Throughout human history, people have burned, scraped, tweezed, waxed and shaved away unwanted hair in pursuit of smoother skin. However effective these methods may be in the short term, they can irritate sensitive skin, and they also allow the hair to grow back. Today, we have laser hair removal – a more technologically advanced method of hair removal that promises a long-term solution to unwelcome body hair.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal has become one of the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedures in the nation. It works by directing targeted pulses of light into hair follicles. The pigment in the follicles absorbs this light, which causes damage to the follicles that slows future hair growth – all while leaving the surrounding skin untouched.
Since this procedure targets the melanin in hair follicles, it is most effective for people with lighter skin and darker hair, although advanced technology has now made laser hair removal an option for individuals with darker skin tones. Though laser hair removal is effective for anywhere on the body, the most common areas where people request treatment include their legs, underarms, upper lip, chin and bikini line.
Advantages of Laser Hair Removal
Lasers come with many advantages that make them a go-to option for removing undesirable hair.
● Accurate: Lasers can precisely target dark, coarse hairs, destroying them at their root while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
● Fast and effective: Though each pulse of the laser takes less than one second, it can target many hair follicles at the same time. Small areas such as the upper lip take less than a minute, while larger areas, such as the back, may take as long as an hour. If you are used to regularly waxing or shaving to remove your naturally coarse, dark hair, laser hair removal can save you time in the long run.
● Great results: Most laser hair removal patients see long-term results after an average of three to seven sessions, though results can vary. You may also need occasional touch-up treatments to maintain results after completing your initial series of hair removal appointments.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
The cost of laser hair removal treatments can vary widely, based on factors such as the number of sessions you require, the size of the area you are getting treated and the time it takes to complete each treatment. We will be able to give you an accurate cost estimate after evaluating you in person. We also have special hair removal packages available.
Tips for Getting Ready for Hair Removal Treatment
Though laser hair removal is a relatively quick cosmetic procedure, that doesn’t mean there’s no need to prepare beforehand.
In the six weeks leading up to the treatment session, you should avoid getting other hair removal treatments, including waxing and plucking. Why? Because these techniques involve temporarily taking out the roots of the hair, which need to be in place during the laser treatment, so the laser can target them.
Sun exposure makes the results of laser hair removal treatment less effective, and can lead to risks and complications after treatment, so you will also need to be careful to stay out of the sun as much as possible for six weeks before each appointment.
During Your Laser Hair Removal Treatment
On the day of your laser hair removal treatment, you may wish to take an over-the-counter painkiller about 30 minutes to an hour before your appointment to help manage any discomfort you might feel during the treatment. Though many people say laser hair removal is less painful than other methods such as waxing, everyone has a different tolerance for pain during the procedure.
To prepare you for the procedure, your technician will trim the hair in the targeted treatment area to a few millimeters above the surface of your skin. Your laser technician will customize the settings on the equipment based on your skin tone and the amount, color, density and location of your unwanted body hair.
Next, they will apply a gel that serves two purposes: protecting the skin and helping the laser light penetrate more effectively. As a final pre-check before treatment, the technician will target the treatment area with a pulse of the laser and observe the area for a few minutes to make sure they have the right settings on the laser device and that your skin is not having an adverse reaction. During your treatment, you and your technician will need to wear special eyewear to shield your eyes from the laser light.
If you are experiencing any discomfort at the end of your treatment, you can ask for ice packs or a soothing cream to help you manage it. Depending on the size of the treatment area and the amount of hair you are hoping to remove, you will most likely require a series of several laser sessions spaced four to six weeks apart.
After Your Laser Hair Removal Treatment
For the first couple of days after your treatment session, the treatment area will appear red and feel tender and warm, much like if you had gotten a sunburn. To soothe it, you can apply a topical moisturizer such as aloe, or a cold compress, if you desire.
Other potential side effects of laser hair removal include temporary skin irritation or redness, blistering, swelling and scars. The treated area of your skin may also become darker or lighter, but permanent changes in skin color are rare. You should be diligent about applying sunscreen to the target area to help prevent skin discoloration.
After completing each of your treatment sessions, you will notice your treated hair falling out gradually over the next month until you have achieved your desired results.
The Best Laser Hair Removal in Atlanta
At the Atlanta Institute for Facial Aesthetic Surgery, we have invested in the most state-of-the-art laser hair removal equipment to deliver safe and effective results to all our patients who are seeking a long-term solution to unwanted body hair. As one of the most advanced facial plastic surgery centers in Atlanta, we are proud of our ability to help our patients with a variety of surgical and non-surgical techniques to help improve the quality of their lives and give them the results they have always wanted.
Contact us today to schedule your laser hair removal consultation.