Who wouldn’t want that? Sadly, that has not been invented yet. The truth is, when it comes to hair removal, there are several options available to you. It is a good idea to consider all the available alternatives before you decide which will work best for you.
One valid option is laser hair removal. It is a newer procedure that is popular for those looking for a semi-permanent solution. This article will talk about the benefits and risks of laser hair removal. So, you can review them before making your choice.
Hair Removal Options Available
There are quite a few reasons why you might want to remove your hair. One good reason is that body hair can be gross. You may want it removed totally and completely. You want that smooth finish, but how do you get it?
The easiest and probably most common option is to shave your hair. This takes only a few moments in the bathroom with your razor and cream. The main issue with this is that the hair you just shaved seems to materialize again out of thin air in a day or two. Nobody wants the hassle of having to shave everyday or every other day!
Another option is to use depilatory creams to dissolve the hair. This one is actually fun and maybe a little gross too. Lather the cream on and watch all your hair pull away. But then, you might end up smelling like a wet dog rolled in gasoline. Not very pleasant, huh?
Now, if you are in the market for a more permanent hair removal option, then sugaring or waxing is your go-to option. This process snatches your hair at the root and pulls it out. It is great for keeping your hair growth under wraps for a few weeks, but it has one major disadvantage. It hurts a lot, and itches a lot too when the hair finally grows back. You also have to deal with ingrown hairs.
Electrolysis can last a little longer for you. During the electrolysis process, a fine needle is inserted into each hair follicle. An electric current is then delivered directly to the hair follicle to basically kill it. Yes, that sounds painful. Yes, it most definitely is painful and could take up a lot of time too.
This brings us to laser hair-removal. There is a lot to say about this interesting procedure. The benefits, side effects, and if you should book a laser hair removal appointment today or not.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
In the simplest terms, laser hair removal is a medical procedure. It involves using a concentrated beam of light, that is, a laser, to remove unwanted hair. This is a fairly technical process. It is performed by a dermatologist and requires some explanation.
The aim of this process is to damage the hair follicle to discourage more hair growth. During laser hair removal, the beam of light targets the pigment cells in the hair follicle. Pigment cells or melanin cells are the ones responsible for the color of your hair.
The beam of light is converted to heat energy. This is absorbed by melanin, which in turn damages the hair follicles. These hair follicles are responsible for producing hair. Damaging them inhibits further hair growth. This process is a pretty effective way to stop hair growth in its tracks. FDA approved lasers that are used for this procedure usually include ruby, alexandrite, diode, and so on.
You should know that going through this process usually delays hair growth for a long period of time. But, it does not mean your hair is permanently removed. Hair follicles eventually heal themselves and the hair growth process continues. You might need a few procedures to have a chance at permanently stunting the hair growth process. So this is by no means a one-off treatment.
Also, laser hair removal produces the best results if you have light skin and dark colored hair. This is due to the melanin targeting nature of the procedure. Although, advances in technology have made it possible for people with dark-colored skin to enjoy the process, too. This process is not recommended for you if you have blond, red, grey or white hair. This is because these hair colors don’t absorb light well.
Benefits Of Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal comes with a host of benefits, which is why it has become a popular process for hair removal. Here are a few of them:
The laser is highly targeted and can precisely select your hair strands without damaging the surrounding skin. Of course, this is only possible if there is a high level of contrast between your hair and skin.
This is why the process is not recommended for you if your skin and hair color are similar. It will be difficult for the laser to pick out your hair; hence damage to your skin might be inevitable.
– Great Option For Hair Removal
The process is a good option for near-permanent hair removal. The results are quite predictable. You can be sure of not having to shave for weeks or even months, after a few sessions.
You also do not have to deal with painful and gross ingrown hairs. Laser hair removal helps you with that, unlike other methods of hair removal. Also, no more skin irritation from razors or epilating creams.
– It Is Fast and Convenient
It is actually a fast process. Just a single pulse of the laser takes less than a second and can remove a lot of hair at the same time. Removing hair from a large area of your body takes only a few minutes.
– It Isn’t So Painful
Compared to other hair removal processes including waxing and plucking, laser hair removal doesn’t cause as much pain. To help with the pain, some laser equipment comes with a personal air conditioning system. This constantly shoots a blast of cool air at the treated area.
Technicians can also numb the area and treat it with ice before and after the treatment. Also, the process gets progressively less painful as you continue your treatments. This is because your hair gets finer.
There is no limit to where you can get laser hair removal treatment on your body. Legs, face, armpits, bikini line, face, and anywhere else you want!
Disadvantages Of Laser Hair Removal
There are some disadvantages associated with this hair removal process. You should know them so you can weigh them in relation to the benefits before you make your decision. Here are some of them:
– It is Expensive
You might add up all the money you would need to buy razors or pay for bikini wax sessions for years. It might just be up to what you pay for a laser hair removal session.
Clinics can charge a lot for each session. The consolation, though, is that you will save money in the long run. That is, when your hair growth has been all but eliminated after a few treatments.
– It Is Not Suitable For Everyone Or Everywhere
As discussed earlier, the process is not recommended if you have certain skin or hair colors. It works best for those with a stark contrast between their hair and skin color.
Also, you should try to stay away from sensitive areas of your body when you go for sessions. Places like eyebrows, genitals, and men’s facial hair should not be treated.
Apart from the disadvantages of the laser hair removal process, there might also be some side effects. The word “laser” is not a very comforting word when talking about your skin, right? Most of these side effects are temporary and mild, though, but you should know about them anyway. Keep reading to find out what some of those risks are.
