Laser hair removal, as its name suggests, is using a laser to remove any hair that is unwanted. The majority of the process is done with a thin light beam of laser passing through the area of the skin that is being treated. Within the skin, specifically the dark pigment, also known as the melanin and often found in hairs, is targeted. This process literally hits the hair follicle (the root of where the hair grows). The contact results in the hair follicle being destroyed. Usually, this process results merely in a slow hair growth. However, multiple laser hair removal can successfully extend a hair-free period.
The Laser Hair Removal Process
Firstly, a laser device is pressed on the patient’s skin, along with a cooling device that keep’s the health of the rest of the skin well. At this time, the patient wears special goggles to protect the eye from potential laser light that could leak out. When the laser passes through the skin’s surface and to the tiny sacs (hair follicles), the patient will usually feel a sting. Anesthetic products may be applied before the hair removal to alleviate the pain. When the hair follicle is being damaged, an odor of it being destroyed can also be smelled. This same process goes on over the whole treatment area, which can take from a few minutes with small areas to a few hours with bigger ones.
After the treatment, to successfully heal, the patient should avoid direct sunlight. Also, direct contact with the removed area should be avoided. Nonetheless, the patient can quickly go back to his or her daily routines after the removing process.
Preparing for the Laser Hair Removal
Before conducting laser hair removal, a patient must consult a doctor to see if the laser hair removal will work on them. If it is decided that the procedure can successfully be done, photographs from various angles will be taken to correctly identify the area that is to be treated.
If the patient has a tanned skin or has been exposed to a lot of sunlight, the patient will have to wait until the tan is completely gone. It is highly recommended that the patient has short hairs. Also, three weeks prior to treatment, patients are told not to use hair treatment products such as gels and waxes.
Downsides with Laser Hair Removal
The biggest factors with the laser hair removal operation are the hair color of the patient and his/her skin type. Results show that the removal is most successful on people with dark hair and light skin. So, the treatment rarely works on those who have white, blonde, red, or even light brown hair.
Further potential downsides include, as already mentioned above, an incomplete removal of the hair (follicle). Also, the treatment can result in hyper pigmentation, which is when the skin becomes darker. This is usually a temporary effect, but in rare occasions can become a long lasting or even potentially, a permanent condition. Also, a direct opposite can also occur, known as hypo pigmentation.
Results show that the laser hair removing process can reduce hair from 20 to 90 percent, results can drastically vary depending on the person being treated. Not to forget, to successfully and completely conduct a laser hair removal, multiple treatments are necessary. Usually this process takes anywhere from six to eight weeks to achieve the desired effects and results, and then an additional few weeks of periodic maintenance treatments. Of course, during this time, the patient can freely go on with his or her daily schedule.