Tired of shaving? We don’t blame you. It takes a lot of time, is inconvenient, and can lead to cuts and ingrown hairs. Not to mention the fact that you’ve been doing it for years.
Why not give yourself a break from shaving for the rest of your life? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. It’s called laser hair removal, and it’s about to change your life (well, not entirely, but it will change your life when it comes to shaving.
Before you dive into laser hair removal, there are some things you need to know to make sure it’s the right decision for you. Today we are taking you through laser hair removal 101, so you know what you’re looking at.
Laser Hair Removal 101
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is the procedure of using light to stop the growth of hair, and it’s known to be one of the best ways to get rid of hair anywhere on your face and body.
More specifically, the concentrated light of the laser targets the pigment that colors your hair (melanin) at a point that it is deep enough to damage the hair bulb. It does this by using a specific wavelength that depends on your skin color and skin type. Each laser pulse lasts about one second.
Is laser hair removal for everyone?
Laser hair removal only works if you have dark hair. The laser is attracted to the pigment in your hair, so if the pigment is light, the laser will not do its job. Thus, if you want to get rid of blonde, grey, or white hair via laser hair removal, you’re out of luck.
This method of removing hair is best for light-skinned people who have dark hair. The lasers also target the pigmentation of your skin, which can lead to discoloration. If you have darker skin, it is important to go to a dermatologist that has the right laser for your skin to minimize the chances of your skin pigmentation being affected.
Is it safe?
Yes. Laser hair removal is safe on any part of your body, including your face. It is non-invasive, which means it has a low risk of problems.
How long does a treatment take?
The length of one treatment depends upon what areas of the body you’re removing the hair from. To do your bikini area and your underarms, it should take around 15 minutes. If you’re doing more, you can expect a longer treatment time. However, this is an outpatient procedure that has no downtime so that you can continue with your day following your treatment.
How many treatments do I need?
The number of treatments varies from person to person. The minimum number of treatments is typically 6-8, but that can be more if you have more coarse hair. Your initial consultation should be the best way to determine how many treatments your specific hair type will require.
Does laser hair removal hurt?
Pain tolerance is different from person to person, so one person may find laser hair removal painful while others do not. As you do more treatments, the lasers are often turned up more to penetrate deeper, so they become more painful. Some people describe the feeling as similar to snapping yourself with a rubber band. However, different areas of the body may hurt more or less.
How long do I have to wait in between treatments?
It is recommended that you wait between 4-6 weeks between treatments to allow your hair time to regrow.
How do I prepare for my hair removal appointment?
You should shave the day of or the day before your appointment and be sure to steer clear of using any self-tanners in the 7-10 days prior. While talking to your doctor, you should also mention any medication you’re taking during your consultation. That’s because some may have an adverse reaction to the hair removal process.
You may also want to refrain from drinking alcohol the night before your appointment as well because hangovers can cause your body to be more sensitive to lights and touch, and you may feel a higher level of pain with the treatment.
How long does it last?
For some people, it’s permanent. However, many find that they still have to shave from time to time or go in for a touch-up appointment. Laser hair removal causes your hair to grow slower and finer, as well as lighter, but there’s a chance that it won’t get rid of it entirely for the rest of your life.
How much does hair removal cost?
If you’re considering getting laser hair removal done, then cost will most likely factor into your decision. While the average cost will vary depending on the doctor you visit, the size of the area being treated, and the area where you live, you can expect a price somewhere in the ballpark of the following averages. Smaller areas like your lower face or chin will typically cost around $250 per session, and your underarms will cost from $175 to $225 per treatment. Your bikini area will run between $250-$350 per treatment and will vary based on if you’re getting a normal bikini wax or if you’re going full Brazillian. Larger areas typically cost more, with your back or legs costing around $600 per treatment.
Keep in mind that these costs are per treatment, and it typically takes between four and six visits overall.
Can I do hair removal at home?
Yes, there are some options for DIY laser hair removal, though it’s something we think is better left to the professionals.
At-home options typically use Intense Pulse Light (IPL), which is a lower-energy spectrum of light as opposed to the one wavelength used when you get it done professionally.
Laser hair removal is a procedure that is all about personal preference. Some people opt to get every hair on their body lasered off, while others look for very specific spots. There is no wrong answer; it’s just choosing what works best for you.