Side Effects Of Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is not all rainbows and roses. There are some risks that you should be mindful of before booking that appointment. Here are some of them:
– Redness and Irritation
The whole point of laser hair removal is to damage the hair follicle, right? Well, some people react to this and it manifests as redness and irritation in the treated areas. Those same areas might be tender and may even swell up a bit.
It is okay though; these symptoms usually disappear after a short period of time. These symptoms are like those you get from other hair removal processes like waxing. Some dermatologists use a topical anesthetic to manage the reaction.
– Changes in Skin Color
This is one of the more popular laser hair removal risks. Some people might notice a slight change in the color of their skin following the treatment. It could either be lighter or darker than usual.
This usually happens if you do not avoid exposure to sunlight before or after treatment.
– Blistering Crusting or Scarring
These are rare side effects that could occur as a result of getting the process done by an untrained technician. They could also happen if you treat a particular patch of skin too many times.
These are typically not so serious and can be managed by taking care of the treated area after the procedure. You can use a moisturizer on the area after. You should also make sure to visit qualified experts to get your laser hair removal treatment. Ask if they are certified and try to avoid “laser centers.”
– Risk Of Eye Injury
This particular hair removal process involves the use of high-intensity lasers. That kind of light should not go anywhere near your eyes or it might damage them. This is especially important if you are having hair removed from your face.
You should not have laser hair removal treatment anywhere near your eyelids, eyebrows, or surrounding areas. Also, make sure you wear eye protection when undergoing the process. Your technician should too for that matter. Safety is important.
It is important to understand the risks and benefits of laser hair removal treatment. Especially before you sign up for a session. But there are also some peripheral things you should be aware of when considering this treatment. Before going into that, there are questions that many people ask about the treatment that should be addressed.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe During Pregnancy?
Experts do not recommend this hair removal treatment during pregnancy. This is mostly because it has not been proven that the process is safe for pregnant women.
Even though the hormonal changes during pregnancy might cause some hair to spring up in some unwanted places. You should resist the urge to get laser hair removal treatment. You can have one after the pregnancy and after waiting for a few weeks.
Does Laser Hair Removal Cause Infertility?
This is a popular myth about laser hair removal. The simple answer here is that it does not. You can even have laser hair removal around your groin region and you will be fine. This is because the lasers don’t go deep enough to cause any damage to internal organs.
Also, the lasers are targeted so they only touch the hair follicles. They cannot penetrate your muscles. Also, the high-intensity beam from the laser is made up of light energy. Light energy cannot affect DNA or cells because they cannot break particles apart.
Does Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer?
The answer is still no, because of the same reasons given above. The beam from the laser is light energy and is not a type of ionizing radiation like x-rays. Those can pass through the body and affect cells on a basic level. But light energy cannot do that.
There is some radiation produced by the laser used in the laser hair removal process. But this is a very small amount and there is no evidence that this causes cancer.
Now that some of the questions and myths about laser hair removal have been addressed, there are more things to note about the process:
– You can’t pluck, dye or wax your hair when you are planning to get the treatment. They impede the process. If you want to be hairless during the period that you are getting the treatments, then shave.
– Avoid tanning beds, and sunbathing before and after the treatment. These activities make it difficult for the laser to target the melanin cells in your hair follicles.
– You should also avoid using perfumes, deodorants and any potential irritant before and after treatment.
– Avoid going to the gym, sauna, or having a hot shower for a while after the treatment. The heat from the lasers stays in your skin for about 24 hours after the treatment. You do not need more heat added to that.
– You should know that laser hair removal treatment can actually stimulate more hair growth in some cases. Ironic huh? Your dermatologist can let you know if you are in that group of people.
– You might have to switch up your beauty routine while getting the treatment. You should avoid using scrubs, retinol and glycolic acid creams for a few days before and after getting the treatment. It is also possible for your skin to get drier, so use extra moisturizers and face mists. Also, avoid chemical peels for about 1-2 weeks before and after the process.
At-Home Laser Hair Removal
In recent years, it has become possible to buy at-home laser hair removal devices. These devices are safe to use on all areas of the body where you would normally get the treatment at a salon. They could give fairly good results as well.
They might not be as effective as the commercial-grade equipment that salons use though. But they are perfect for you if you are shy about exposing your body to a technician at a salon. You can also enjoy using the device anytime you want in the comfort of your home.
Of course, they are cheaper than the average session at a salon. You can get one of these devices for about $500.
Cost Of Laser Hair Removal
Okay, this is the point where you might start wringing your hands. It actually costs a lot for even one session of laser hair removal at a salon or clinic. Of course, prices vary and usually depend on some factors, such as:
– Where you get the treatment (location)
– How often you get it (sessions)
– What treatment you get (what part of the body)
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of getting laser hair removal treatment is about $285. Different body parts attract different costs. Your dermatologist will recommend the number of sessions you need. A full body laser hair removal treatment could cost thousands of dollars.
There you have it, some of the benefits and side effects of laser hair removal that you should know before deciding if you want to get it. The laser hair removal treatment is effective and can provide a long term solution to unwanted hair growth. It is also a procedure that requires technical knowledge and should not be done without proper research.
Table Of Contents
Chapter 2 – Hair Removal Options Available
Chapter 3 – What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Chapter 4 – Benefits Of Laser Hair Removal
Chapter 5 – Disadvantages Of Laser Hair Removal
Chapter 6 – Side Effects Of Laser Hair Removal
Chapter 7 – At-Home Laser Hair Removal
Chapter 8 – Cost Of Laser Hair Removal
Chapter 9 – Conclusion