What is the laser hair removal process and is it permanent?
What is the process of removing hair with an at-home IPL laser and is it permanent?
To some extent, it is debatable as to whether the laser hair removal method is permanent or not.
As much as many people like to think it is permanent, IPL laser hair removal is not permanent but more seen as the longest lasting hair removal method you can use to prevent hair growth.
It serves as an excellent option for those who would want to try out new methods of removing body hair for a very long period, making it seem permanent.
Laser hair removal works by merely exposing the hair follicles to heat, this way, new hair is prevented from growing. The hair follicles then go dormant and fall out.
What this means - this hair removal method is seen as the longest lasting method to prevent hair growth.
Instead of permanently removing your hair, the laser process helps to reduce unwanted and abnormal hair growth, while giving rise to new hair growth which will be smoother, lighter and far fewer. And this takes the hair months to grow back and become thick again. Studies have shown that this method works best on persons with a lighter skin tone and darker hair.
How does this work?
The laser hair removal process works primarily with high heat laser beams used in the form of gentle non-harmful radiation.
When the process is started, the beams are heated, and slight damage occurs to your hair follicles.
Follicles are responsible for the production of new strands of hair in different parts of the body, and when these follicles are damaged or destroyed; it means the growth of new hair is temporarily stopped.
Other known methods of removing hair such as shaving, waxing and tweezing only remove hair temporarily because they do not deal with the follicles.
Once the follicles are hit, the cycle of hair development is paused. According to the ADD, laser hair removal can be used for the following areas including chest, back, neck, shoulders, bikini line, as well as the face (except for the eye area).
The hair removal process is a quick process(compared to other hair removal techniques). Smaller portions like your upper lip can take a couple of minutes, while larger parts like your back or chest can take an hour or more.
Some people experience a bit of pain, we suggest that you apply a local anesthetic before the procedure. There have been many successful laser hair removal processes, but please note that your hair follicles will ultimately heal. To get the most satisfactory results, you will need to have numerous treatment sessions. So if you do experience a bit of discomfort it's simple logic to prepare for a laser hair treatment and a treatment session at the same time.
Why is the treatment process important?To get the most satisfactory results from your laser hair removal, you must also follow through with your treatment sessions. Everybody is different but we suggest to do at least 12 sessions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people might need about 8 to 12 treatment sessions to get back in shape. This period will also need to be spaced out by four to six weeks each. That means it can take you over six months to get your treatment therapy wholly done.
Apart from the treatment sessions, you also need to have maintenance sessions at intervals. After the first six months, you might need a maintenance session once or twice in a year. You should also note that the timeline is dependent on the area of the treatment. If its a small area that you are treating then you would not necessarily have to do it every month.
The laser hair removal treatment is not in any way permanent, but it is still one of the most reliable ways to stop hair growth for a very long time. There are many other options to remove hair including depilatories, shaving, and hair removal cream but as you know they have major side effects and can be extremely time-consuming.
Medically reviewed by: Jennifer Taylor (Somatology)