Laser Hair Removal - The Long lasting solution to unwated hair
We all know how frustrating unwanted hair can be. Some of us want bikini-ready bodies, including clear and smooth legs. However, some ladies are self-conscious about a visible moustache or chin hair.
Some men would also prefer to have less or no back or chest hair. Hair removal is a desire for many people, and laser hair removal has made this desire easy to fulfil and provides a longer-lasting result than other options like shaving or waxing.
How does laser hair removal work?
Laser hair removal works by the laser emitting a concentrated light (of a specific wavelength and pulse duration) that removes the hair. The light from the laser gets absorbed by the melanin in your hair. In turn, the laser light gets converted into heat.
The heat breaks down and destroys the hair-sacks follicles. The laser doesn’t damage the surrounding skin as the skin does not absorb the light. The damage to the hair follicle delays or stops the hair from growing.
More than one session of laser hair removal is required for optimal results as hair grows in a cycle, and some hairs in a resting phase will still grow after the first couple of treatments. Therefore, the number of required sessions can vary from eight to twelve sessions.
The potential problem with laser hair removal is pretty apparent. If hairs don’t have much melanin (the pigment in hair and skin), they will not absorb the laser’s light particularly well.
People with darker skin will also find that laser hair treatment is not as effective for them as the higher levels of melanin in their skin causes less absorption by the hair.
High contrast between skin and hair, specifically light skin and dark hair, provides the best canvas for effective laser hair removal. Some progress has been made to improve laser hair removal for people with darker skin. This progress includes IPL machines that use a longer wavelength.
Is laser hair removal effective?
The effectiveness of laser hair removal treatment depends on several factors: the wavelength of light used. Shorter wavelengths are the most effective and hold the highest possibility of side effects.
The skin can become irritated, and you might see red and raised bumps on the skin after treatment, but it usually goes away after a couple of hours. You might also experience skin pigmentation, especially if you don’t avoid sun exposure before and after treatment. However, this side effect is not permanent and disappears after a time.
The longer wavelength of light is usually used on darker skin because its longer wavelength penetrates deeper into the skin and is not absorbed as well by the melanin in your skin. The decrease in absorption means that people with dark skin can safely undergo laser hair removal without running the risk of severe side effects like scarring, burns and pigmentation.
The hair removal might not be as effective as the shorter wavelengths, but it is a good option for people with darker skin.
Is the hair removal permanent?
Regardless of the wavelength used for hair removal, the process does not permanently remove hair. However, you can lower hair density and temporarily remove hair with just a few laser treatments for many months. With more treatment, more hair can be removed, and you can experience hair-free skin for a very long time.
When the hair follicle is heated, it stops new hair from growing and puts the hair follicle into a dormant state for an extended time. This extended period can add up to several months, and when the hair does eventually grow back, it is lighter and more delicate.
Over time and with repeated treatments, the number of hairs that grow back will also decrease. The different factors that influence the effectiveness of laser hair removal have already been mentioned, but to recap. Laser Hair Removal treatment success depends on the IPL machine's power, skin and hair colour, and hair thickness.
Can laser hair removal be done at home?
The simple answer to this question is yes. As a result, a lot of effort has gone into producing laser hair removal devices that are safe to use. One such is Bareskin’s laser hair removal device. This IPL device is a straightforward machine that you can use at home.
As with laser treatments in a treatment facility, you will need more than one session with the device to see significant results, and maintenance will need to be done every 4 to 8 weeks. However, this is far less of a hassle than shaving every day, and it is far more budget-friendly than visiting a treatment facility.
The same factors that limit hair removal therapies also limit the at home devices - the larger the contrast between light skin and dark hair the more effective the treatment with the at home device.
Jennifer Taylor noted that we at Bareskin also suggest that people with dark skin not use the device as there is not enought melanin in the skin, while people with red, light blond and grey hair shouldn’t use it as there is not enough melanin in it the hair.
Finally, when using something like the Bareskin hair removal device, carefully follow the instructions to avoid unwanted side effects or complications.
Laser Hair Removal vs other hair removal methods
Laser hair removal is one of several hair removal methods available. Each hair removal method has its advantages and disadvantages. Let us discuss:
Laser Hair Removal Advantages:
- Laser provides Long-lasting Results. This is a fact: laser provides long-term reduction of hair growth after a few treatments.
- The laser is precise. Laser technology allows for accurate targeting of specific areas. In essence, you can choose a body part and target it.
- The laser works well for those with ingrown hairs. Laser hair removal can help reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs.
- The laser works well in removing hair but also significantly affects those with acne and blemished skin. Continuous shaving or waxing can sometimes lead to skin irritation. Laser hair removal can contribute to improved skin texture and less acne.
Laser Hair Removal Disadvantages
- Laser hair removal can be costly. Visiting a Laser hair removal clinic every week can be rather expensive. That said, purchasing an at-home laser hair removal device is a fraction of the price of visiting a clinic.
- You may need multiple sessions, depending on your skin and hair type. The darker the skin, the longer the laser hair removal device works.
- Waxing removes hair from the root, resulting in smoother skin for a longer time.
- Waxing has long-lasting results: Hair regrowth is slower compared to shaving.
- Waxing = Extreme pain. Suppose you have used waxing before; you will know about the extreme pain when you rip the hair follicles from your skin.
- Waxing caused ingrown hair. Ingrown hairs cause acne boils and are just not fun.
- The chemicals in wax are not the best for the skin. It can cause skin irritations and redness for weeks after a waxing session.
- Shaving is fast, convenient and efficient. Almost every person in the world has used a shaver at some stage. Shaving is known to be quick and very easy to find.
- Shaving is a painless hair removal method. If you do it in the correct fashion, you will not experience any pain.
- Shaving is temporary. Men and women can grow back their hair within a few days after using a shaver.
- Shaving can cause ingrown hairs. As mentioned earlier in the article, ingrown hairs cause significant inflammation. You can even have to use medication or see the doctor to get rid of ingrown hairs.
- Shaving is known to cause skin irritations. Most people experience irritations after a shaving session. Red skin or acne-prone skin becomes inflamed.
Final ThoughtsGetting hair removal treatments are a good solution for getting rid of our unwanted hair, whether you are male or female. The treatment has been around for a long time.
For the most part, it is very safe, and the side effects that you might experience subside and disappear quickly. What’s even better is that we can administer this treatment in the comfort of our own homes. While the treatment doesn’t remove all hair until the end of our days, it significantly improves the density of hair, and new hair that grows back is less visible as it is more delicate and lighter.
Medically reviewed by: Dr. Walters (MD)