Laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the U.S., and millions of people have been thrilled with the results. If you’ve considered it, you may be wondering if laser hair removal is right for you. Here’s what you should know.
First, what exactly is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a non-invasive, long-term solution to the problem of unwanted body hair. After treatment, some people will find the hair removal is truly permanent, while others may see a drastic reduction in hair growth in the treated area. The need for shaving, waxing, or other temporary hair removal methods is eradicated or greatly reduced after successful laser hair removal.
It works by using a laser to destroy hair follicles. Specifically, the laser targets the melanin in the hair follicle. You may know melanin as the pigment that turns your skin darker after exposure to the sun or a tanning bed. It’s also found in hair follicles. Because melanin is the target in laser hair removal, the procedure is often more successful at removing dark, coarse hair, and isn’t well suited for removing light or blonde hair.
Laser hair removal is popular with both women and men. Women often seek laser hair removal to take care of unsightly facial hair as well as hair at the underarms, arms, legs, and bikini line. Men often get laser hair removal for their backs and shoulders.
How you know if laser hair removal is right for you
The first thing to consider is whether you’re a good candidate for the procedure. The ideal candidate is someone with fair skin who wants to remove dark, coarse hair. Remember that the laser works by targeting melanin. However, a laser can’t tell the difference between melanin in the skin and melanin in the hair follicle, meaning that tan or darker skinned people need to be very cautious about getting laser hair removal. Remember, too, that coarse, dark hair is better for laser hair removal over light or blond hair.
Another thing to consider is why you want it done in the first place. Some people are simply tired of frequent shaving and waxing and want a long-term solution, and they know that laser hair removal will save them time and money in the future. Others choose it because they’re embarrassed by hair growing in certain places. Laser hair removal for this reason can provide a big boost to a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence.
Finally, ask yourself if you’re willing to commit to it. Laser hair removal requires multiple sessions several weeks apart in order to be successful. For the best results, you need to avoid waxing, plucking, and electrolysis (anything that removes the hair from the root) for six weeks before treatment. You should also avoid tanning beds and stay out of the sun before and after treatment. If this sounds doable, then laser hair removal might be right for you.
Choosing the best provider for the best results
Once you decide to move forward with laser hair removal, go to the most experienced provider you can find. Although laser hair removal is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the country, it’s not without risks. Many Med Spas offer the procedure, but they have no physician onsite and oftentimes the “supervising” physician is simply renting out their medical license and have no experience or expertise in the procedure being performed. It’s best to go to a board certified dermatologist’s or plastic surgeon’s office where you can be assured that the providers have the training and equipment to ensure your safety and the procedure’s success.