Is there a better way to remove unwanted hair? Shaving is time-consuming, and can lead to nicks & cuts, razor burn and thick stubble. Waxing is painful while plucking and electrolysis are slow forms of torture. A more modern and popular method to get rid of hair is the use of laser for hair removal.
The procedure is simple and much less painful for the removal of unwanted hair on the body and face. A trained technician or doctor momentarily applies a laser to the skin and "zaps" the hair follicles. Within a few days, the treated hair is gone.
It takes multiple treatments to get smooth skin. Individual treatments can last from a few minutes to a couple of hours depending on the size of area, density of the hair follicles and the underlying skin-tone.
Each strand of hair grows from an individual hair follicle, a tiny gland within the skin where the root is attached. Laser hair removal works by rapidly heating the darker hair follicle while leaving the surrounding tissue virtually untouched.
The procedure is relatively painless. It takes multiple treatments to achieve the desired results as hair must be treated in its mature stage.
Laser hair removal treatments can be performed on any body part including the arms, legs and bikini area of both men and women. Popular areas for women include the upper lip and for men, the hard-to-reach areas of the back.
Treatment can be safely applied to all body parts but most doctor-supervised clinics will refrain from treating the eyebrows as the eyes are susceptible to laser light.
Since every person has a different skin-type, the results will vary. For most people, results can last for a few months while some may see a permanent hair reduction.
The results differ from person to person since the laser parameters need to be matched to an individual's skin type. A skilled practitioner will tweak the exposure to compensate for the differences.
Even though home laser hair removal treatments like the Tria laser are available, a trained technician or doctor will have years of experience to make the procedure as successful and as comfortable as possible. Their services include:
Compared to other hair removal methods, laser hair removal is not nearly as painful. Once the skin is in good condition (i.e. moisturized, no lesions or sun damage), the hair is first trimmed to an optimal length for the laser. This is usually done by the clinician and is included in the treatment.
The laser only heats the small hair follicles and not the surrounding tissue so the patient doesn't feel as much pain as some other methods like waxing.Some patients have described the momentary feeling of 'being snapped by a rubber band'.
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER) was discovered in the 1950's by Bell Labs for use in communications. The light can be precisely tailored to a specific color (wavelength) and brightness (intensity) to which the hair follicle is sensitive.
Laser hair removal was experimental in the 1970's. It was noted how laser light only heated the darker hair follicles of the skin and left the surrounding lighter-colored tissue untouched.
After 20 years of trials, the technology has matured into an accepted dermatological procedure for permanent hair reduction. Commercial clinics have opened in every city since the approval of laser hair removal machines by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1990's.
Customers should do their research before undergoing treatment. Even though the procedure has been permitted by the FDA, laser hair removal clinics are not regulated in the US or Canada.
The actual laser equipment is certified but the technician doing the procedure does not have to be formally trained. That's why the treatment is available at both a dermatologist's laser hair removal clinic but also at local beauty salons.
Similar to electrolysis for hair removal, users should learn as much as possible about the clinic, the doctor or technician performing the procedure, hair removal issues, and potential scams before deciding on a clinic.
Using a laser for hair removal is not a new procedure but for many people, the first time can be confusing and unnerving. Read more to understand the technology and how it can work for you.