bumps, laser hair removal is a great alternative. It also is more effective than waxing, which often lasts a few days but then hair has to be grown out in between for waxing to be effective again. Chemical hair removal systems like Nair can be messy and result in the same or similar skin irritations as shaving—not to mention it sometimes causes burning. Laser hair removal is not painless but the treatments aren’t needed as frequently and the use of creams and other interventions can help reduce pain.
In-home treatments bring convenience and lower costs to the table, but the lasers are less powerful, which means the treatment may not be as effective. Also, in the wrong hands, those at-home lasers can damage tissues they aren’t supposed to.
Laser hair removal has a reputation for being extremely safe, but there are potential side effects to the procedure. It is not uncommon to experience redness and swelling at the laser site following a laser hair removal treatment. In rare cases or if the procedure is done incorrectly, burns and changes in skin color can occur. In most cases these issues are more common in people with darker skin, as they have more pigment, causing the laser to emit h3er pulses. In some, the laser triggers melanin production—the exact chemical it is targeting to remove hair—resulting in darkening of the skin. In other cases, the laser inhibits melanin production, causing the skin to become lighter.
In most cases these issues are preventable when a certified and experienced technician provides the treatment. Most issues beyond redness and swelling are caused by incorrect application of the treatment. In some cases, however, a person’s skin can cause a different reaction even if the procedure is done correctly.
Laser hair removal greatly reduces hair follicles in targeted areas throughout the body resulting in less hair overall. Those who have dark, coarse hair receive the biggest benefit.
Alternatives to laser hair removal include shaving, waxing and chemical hair removal using at-home products such as Nair. Many turn to laser hair removal when the other methods become too time consuming or when they are experiencing unwanted reactions to the other methods of hair removal.
How much laser hair removal costs depends on where you are getting the treatment. Larger areas will cost more because they take more time and require more laser pulses to be administered. On average, bikini areas run $350-500, the back costs $600-900 and the chest will cost $350-600. Each of these costs are per session and several sessions are recommended for proper removal.
Where you get the procedure is another factor. Some clinics charge more than others, but having a licensed, experienced technician perform your laser hair removal is important.
Dierickx, Christine C; Grossman, Melanie C; Farinelli, William A; Anderson, R. Rox (1998). “Permanent Hair Removal by Normal-Mode Ruby Laser”. Archives of Dermatology.
Simplicity Laser. “Top 4 Most Popular Areas for Men to Get Laser Hair Removal.” Simplicity Laser. Accessed April 26, 2018. https://www.simplicitylaser.com/blogs/news/76168452-top-4-most-popular-areas-for-men-to-get-laser-hair-removal.
Damg. “Damg.” Radiance Medspa. Accessed April 26, 2018. http://radiancedc.com/the-4-most-common-areas-where-women-get-laser-hair-removal/.
Malle, Chloe. “Laser Hair Removal: Is It Really Worth It?” Vogue. February 01, 2017. Accessed April 26, 2018. https://www.vogue.com/article/laser-hair-removal-is-it-worth-it.
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Lim, Jeffrey. “Laser Hair Removal Costs, Prices, Financing.” DocShop. September 06, 2017. Accessed April 26, 2018. https://www.docshop.com/education/dermatology/laser-hair-removal/cost.