In a previous article, we gave a brief description of some of the most popular hair removal techniques available today. In this post, we would like to provide you with a more comprehensive explanation of arguably the most effective hair removal technique on the market: laser therapy.

Women and men have been at war with their body hair for ages; from plucking, tweezing and epilating to waxing and shaving, we seem to have developed just about every way to remove hair from the body. Laser hair removal might just be the smoking gun in this battle; the one weapon that could end the war permanently. This is because laser hair removal therapy represents a near permanent solution to unwanted hair.

Understanding laser hair removal process

The laser hair removal process is fairly simple; it works on the basis of selective photothermolysis which is a process in which heat is applied to the hairs on selected areas of the skin. The heat destroys the follicles without destroying the skin around the hair. Once the hair follicle is destroyed, the hair will fall out.

Effectiveness of laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is so popular these days because it is the one hair removal technique that allows for near permanent hair removal. Nevertheless it may not be suitable for all. The treatment is best suited to fair skinned individuals who have dark coloured hair; this is because the laser works by differentiating the colour of the skin from the colour of the hair.

Lasers may not be able to differentiate between skin and hair in individuals with fair skin and light hair. It is also not always suited to dark skinned individuals as they run the risk of injury from the skin absorbing an excessive amount of laser heat.

It is important to know that the treatment is not 100% permanent as the hair follicles can regrow, nevertheless, at a much slower rate than any other form of hair removal. With multiple sessions you can actually diminish the likelihood of the follicles rejuvenating, thus those who have gone for four to six sessions usually require only touch up treatment in certain areas.

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Nature & number of laser hair removal treatments required

The number of treatments that you require will depend on your skin and hair type as those with thick and coarse hair will generally require more treatments. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the number of treatments required in order to achieve the best results. The other factor that determines the number of treatments is the area at which you are getting hair removal, again this is due to the thickness of the hair – hair on the legs will require more sessions than the fine hairs on the face.

Laser treatment is safe as a cooling gel is topically applied to the area being treated; this cools the skin and protects it from damage.

Possible side effects of laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is generally very safe but there are some side effects associated with the treatment. These side effects include redness, swelling and itching of the treated area. These symptoms are transient and will dissipate pretty quickly. In more severe cases, your doctor can prescribe something to help relieve the pain or irritation. As with any laser treatment, there is the possibility of blisters or scarring of the area, though this is very unlikely.

How can you prepare for a session?

Given the fact that there are inherent risks associated with laser treatment, it is best that you get treatment from a licensed medical professional. He or she will be able to explain all the risks and come up with a treatment plan that is best suited to your skin and hair type.

Once you schedule your first session, it is important that you protect your skin from the sun in the days leading up to your treatment. This is because laser treatment cannot be done on sunburnt skin. You also should avoid using other hair removal procedures that can affect the hair follicle.

After a session, the hair will continue to drop for a period of one to three weeks. During this time you should protect your skin from the sun.

Please contact us to discuss the best hair removal treatment for your area of concern.

[Photo by dhannte]