Are You the Right Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
Does the simple thought of scheduling your next wax appointment bring tears of pain to your eyes? Or have you given in altogether with that, and stuck to shaving religiously? Either way, there are many reasons to consider laser hair removal. But the real question is – will it work for you?
Firstly, it’s important to know how it works in general. Laser hair removal basically uses light energy to gradually heat your hair follicles until they die out. The energy from the laser is attracted to the brown pigment, melanin, found in your hair follicle. Leaving the surrounding skin tissue unaffected. (1)
While there are various types of laser hair removal methods available on the market today – and most reliable brands continuously develop their machinery to be faster, more efficient, and less painful – the treatment is still not very effective on blonde, red or grey hair. This is because the laser itself is attracted to melanin; so if there is little melanin present, it won’t work nearly as well. (2)
Before you book your laser hair removal appointment, here’s what you need to know…
The most important thing to research in advance, is what types of lasers are available for hair removal, and what would work best for your own hair and skin tone. Many lasers, such as IPL (intense pulsed light), are not suitable for dark skin as they can cause discoloration. (3)
In fact, laser may not be suitable in a variety of instances, including if you have:
- Skin disorders, such as vitiligo and psoriasis,
- a history of keloid scarring,
- recent exposure to a tanning bed,
- a tattoo or permanent make-up in that specific area,
- a medical condition such a diabetes or epilepsy or, of course,
- light hair with little melanin.
Now that we’ve established what the precautionary measures are, you’ll be pleased to know there can be many benefits of using laser hair removal as well. Some of which, include:
- Permanent hair reduction;
- minor discomfort during the treatment;
- quick and easy process;
- little, to no side effects afterwards;
- no need to keep the area of hair long – unlike waxing it actually must be short and
- complete versatility in where you want to laser.
If you are a candidate for laser hair removal, what should you expect from your appointment?
With anything new you try, it’s a good idea to come prepared. Here are a couple of things you will have to know about laser hair removal before you get to your first appointment.
- Your clinic may advise you not to shave before your treatment, this is purely so they can see the direction in which your hair grows and how much skin it covers. After creating a grid for the area of skin to treat, they will shave your hair for you.
- You will need between 8-12 sessions, spaced every six weeks, in order to properly reduce the hair growth.
- Though this treatment provides permanent hair reduction – it does not provide permanent hair removal. After your 12 sessions, you may have to go back every now.
- You cannot wax in between your sessions, you can only shave as the hair follicle must not be ripped out of it bed. If you do this, you will undo all the work of the laser.
- It’s important to properly look after your skin, before and after a treatment. Moisturize properly, and if the area you have had treated is regularly exposed to the sun, you should apply a good sunscreen every day.
With the ways technology is advancing today, there is little to fear about laser hair removal. And if you are not the right candidate for it – it’s important to ensure you are in the hands of a reputable medical professional who can advise you on the right alternative choice that will suit you.