Many people consider laser hair removal as an "easy" and semi-permanent way to rid themselves of unwanted hair. But consider this - the results are not immediate and it takes a number of treatments before skin is left smooth and silky and hairless, as most people want. Just how many treatments for laser hair removal are necessary depends on a couple of factors.
Generally, it can take between 4 to 8 treatments to get maximum results. However, non-medical practitioners are allowed to give treatment in salons and they may not be trained to use the proper settings. Any oversight on their part may cause skin damage, excessive pain or an increased number of treatments. However, the price of using a dermatologist may be too high for many people.
The laser for hair removal works best on skin that is light in color. Darker or tanned skin can still undergo the procedure but the power of the laser needs to be reduced. Less power means there's less chance of skin damage but more frequent sessions which will increase the overall cost of treatment.
The darker the hair, the better the results. Brown and black hair will conduct the energy down to the hair follicle where the heat will zap the hair producing cells. The darker the hair, the more effective each treatment will be and fewer number of sessions. Laser treatment on grey hair, red hair, or blond or fair hair won't be effective since those colors tend to reflect the laser light instead of absorb it.
Before 'going under the laser', patients fill out a questionnaire with the technician or doctor so that they can determine the type of laser (wavelength of the light) that should be used and the duration of exposure. For most people, the longer the wavelength, the less chance there is for skin damage.
Thin hair tends to transmit the most amount of laser energy down to the follicle. An experienced technician will be able adjust the laser for hair removal to account for thicker hair.
The number of treatments necessary depends in part on how good the technician is at setting the laser parameters.
How many treatments for laser hair removal depend on the type skin and hair. It is the responsibility of the clinician or doctor to determine the best technology to use which will maximize results and minimize the number of treatments (and cost). But above all else, patients should spend the time and make the effort to find well-trained individuals before undergoing treatment - treatment will be more effective, and more affordable, too!