How Long Does Hair Removal Last?
Laser hair removal uses light energy to get rid of annoying and unwanted hair. It is the only permanent method of hair reduction currently available on the market. Knowing more about this hair removal method can help decide if this procedure is a good fit for you.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
During a treatment, as a laser light beam passes through hundreds of follicles at a time, the heat of the laser damages the hair follicles, preventing and slowing down future growth. Since the laser beam can only destroy hair follicles that are in the anagen (active) phase of the growth cycle during a session, multiple treatments are required, generally spaced out about 6 weeks apart (allowing for the hair to cycle through the phases). As the laser beam penetrates, there is a slight to moderate pinching like or rubber snapping sensation; the discomfort can be managed with over the counter pain medication.
Laser hair removal results differ for each individual based on certain factors such as: location that’s being treated, the amount of excess hair growth, and the hair color and thickness. Hormonal fluctuation and certain medications can stimulate excess hair growth and affect the amount of reduction.
For example, since upper lip hair growth is generally very fine and stimulated by hormones, having hair lasered off your upper lip often requires several more treatments than, for example, lower leg, which tends to be much coarser and responds quicker.
The laser beam itself has attracted to dark pigment-melanin-in the hair follicle; the darker the hair, the better the outcome. Since melanin must be present in the follicle in order for the laser to have a positive effect, individuals with dark and coarse hair (coarse hair naturally has more melanin) but light skin color are best candidates; this way the laser beam concentrates on the hair follicle alone, and not the surrounding tissue. Laser for hair reduction does not work on light, gray, blond, or reddish hair.
By utilizing the Cutera CoolGlide laser with a longer wave, we here at Troy Laser Center can effectively treat light to dark skins, including Indian, Hispanic, and African-American. The Cool Glide handpiece also increases patient’s comfort level and minimizes chances of adverse skin reactions.
Laser hair removal, as it is generally referred to, is essentially minimizing and slowing down the excess hair growth and that’s just what it got its FDA approval for- permanent hair reduction.
Frequency of Laser Hair Removal Treatments
Since the laser beam it’s only effective during the anagen phase, the hair must be allowed to cycle through; sessions are spaced out, on average, 6 weeks apart. Individuals, depending on the amount, color, and thickness of the growth, as well as the location, will require anywhere from 6 up to, on average, 12 sessions. It is almost impossible to predict the exact number of sessions one might require for optimum permanent reduction. Once optimum reduction is achieved, periodic maintenance sessions will be needed.
Side effects and downtime
As with any laser treatment involving skin interaction, there are possibilities of side effects such as scarring, burns, or discoloration; it is crucial to be treated by a certified laser technician with significant “hands-on” experience. The technicians at Troy Laser Center are not only certified, but come with years of medical aesthetic experience and always work under doctor supervision. Complimentary consultations are provided, along with detailed pre-and post-treatment instructions, further minimizing chances of any side effects.
Downtime is very temporary, with, on average, 24-48 hours, of mild to moderate swelling and/or redness over the treatment areas.
At Troy Laser Center, we help to achieve your optimal cosmetic treatment goals. If you would like more information on laser hair reduction, please contact the Laser Center at Troy Laser to book an appointment.