Laser Hair Removal – what you need to know

Laser treatment for hair removal. A complete guide on using laser treatment for hair removal


What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal: What to expect?
Pain-free laser hair removal: Fact or fiction?
Laser hair removal: Safety considerations
DIY vs. professional laser hair removal
A smooth journey to even smoother skin

Laser treatments for hair removal sound almost too good to be true. You go in, get a session done, and never have to shave again. Is that really how they work?

Yes and no. This treatment is a nearly permanent way to eliminate hair from your face and body. They’re generally safe, straightforward, and seamless. Still, they’re not 100% efficient in a single session. There are side effects, and not everybody gets the same results.

Despite the variance, laser hair removal is the best option if your goal is to have as little hair as possible. Getting informed adjusts your expectations and helps you prepare for the process.

You’re in the right place to do just that. Join us to learn everything about laser hair removal. We introduce the treatment and discuss ways to make it as successful as possible.

What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure. It uses concentrated light beams to eliminate unwanted hair. The laser technology targets follicle pigments, inhibiting hair growth. It semi-permanently terminates the need for razors, shaving creams, and chemical peels.

A laser treatment for hair removal involves light-treating the follicle pigment. Upon contact, the laser light turns into heat. The follicles get damaged or completely eradicated.

Besides smoothening your skin, lasers can diminish the appearance of ingrown hairs. Even as new strands develop, they grow straight up instead of backward.

Let’s start by answering some specific questions about this procedure.

What areas can you do laser hair removal on?

For the most part, laser hair removal is safe for the face and body. Exceptions include the area around the eyes, including the brows and eyelids. Body parts with tattoos, lesions, and moles shouldn’t be treated, either.

Laser hair removal targets the face, neck, arms, chest, back, legs, stomach, bikini line, hands, and feet. Other body parts, like the buttocks and the skin around the nipples, are also viable.

Some areas of the face and body are less appropriate for laser treatments for hair removal. Experts steer clear of scarred areas and mucous membranes in the nose and ears.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

Laser treatments for hair removal are very long-lasting but not permanent. Hair regrows if the beam doesn’t destroy the follicle. Most practitioners nowadays refer to it as “long-term” instead of “permanent.”

Once the laser destroys a follicle, nothing can grow back from that space. With time, it’s possible to reduce the number of regrowing hairs or eradicate them.

What’s more, regrowing hair is often lighter and less noticeable. The laser damages even the hardiest follicles, weakening their pigmentation and density.

New hair may appear several months after the initial treatment. Once it does, you can do another for added effectiveness. The frequency decreases with each subsequent session.

The effectiveness of laser treatment for hair removal is individual. It’s affected by your hair type and the quality of the tool. Hormonal changes can also stimulate new growth.

Another factor of effectiveness is your pigmentation. The laser should target the color of the hair, not the surrounding skin. So, it’s trickier for white-haired white people and dark-haired black and brown people. Let’s discuss.

Laser hair removal for different skin tones

Laser hair removal is possible across the color spectrum. Its effectiveness varies with coloration, though. People with fair skin and dark hair see the best results.

The reason behind this fact is the difference between skin and hair pigments. The starker it is, the easier it becomes for the laser to target the follicles, get into them, and destroy them. Folks with dark skin or fair hair typically need more treatments.

Practitioners can use different laser types based on skin tone. Notably, tools with long wavelengths work better on darker-skinned patients. People of color may seek trained experts in the US, as older technologies were geared towards paler complexions.

In contrast, shorter wavelengths are better suited for skin with less pigment. Pale people with blond, ginger, or gray hair may struggle, but we keep getting better tools.

This fact means it’s better to get your treatments when you’re less tanned, like the winter and spring. That way, you need fewer sessions to see better results.

Laser hair removal: What to expect?

With questions on eligibility out of the way, let’s dive into the procedure. What happens once you go in, and how long does laser hair removal last?

Modern practitioners use quality equipment that makes the treatment quick and seamless. For instance, a full-face procedure can take as little as 20 minutes. The entire leg area can be clear of hair in under an hour.

Let’s see what happens during the appointment, and how many you may need.

Explaining the process

Laser treatments for hair removal follow a set step-by-step pattern with minimal variance. That’s why we can tell you what to expect, at least in broad strokes.

