The Truth About Laser Hair Removal

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Our Beauty Technology Expert Explains Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to get rid of unwanted hair on almost all parts of the body. Our hair grows in several phases: growth, regression and resting. During a laser treatment, the laser light is attracted to the melanin in the hair that is in a “growth” phase and disables that hair follicle. Since other hairs will enter this active growth phase at different times, several treatments may be necessary to disable all of the hair follicles in a given area. Although every person is different, and everyone’s body responds differently to laser treatments, most individuals experience a 70% - 90% reduction in unwanted hair after 6 treatments.

The treatment itself is usually relatively painless, depending on the area treated and individual tolerance. Most people experience few side effects. The most common is slight redness and swelling around the hair follicle. This usually subsides within hours after a treatment. In rare instances, blistering may occur.

Cosmetic laser technology has advanced rapidly during the last several years and there are many safe lasers on the market including the Intense Pulse Light (IPL), Diode and Alexandrite. If you have darker skin, the NdYAG laser is probably your best bet in terms of safety and effectiveness. My recommendation to any individual interested in laser hair removal is to schedule consultations with a couple of providers. Make sure that the laser being used is FDA approved and that the individual administering your treatment has been trained and is experienced in laser use. Also ask for a “spot test” on an inconspicuous area of the body to see the effectiveness of the laser and how your body responds to the laser before proceeding with any treatments.

photo: © Ekaterina Solovieva
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