For many of us, shaving has been a regular part of our beauty routine for decades. Despite the recent trend of not shaving, most people still tend to remove body hair. However, shaving can sometimes lead to unpleasant side effects like razor burn and skin irritation. If you’re tired of dealing with these issues, laser hair removal may be a good solution for you. At Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, MI, we offer laser hair removal as a way to manage your body hair.
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
While some people may achieve permanent results with laser hair removal, this is not always the case. However, the long-lasting effects of this treatment are still impressive, and it can help simplify anyone’s personal care routine.
One of the main benefits of this treatment is that it can provide long-lasting results for everyone. The goal of laser hair removal is to reduce the amount of body hair that grows over time, making it easier to take care of your skin and saving you time and money in the long run.
How Long-Lasting Hair Reduction Helps
There are many benefits to reducing hair growth through laser treatment. In addition to simplifying your weekly grooming routine, here are some other benefits you may experience:
No More Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs are a common issue that can be painful and unsightly. They often appear as swollen or painful lumps, sometimes accompanied by infections that look like pimples. Ingrown hairs occur when hairs grow crookedly from the hair follicle, causing swelling and pain on the surface of the skin.
Laser hair removal can help prevent ingrown hairs by zapping the hair follicle and correcting the direction the hair grows from the follicle. Many people choose this treatment specifically to avoid ingrown hairs, especially in sensitive areas like the bikini line.
Laser treatments are often used to tighten, soften, and tone the surface of the skin. One of the unexpected benefits of laser hair removal is that the laser energy used to stop hair growth at the follicle can also help resurface the top layer of skin. This can be especially helpful for people with minor skin concerns like skin laxity, dryness or roughness, or uneven skin tone.
Laser treatments are highly precise, making it an excellent choice for removing hair in small or hard-to-reach areas. It can be challenging to remove unwanted hair by shaving, especially if you can’t see the hair you’re trying to remove. Laser treatment avoids the risk of skin irritation or cuts and nicks from razors.
The precision of laser hair removal is due to the way the laser system is designed. The laser only activates when it senses a color that is darker than the natural pigment of your skin, meaning it only targets your hair, leaving the surrounding skin unharmed.
This is a non-invasive treatment that does not injure the skin’s surface. It is designed to specifically target hair and hair follicles, leaving your skin unharmed. Unlike other hair removal methods like waxing, laser treatment does not strip the skin, and there’s no danger of chemical burns (as with depilatory creams), scabbing, or discoloration.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
To reach your desired results with laser treatment, you can expect to have six to eight treatment sessions spaced about four weeks apart. However, the number of treatments you need may vary depending on your individual hair thickness and growth rate. We can help you determine the ideal number of treatments for you. To maintain your results, you may need additional treatment sessions 10 weeks or so, but this will depend entirely on your unique situation. Many people only need a touch-up treatment once a year or even less.
Missing a treatment session can set you back in your progress, so it’s important to attend all of your appointments during your initial round of treatments. To ensure the best results, aim to have treatment sessions every four weeks. Laser hair removal works by targeting the hair follicles with a laser beam, which damages the follicle and slows or stops hair growth in that area.
Each treatment session will target a certain number of hair follicles, and over the course of several sessions, the majority of the hair in a given area will have been treated. When you miss a treatment session, you miss the opportunity to target and damage a portion of the remaining hair follicles.
How Does It Work?
The laser emits a beam of light that is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle. This light energy is then converted into heat energy, which damages the hair follicle and prevents future hair growth. When the pigment absorbs the heat energy in the follicle, that energy travels down the hair and damages the follicle the hair is growing from, preventing it from growing new hair.
This is because the heat energy damages the cells responsible for hair growth within the follicle, causing them to become weaker and less able to produce new hair. As a result, future hair growth is significantly slowed or stopped altogether.
As your treatment providers, we want you to know that the process for laser hair treatment is both easy and prolonged. It’s easy because you don’t have to do much to prepare or recover, but getting the desired results will take some time. There are a few steps involved in this process, beginning with your consultation.
During the consultation, we will gather information about you, such as your hair removal habits, the rate at which your body hair grows, the thickness and coarseness of your body hair, and your skin type. This information will help us decide if you are a good candidate for this treatment, particularly based on your skin tone. If you are approved for the treatment, and we have created a care plan for the areas of your body you wish to have treated, we will schedule your first appointment.
Preparing for the Day
To prepare for your appointment, you don’t need to do much. We may recommend that you avoid blood-thinning medications for at least five days before your treatment and that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help ensure your comfort during the treatment. It’s essential that you avoid waxing or tweezing the intended treatment area for at least two weeks before your appointment and refrain from using tanning beds.
You will receive instructions to shave the intended treatment area at least 24 hours before your appointment. We may also provide you with additional instructions, such as asking you to arrive at your appointment without any perfumes, powders, or lotions applied to the intended treatment areas. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure that your treatment is as effective as possible.
During the Session
The duration of your appointment depends on the number of areas being treated, typically lasting between 20 and 40 minutes. For instance, if you are having your legs and another area, such as your bikini line, treated, your appointment may only take 20 minutes. In contrast, treating all areas of your body may take around 40 minutes.
One of our skilled aesthetic experts will perform the treatment, using the laser device on your skin to target the majority or all of your hair follicles. Most patients do not experience any significant sensation during this part of the process. Some people compare the feeling to a tanning bed or a snapping rubber band.
After your laser appointment, you should be able to resume most of your normal daily activities as long as they are not too strenuous. It is generally okay to return to work, but using a tanning bed within the first one to two weeks after your treatment is not recommended.
To ensure that you achieve the best results, we will give you a set of aftercare instructions which may include avoiding direct, unprotected sunlight, refraining from picking or scratching the treated area, avoiding waxing or tweezing the treated area, wearing sunscreen with a high SPF when in direct sunlight, avoiding hot water and excessive heat, and wearing loose-fitting clothing for at least one to three days following the treatment. To get the most out of your laser treatment, it’s important to follow these instructions carefully.
Get Smooth Skin for the Long Term
While laser treatments aren’t completely permanent for every person, they are an effective long-term hair reduction method. This popular treatment allows you to have smooth, improved skin effortlessly, without having to worry about constantly shaving, waxing, or plucking, and for months or more at a time. To learn more, contact Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery in Portage, MI today.