The Ins and Outs of Laser Hair Removal: How It Works and What to Expect

Unwanted body hair can be a source of frustration and self-consciousness for many individuals. Shaving, waxing, and plucking are laborious, painful methods that typically yield fleeting outcomes. That's where laser hair removal comes in. This popular cosmetic treatment uses concentrated beams of light to target hair follicles and permanently reduce hair growth. But how exactly does it work? 

Understanding the Technology

Laser hair removal works by using a specific type of laser called an Alexandrite laser. This laser emits a concentrated beam of light that is absorbed by the pigment in your hair follicles. The heat from the laser damages the follicle, inhibiting future hair growth. The lasers used in this treatment are designed to target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed.

Preparing for Treatment

Before undergoing laser hair removal, there are a few important steps you should take to prepare for your session. First, avoid any form of hair removal that removes the root of the hair (such as waxing or tweezing) for at least six weeks prior to your appointment. This ensures that there will be enough pigment in the follicles for the laser to effectively target them. It's also recommended to avoid excessive sun exposure before treatment as tanned skin can increase the risk of side effects.

The Treatment Process

During your treatment session, you will be given protective eyewear and may also have a numbing cream applied to minimize discomfort. The technician will then use a handheld device to deliver quick pulses of light onto targeted areas of your skin. You may feel some slight discomfort or a snapping sensation during this process, but it is generally well-tolerated by most individuals. The length of each session will vary depending on the size and location of the treatment area.

What to Expect after Treatment

After your laser hair removal session, you may experience some redness and mild irritation in the treated area. This is normal and should subside within a few hours. It's important to avoid any activities that may cause excessive sweating or friction on the treated area for at least about a day after treatment. You should also avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen regularly to protect your skin as it heals.

Number of Sessions Needed

While laser hair removal can provide long-lasting results, it's important to understand that multiple sessions are usually necessary for optimal results. This is because hair grows in cycles, and not all hairs will be in the same phase at the time of treatment. After completing your initial treatment plan, occasional maintenance sessions may be needed to maintain results.

Learn more from a clinic near you, like Pennington Med Spa.