Laser Hair Removal
Permanent or Temporary Fix?
Is it really permanent?
In short, no. Laser hair removal works by heating the hair follicles to stop new hairs from growing. This puts the hair follicles in a state of dormancy for a long period of time — much longer than with shaving and waxing. When the hairs do grow back, they’ll be lighter, finer, and fewer in number.
Although the procedure is often touted as a form of “permanent” hair removal, laser treatment only reduces the number of unwanted hairs in a given area. It doesn’t get rid of unwanted hairs completely.
According to the Mayo Clinic, this hair removal option tends to work best in people with light skin tones and darker hair. Also, for best results, the American Association of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that a board-certified dermatologist ought to perform the procedure.
How laser hair removal works?
Laser therapy uses high-heat laser beams as a mild form of radiation. During the process, these laser beams heat up and damage your hair follicles.
Your hair follicles are located just below the skin. They’re responsible for producing new strands of hair. If the follicles are destroyed, then hair production is temporarily disabled.
By contrast, tweezing, shaving, and waxing all remove hair above the surface. These methods don’t target hair-producing follicles.
The AAD deems the following areas as appropriate for laser hair removal:
- bikini line
- face (except for the eye area)
- This form of hair removal works best with darker hair colors on light skin tones. This is because the lasers target hair melanin (color). Even if some hairs aren’t removed, the lightening of their color can reduce the appearance of hair on the skin.
Some of your hairs may also shed within a few days of your first treatment session.
Overall, laser hair removal is a relatively quick process. Smaller areas, such as the upper lip, can take just minutes. Larger areas of hair removal, like the back or chest, may take an hour or longer.
If your dermatologist applies a topical pain-relieving gel (anesthetic) first, you may expect to be at the office up to another full hour.
Despite the high success rate of laser hair removal, hair follicles eventually heal. This results in new hair production. To ensure the best results possible, you will need to undergo multiple treatment sessions.