A consultation launches the entire process. You discuss your goals with a dermatologist or licensed practitioner. They assess your health, skin, and hair to decide which technology to use.

You don’t get your hair removed during the consultation, but you will undergo a patch test. It happens on a small, unnoticeable part of your skin to test your reaction to the laser. It lets you and your practitioner gauge your reaction and whether the treatment is right for you.

The practitioner gives you a list of do’s and don’ts for treatment preparation. Then it’s time for the procedure. Here’s how it happens:

  • Preparation. You get goggles to protect the eyes from the laser beams. The practitioner may shave the site and apply topical anesthetic.
  • Removal. The practitioner presses a hand-held laser tool to your skin. They activate it, and a light beam passes through the skin to the follicles. They move the laser across the treatment area.
  • Post-procedure care. You’re free to go home soon after the procedure. Some experts first apply cooling cream to the targeted area. It minimizes inflammation and the risk of hyperpigmentation.

Then you follow the doctor’s aftercare orders and let yourself recover. Your skin will be red and swollen for a while, but no real downtime is necessary. Patients return to everyday activities the same or next day.

In most cases, you come back for another treatment in 4–6 weeks.

How many sessions will you need?

Hair follows a cycle of resting, shedding, and growing. Recently removed hair is in the resting phase, making it invisible to the laser. Those follicles activate after some time, triggering growth across the area.

There’s a 10–25% hair reduction after the initial procedure. Most patients need 2–6 sessions to eliminate all hair. Upon finishing the cycle, you’re unlikely to see any growth for months or even years.

The results vary between individuals. Your practitioner determines if the laser treatment for hair removal was successful. They analyze your skin to prescribe follow-ups.

Some hair may return after a completed cycle, although never as hoarse as before. It emerges due to follicles surviving the laser or hormonal changes causing growth. Quick, annual top-up treatments should eliminate them.

Pain-free laser hair removal: Fact or fiction?

Laser hair removal is manageable but not painless. Most patients describe the pain as short and sharp, akin to being snapped with a rubber band. It’s lesser with new-generation lasers and numbing creams.

Why does laser hair removal hurt, and what intensifies the pain?

The discomfort happens due to the interaction between the laser beam and hair. The follicles heat up rapidly while absorbing the light. This warmth activates the nerve endings surrounding them, triggering a sensation of pain.

The pain is worse on thinner skin, like that near the nose, temples, chin, and inner arms. It’s sharper at higher body temperatures, so sit and relax to cool down before treatment starts.

Modern lasers have a cooling mechanism that reduces discomfort. They send a constantly running cool-air blast to the area, numbing the skin.

Physical pain during hair removal isn’t the only concern. Pain-free entails minimal discomfort after the procedure. Your actions preceding and following the treatment can ensure that.

Preparing for laser hair removal

Laser treatments for hair removal go best when you arrive shaved. That way, no hair impedes the laser from doing its thing. Plucking and waxing are no-nos, as they inhibit the follicle and cause later regrowth.

Abstain from sun exposure and wait for any existing tan to fade. There’s less melanin in your skin, so the laser won’t attack non-follicles. The same goes for fake tan: skip it a month before removal.

Regular exfoliation loosens the hair and makes the process easier. Scrubs, retinol, and glycolic acids are best avoided two days before the treatment. These products increase the potential for irritation.

Blood-thinning substances could increase your risk of bleeding during hair removal. Unless necessary, don’t take aspirin and related herbs two weeks before the treatment.

It’s good to be generally healthy when you go into the office. Immunity can improve your body’s response to the procedure and facilitate recovery. Wait for colds or sniffles to pass, and consider vitamin shots to boost your cells.

Laser hair removal aftercare

Laser hair removal hurts because it exposes you to heat. So, the best response to post-treatment discomfort is to cool the area.

Treat redness and swelling with ice packs. Once the initial reaction subsides, continue applying cool cloth to the skin.

Corticosteroid creams can heal bad inflammatory reactions. Your practitioner will examine you after the procedure and prescribe one if necessary.

Drink plenty of water to help yourself heal faster. You can use light, scent-free moisturizers to hydrate the skin. Wear loose-fitting clothes and skip harsh skin care products like scrubs and retinoids.

