Laser Hair Removal
Smooth, stubble-free skin could be yours this summer!
Eric Raisina worn by Chanel Iman, Lars Andersson SS 2013
With bikini season comes constant hair removal upkeep. From plucking to shaving to tweezing to waxing, it's an exhausting process trying to remain silky smooth everyday. Not to mention the painful razorburn and rashes that could occur after waxing.
This summer, consider trying something new: laser hair removal. It may sound scary, but it could just relieve your hair removal headaches this summer. Here's the inside scoop.
How does laser hair removal work?
While it may seem complex, laser hair removal is actually quite simple and is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the U.S. Without getting too technical, during laser hair removal a laser beam passes through the skin to an individual hair follicle. The intense heat of the laser damages the hair follicle to help inhibit hair growth. Despite what many think, laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair loss, but helps to slow down the hair growth process.
Does it hurt?
When the words “laser and removal” are used to describe a procedure its no wonder why people are hesitant to try it. But don’t worry; there is little to no pain involved. Some describe it as tiny pin pricks, nothing compared to what women put themselves through to look fabulous (waxing anyone?).
Is it expensive?
Unfortunately, laser hair removal can be costly, but of course, it can vary depending on where you get it done. Compared to waxing, which only takes an hour or two depending on the area, laser hair removal can take several treatments. However, once you finish the treatments the results last much longer than shaving or waxing. Just think a summer without waxing. Sounds good to me!
Where on the body is laser hair removal typically used?
You can have hair removed from pretty much anywhere on your body. From armpits to legs to arms to face to bikini, you can go all out.
Does color and skin type matter?
Actually yes. Typically, laser hair removal is most effective for people with light skin and dark hair as the laser beam targets the pigmentation in the hair. When the hair and skin pigmentation are similar, the laser has a difficult time differentiating the hair follicle.
We talked to Dr. Dana Shaked Bronwell of the Westport Mediaspa to ask her a few more questions about laser hair removal:
Is there any downtime or after-care involved?
There is no downtime involved with laser hair removal. However, doctors to suggest applying Aloe Vera gel or other lotions to reduce any inflammation or redness that may occur. If you plan on going in the sun, it’s a good idea to apply plenty of sunscreen as discoloration may occur.
What kind of aftercare is involved?
No sweating/exercise the following day, loose clothing in the area treated, no tanning
Can people with sensitive skin still get laser hair removal?
Absolutely, that is one of the main reasons people opt for LHR. Sensitive skin is susceptible to redness and ingrown hairs after shaving/waxing. Once the hair is treated with LHR, you don’t have to worry about these concerns!
Top three things to consider before getting laser hair removal:
- The hair should be dark; laser hair removal is not optimal for light pigmented hair
- Each area will take at least several sessions- it is not a one time treatment
- The area to be treated can not be tanned
Top three reasons to get laser hair removal and benefits
- For an active lifestyle, or for an area that you frequently have to shave, it is a solution for you not to have to worry or always think about hair growth
- Underarms and bikini are most common (as well as facial hair treatments), because you can lead an active lifestyle without thinking, “Oh my goodness, did I shave this morning??”
- For people with extremely coarse/fast growing hair, a permanen solution is ideal
When all is said and done, the cost and slight discomfort is nothing compared to a worry-free trip to the beach. So, try it out!
Dana Shaked Brownell, MD, Medical Director is a Board Certified physician, with a sole focus on Aesthetic Medicine, specializing in non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
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