From shaving to waxing to threading, there’s no shortage of hair removal methods on the market today. Unfortunately, many of these methods give you short-lived results and may even leave you with bothersome side effects like razor burn, ingrown hairs or itchiness. That’s where laser hair removal comes in — safe and effective for almost all skin types, laser hair removal delivers thorough, long-lasting results that are much more effective than traditional hair removal methods.
Ready to learn more? Here’s all you need to know about this top-tier treatment:
How does it work?
Laser hair removal works by using light energy to disable hair follicles, leaving you with smooth, hair-free skin. More specifically, a laser emits a light that is then absorbed by the pigment in the hair itself. Once this light energy is converted into heat, it damages the hair follicles within the skin. As a result of this damage, future hair growth is inhibited and/or delayed — you’ll notice these long-lasting results between seven and 21 days after your treatment session. Treatment can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, and you may be left with slight redness that will dissipate on its own within 30 minutes.
How many treatments do I need?
Since hair grows in cycles, it’s recommended that you schedule follow-up treatments to fully eliminate hair and maintain your results for the long term. Most patients need approximately six sessions to achieve their ideal results, but everyone is different — several factors, such as your skin tone and hair color, can affect the efficacy of treatment, so you may need more or fewer sessions depending on your unique attributes.
How long should I wait in between sessions?
Your skin will need time to heal after your hair removal treatment, so it’s important to wait several weeks between sessions. Remember, hair follicles need to be active in order to be treated, and they’re active at different times — by waiting a few weeks before scheduling another session, you can increase the effectiveness of your treatment.
Can I use other hair removal methods in between sessions?
In order for laser hair removal to work effectively, the targeted follicles need to remain intact. Be sure not to pluck or wax the treated area between sessions, since both methods interfere with the hair follicle and the root, compromising the effectiveness of your treatment.
However, shaving before a laser hair removal session may actually improve your results. Shaving helps preserve the hair follicle and hair shaft by only taking off the hair on the skin’s surface. Following your treatment, avoid shaving for at least a few days so your skin can properly heal.
How can I protect my results?
Here are the best ways to protect your newly smooth, hairless skin:
- Avoid excessive sun exposure before and after treatment
- Apply SPF 30 sunscreen when you do go outside
- Do not use tanning beds, sun lamps or tanning lotions
- Avoid body scrubs for the first few days after treatment
- Do not apply lotions with perfumes or fragrances for 48 hours