Dealing with facial and body hair can be irritating and it sometimes seems that no matter what you do, it just keeps coming back. For those who are tired of waxing, shaving, plucking and tweezing, laser hair removal is a fantastic solution. With advances in technology, this procedure has become more accessible, more affordable and more efficient at removing unwanted hair than before. In fact, suitable candidates report a 90% permanent reduction in hair growth in the treated areas, showing just how effective laser hair removal can be.
Finally getting rid of your unwanted body and facial hair can be a welcoming thought. However, it’s important that you take some time to fully understand what laser hair removal involves so that you understand the process and know what to expect. Laser hair removal has seen an increase of 52% since 2000 and accompanying its rising popularity are a whole host of questions and concerns from people who want to know more about this highly-effective, non-invasive, often life-changing, therapy.
Continue reading to learn more about laser hair removal, how it came to be, what is involved in the therapy, what you should expect at the clinic and everything else you need to know.
History Of Laser Hair Removal
The desire to remove unwanted body hair is nothing new in humankind. We know that Ancient Egyptians had tweezers made from seashells, pumice stones and even sugar-based waxes to remove body hair. In the Roman Empire, less body hair was a sign of class leading the wealthy to use an array of tools such as razors made form flints, creams and stones to keep themselves hair-free. Nowadays, however, technology has come along way from the days of the Pharos of Egypt and the Roman Emperors.
Developed in July of 1960 by American engineer and physicist Theodore Harold ‘Ted’ Maine, the very first Ruby laser, designed specifically for hair removal, was slow and not very effective. The device was capable of minimizing hair growth but at the cost of burning and damaging the skin. In the 1970s the first Alexandrite laser was produced and, though these were much safer than the original ruby lasers, they did not provide enough heat to eradicate hair follicles.
In 1975, Dr. Thomas B Fitzpatrick, a dermatologist from Harvard, created the Fitzpatrick Scale, which changed the world of skincare. The scale classifies skin color and is used to this day to measure degrees of skin cancer risk and also to identify the candidacy of laser hair removal candidates. With this development, hair removal specialists could continue to develop lasers that would target the hair follicle safely and without damaging the skin.
Targeting the hair follicle using a new approach of pulse duration, allowed scientists to create a laser that could safely and effectively be used for hair removal in 1983. In 1997, the FDA approved the use of hair removal lasers for permanent hair reduction and people across the United States and the world have been enjoying effective hassle-free hair removal ever since.
Nowadays, with further advancements in technology, laser hair removal has become much more affordable and accessible to the general public. Improved laser technology means that patients with a range of both hair and skin types can use laser hair removal to deal with their unwanted hair so they can feel more confident and self-assured.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal works by focusing a concentrated beam of light on the hair. This light is absorbed by a pigment called melanin which hair follicle to heat up, damage the follicle and slowing down growth or decreasing the density of the hairs. Depending on the individual, the part of the body and a range of other factors, the hair removal can last anywhere from a few months to a few years. For best results, multiple sessions are typically recommended but again this will vary from client to client depending on skin type, hair type the rate of growth, frequency of sessions and the area of the body being treated.
Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
Generally speaking, laser hair removal is not very painful and the vast majority of clients do not have any issues with the treatment. You will experience some sensation on your skin, which could be equated to anything from a gentle pinch to the snap of a hot rubber band against your skin. Each individual’s pain threshold is different and so each client will have his or her own experience in this regard.
Is it Permanent?
Laser hair removal is the most effective hair removal solution on the market today. However, different people experience different results, depending on a number of different factors such as skin color, hair color, treatment area, and gender. Laser hair removal is not a permanent solution and, depending on the individual, the hair could begin to regrow anywhere from a few months to a few years from the date of treatment.
However, it’s important to understand that each time the hair grows back it will be approximately 20% thinner after each appointment. After receiving multiple treatments over the course of time, the treated area will effectively be hair-free as any hair that regrows will be negligible. Any hair that grows back will be noticeably finer, less dense, and can even be a lighter color. And, any regrowth you might have can be easily managed with touch-up treatments every six to twelve months.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?
Some people might be worried about the safety of laser hair removal and whether or not there might be any side effects from the treatment. The good news is that laser hair removal is FDA approved since 1997 and is definitely to be considered a safe treatment. A handful of patients may experience transient redness and swelling after treatment or slightly pink skin or small red bumps on the treatment area but these minor symptoms tend to resolve themselves in one to three days.
As with any cosmetic treatment, it’s always best to seek out a reputable and experienced technician with a good track record to ensure they know how to handle the equipment properly and can get you the best results possible.
