What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Before laser hair removal, most of the available methods for removal of unwanted hair were temporary. Additionally, plucking, shaving, tweezing, and waxing can lead to skin irritation and roughness. Laser hair removal is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the U.S. as well as the most effective method of permanent hair removal/reduction. The four most commonly used lasers for permanent hair removal are ruby, Alexandrite, YAG, and diode. Each type of laser has distinct advantages and can be used to safely and effectively treat areas such as the back, chest, face, legs, and bikini region.

What Is the YAG Laser?

The YAG laser has a multitude of medical applications, including permanent hair removal. The YAG laser works for all types of skin, including darkly pigmented or tanned skin, which is not true for the other laser types used for hair removal. Compared to other lasers, the YAG laser is not as effective for fine, light, or white hairs and may be slightly more painful. That being said, this method provides some of the best laser hair removal.

How Is the Procedure Performed?

During laser hair removal, highly concentrated beams of light are focused on hair follicles and are absorbed by pigment within those follicles, destroying the hair root. Additionally, the skin is stretched slightly so that the laser can deeply penetrate the hair follicle roots, inhibiting regrowth without doing any harm to the surrounding skin. Patients should avoid exercise for about 24 hours to allow the skin to quiet, and direct sun exposure or tanning beds should be avoided during treatment.

Does Laser Hair Removal Require Multiple Sessions? What Kind of Results Can Patients Expect?

As a general rule, laser hair removal requires multiple treatment sessions, because it is not effective on the hair follicles that are not actively growing. Scientists estimate that patients can expect permanent hair removal of up to 80% to 98% of unwanted hair after 6 to 8 treatments. Darker skin types may require more treatment sessions. Laser hair treatment sessions may last from 15 minutes up to an hour for larger areas. Additionally, laser treatment sessions are typically spaced 3 or 4 weeks apart to assure optimal recovery. There is no downtime following laser hair removal. Patients commonly report looking and feeling as if they have had a slight sunburn, but any redness fades away within hours.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

If you’re not happy with shaving, tweezing, plucking, or waxing to remove unwanted hair, laser hair removal may be an option worth considering. Almost everyone can enjoy the benefits of laser hair treatment. Historically, individuals with light to medium complexions and medium to dark hair are universally recognized as the best candidates for laser hair removal. Unfortunately, white hairs are less effectively treated with laser hair removal as well as tanned skin due to being more prone to burns.

 Contact Precision MD to see if you’re a good candidate for laser hair removal.