Laser hair removal: Safety considerations

Laser hair removal is safe for your face and body but carries some side effects. You can avoid most (but not all) with the right preparation and aftercare.

Knowing what’s considered typical helps you tell if you should get worried. Let’s discuss expected side effects, possible adverse reactions, and management techniques.

What risks and side effects can you expect?

Laser treatments for hair removal cause some inevitable yet minor, harmless side effects. They include:

  • Skin irritation. The treatment heats your skin, causing redness, swelling, and tenderness.
  • Bumps on the skin. These emerge due to the injured follicles swelling up.
  • Black spots on the treated area. Dead hair shedding can cause specks to come out of the skin.

These side effects should clear in 1–3 days. They cause fewer issues and disappear faster if you limit sunlight and irritation.

Besides these expected physical responses, you might experience adverse reactions to the treatment. Two common risks include:

  • Changes in skin texture. People with sensitive complexions might see blisters, scabs, and scars. Wound healing creams should help them disappear.
  • Hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation. The laser may lighten or darken the affected area. This reaction isn’t always permanent, especially with anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone.

There’s a rare reaction called hypertrichosis, too. It causes excessive hair growth upon laser treatment. This side effect occurs infrequently, and you can catch it through patch testing.

Consult a dermatologist if any side effect persists for a week. They check what’s wrong and decide how to cure it. Those with severe adverse reactions may consider skipping follow-ups.

Good post-treatment practices

You can reduce adverse reactions after a laser treatment for hair removal. All it takes is good self-care practices and some self-discipline.

Refrain from hot water for 24–48 hours after treatment. No hot tubs, saunas, or sweaty workouts, either. Heat will exacerbate skin irritation and create a breeding ground for bacteria.

Stay hygienic, and don’t pick your skin to avoid infections. You may also detoxify your home before undergoing the treatment.

Don’t spend time in the sun during the first few days. Those who can’t stay inside should wear protective clothing and an SPF of at least 30. UV rays can worsen hyperpigmentation and make your pain worse.

Continue protecting your skin after the side effects subside. Treat it with moisturizing creams and mists. Buy non-toxic products and cleanse regularly to eliminate pollutants. Besides skin care, eat well and reduce stress to lessen oxidative damage.

DIY vs. professional laser hair removal

Besides seeing a practitioner for hair removal treatment, it’s possible to DIY it at home. Many shops sell easy-to-use lasers with simple-to-follow instructions. Do they offer the same results?

At-home hair removal lasers are less effective than professional ones. They’re smaller and pack less power, so they don’t do as much damage to the follicles. As a result, you need more treatments to reach the point of hairlessness.

There’s also the safety issue. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers these devices cosmetic, not medical. They don’t face the same scrutiny as other tools, so quality varies. Plus, you’re more prone to adverse reactions without expert guidance.

The table outlines the pros and cons of DIY and professional laser hair removal.

 DIY laser hair removal  Professional laser hair removal
 Affordable  More skill needed  Expert skills and tips  More expensive
 Convenient  Risk of side effects  High effectiveness  Needs appointments
 Private  Less effective  High safety standard

Laser hair removal at LIVV Natural

Our laser hair removal treatments combine peak power and broad coverage. The treatment sessions are shorter, and permanent skin smoothness comes sooner.

Top-tier safety and effectiveness are possible due to DiolazeXL. This modern hair removal procedure gently eliminates even the stubbornest follicles.

Our lasers have large-surface cooling technology that makes them more comfortable. Patients say our laser treatment for hair removal is virtually painless. Get longer-term results by booking a procedure with us.

A smooth journey to even smoother skin

Laser treatments for hair removal are sought-after for excellent reasons. They’re as permanent as hair elimination goes and suitable for most skin tones. The pain is manageable, and proper preparation and aftercare minimize most adverse reactions.

Besides understanding the process, schedule your sessions with expert practitioners for optimal results. That’s why patients are best off with LIVV Natural. Our state-of-the-art lasers and skilled practitioners ensure safety, effectiveness, and comfort.

Book your consultation today and have our experts pick the best course of action. You’ll be silky smooth in no time.

Author: Dr. Jason Phan NMD – Founder of LIVV Natural – Anti-aging – regenerative medicine – peptide therapy