How Much Does Laser Removal Cost?
The price of laser hair removal varies from clinic to clinic. Just like many other beauty treatments, you often will get what you pay for, so it’s important that you find a clinic with an stellar reputation. The major factor in terms of cost is how much surface area you are having treated. For example, a laser hair removal session for your lip will be much cheaper than having your legs treated.
Visit our homepage for our competitive rates.
What Happens in a Session?In each laser hair removal session, a technician will greet you and you will have a brief discussion about the treatment. Before beginning the treatment, your hair will be trimmed down to just a few millimeters above the surface of the skin. Once the hair has been trimmed back, the technician will adjust the laser to ensure that it is calibrated for your hair type, skin color and the location you are having treated.
Normally, both you and the technician will wear protective eyewear. The areas around the treatment area will also be treated with a cool gel to keep the outer layers of skin protected and to allow the light from the laser to operate more effectively.
With the laser calibrated, the technician will usually test the area for a few minutes to gauge if there will be any unexpected reactions. When the area is completed you will receive ice-packs to help with any swelling you may experience, and lotions or anti-inflammatory creams to assist with any discomfort you may have.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
The number of sessions required varies from one person to the next. What type of hair you have, how thick it is, the color of your hair and your skin type and color all come into play. In addition to this, the area you are having laser hair removal treatment on will also have an impact on the number of sessions required. In some areas of the body hair grows faster and the collection of hair follicles is denser. These areas typically need more sessions.
How To Prepare For Laser Hair Removal
You need to shave the area you are having treated 24hours before your session. This needs to be done in order to remove the surface hair and allow the technician to see the hair follicle clearly to target it more accurately. If you shave immediately before your session, the technician might find it difficult to see precisely where the hair follicles are on your skin. It’s also a good idea to wash your skin just before visiting the treatment clinic and be sure not to use any oils, creams or lotions after you wash.
Do I Need to Do Anything In Between Treatments?
Between treatments, there’s not very much you need to do. Just be sure to apply sunscreen to the area after your treatment and try to avoid any excessive sun exposure to the area. You should also remove any hair growth that occurs between sessions by shaving and avoid waxing, tweezing or threading. Before coming in for your next session, you should prepare as outlined above to ensure you are ready for your treatment when you arrive at the clinic.
Are There Different Kinds of Lasers for Different Types of Skin?
There are four main different types of laser that are most commonly used depending on your skin type and color. Your laser hair removal technician will advise you as to which is the best choice for you.
- Ruby Laser
For many technicians, the ruby laser is the go-to tool for light hair removal tasks. As the oldest hair removal laser, the Ruby laser has quite a high rate of melanin absorption, which makes it ideal for the treatment of very fair skin types.
- Diode Laser
A Diode laser is very effective with both light and dark skin. This laser emits both short and longer wavelength allowing deeper penetration of the hair follicles. The Diode is the best choice for patients with fair to medium skin.
- Alexandrite Laser
The Alexandrite laser is the fastest laser type. This laser is used most effectively for treating larger areas of the body due to its increased spot size and repetition rate. It works best with complexions ranging from light to olive.
- ND:YAG Laser
With the ND:YAG laser, treatment can be administered safely on all skin types, including tanned skin. However, compared with other lasers, this model is less effective on light or fine hair and is considered the best option for dark skin types.
What Type of Laser Hair Removal Machine Is Right for Me and My Skin?
Deciding which type of laser is best for you and your skin is best discussed with your laser technician. With their experience and knowledge, they will be able to determine the best type of laser for your particular requirements. However, the above list should give you an idea of which kind of laser will be best suited to your skin type.
How Long Until I See The Results?
Laser hair removal works best when the hair is in its active growth. As different parts of the body have different growth rates, the length of time it takes to see results can vary depending on the area of the body you are treating. While the amount of time required to see results will depend from patient to patient, generally speaking, most people will require about six treatments to see lasting results. However, this depends on the individual and should be used as a guideline.
Ensure The Best Possible Outcome From Your Laser Hair Removal Treatment
Laser hair removal is a very effective solution for many people in dealing with unwanted hair, finally removing it for once and for all. Being informed as to what is involved in the process, how you need to prepare and how to take care of yourself after treatment will help you to get the best possible outcome from your treatment plan.
Get in touch with Angela on (480) 560 7059, or by email at [email protected], to schedule an appointment or consultation for your laser hair removal treatment today. With more than ten years of experience as a laser technician, you can be sure you will be in safe hands at Valley Laser Care.