What exactly happens in laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic treatment to get rid of unwanted hair from the face, chin, arms, underarms, legs, basically any part of the body. The high-heat of the laser beam damages or destroys the hair follicles. Destroying the hair follicles slows down the hair growth temporarily. The hair falls off a few days after the treatment.
- How does it work?
This works efficiently for people with light-colored skin with dark hair, but with medical advancement, the treatment for dark-colored skin is also possible but still needs to have some amount of contrast in terms of shade. Reason?? The laser beam targets the melanin which is a color pigment in the hair.
- What kind of laser is used?
Three types of lasers are used for the treatment. Alexandrite laser, diode laser, and Nd: YAG laser. Doctors prefer the Nd: YAG laser because it penetrates the skin destroying the target follicles without heating the surrounding areas.
- Getting started with the treatment: Shaving
You need to do thorough research. First thing is to find a doctor with prior experience and has done fabulous work.
You will be advised to shave your areas of concern a few days earlier of the treatment. Because, you need to have hair grown halfway through, not full. Mainly, because the laser targets recently removed hair roots.
- A big NO-NO to tanning before treatment
You have to stay indoors to avoid any possible tanning a month before going through the procedure. If the doctor finds any tanning, then your treatment will be delayed up to 6 weeks depending on the severity of the tan.
- Review your medical history
The doctor will go through your medical history, ask about medications that you take regularly and check your skin for any disorders for safety reasons.
- How does it feel during the treatment?
According to Dr. Carolyn I. Jacob, a certified dermatologist, you will feel a slight sensation of a rubber band snapping against your skin. A topical anesthetic cream to minimize the sensation is applied to the areas of treatment before the procedure. Some people also feel slight burning and stinging on the skin during the treatment.
- What to expect from the treatment?
In some cases, the hair grows back slowly but it will be lighter than the previous hair. It requires a few sessions of the treatment to permanently remove the hair. Hair follicles heal eventually so that’s why several sessions are needed until the hair growth stops. After every successful session, you will have less hair.
According to Dr. Carolyn I. Jacob, after 5 successful sessions every 5 weeks, about 90%-95% of the hair is reduced.
Side effects and Recovery
Post-treatment, you may find redness of the treated skin and sometimes swelling of the area which will disappear gradually. For comfort, the doctor provides ice packs and anti-inflammatory ointments.
Doctors also guide the patients not to get the treated area directly exposed to the sun, and protect the are from tanning. YOUR DOCTOR’S POST-TREATMENT INSTRUCTIONS ARE VERY PRECIOUS. FOLLOW THEM WITHOUT FAILURE.
Blisters may occur but it is not common. To avoid blisters, patients are advised to avoid the sun Itching of the area may lead to scarring.
Cost of the treatment
According to the olive clinic, laser hair removal costs around 1500 INR to 3000 INR on average. Most importantly, a good specialist always charges more but this doesn’t mean to blindly trust the doctor just by looking at the price and go through the procedure. ALWAYS INVESTIGATE YOUR DOCTOR THOROUGHLY AND HIS CREDENTIALS.
Length of the treatment
It takes about 10 – 20 minutes in one session. But overall it is a lengthy process because you need to go for several sessions. Some patients are also required to go for a few maintenance sessions in between the treatments. PATIENCE IS IMPERATIVE and YOU WILL NEED IT.
Laser hair removal is full of risks and will cost you bucks but the result is assuring and you can bid farewell to those times when you have to drag yourself to shave, wax or use hair removal cream.