a photo of a woman lying out in the sun in a bikini

How Permanent is laser hair removal?

One of the unfortunate facts of life is almost everyone has unwanted hair. The good news is you can get rid of these undesirable hairs. One treatment destroys the hair follicles and only requires a few minutes of your time. You can eliminate cuts from razors, burns from waxing and the pain caused by tweezing. This has become possible through a process called laser hair removal. This is one of your best options for eliminating unwanted hair once and for all. Since this procedure received approval from the FDA in 1997, more than six million treatments have been performed all over the world. As the treatment has become more accessible, the popularity has skyrocketed. A recent survey revealed approximately sixty percent of all individuals between 18 and 29 are interested in having this procedure.

No matter what part of your body you have excess hair, this procedure can help. Your hair follicles can be destroyed in only minutes. The laser uses highly concentrated energy and pulses of light to target and destroy the hair follicles without pain. The energy from the laser is drawn to the pigment contained in the hair. This is similar to the way darker clothing attracts the sun. In the past, this procedure was only effective for people with a fair complexion and coarser, dark hair. Due to the improvements in technology, there are now lasers available capable of providing good results for people with darker skin or lighter hair. There are a wide variety of lasers currently available for numerous types of skin and hair color. Since each individual is different, every procedure is customized.

The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for hair removal is to schedule a consultation and ask the medical professional. During your treatment, you may feel a slight snapping sensation but it is not painful. This is simply the pulse of the laser. For the first one to three weeks after your session, the hair you had treated will fall out. You will need multiple treatments but you will see results after your first procedure. This means your first treatment will be effective. After every session, less and less hair will return. Finishing all of your treatments is extremely important because this will ensure the best possible permanent hair reduction. This is the reason for the popularity of laser hair removal in Michigan. Your skin will be smooth and silky all year long without constant maintenance.

Your medical professional will choose the best laser for your hair color and skin tone. This provides a lot of versatility for effectively treating nearly every individual interested in hair reduction. Although lasers for treating individuals with dark hair have been around for a long time, there are now lasers able to treat individuals with gray, blonde and red hair as well. During your consultation, the medical professional will determine which is the best laser for your needs according to your hair color, skin type and skin sensitivity. This will help ensure your procedure is effective and your result is smoother skin with less hair.

A lot of individuals have confused lasers with IPL. It is important to understand IPL or intense pulsed light is not the same as a laser. Although IPL is effective for many different cosmetic procedures, a laser is much faster and safer for hair removal. Although you will see lasers on the market for home use, they are not recommended for several reasons. First and most importantly, many of these lasers can be dangerous. Second, this type of procedure should only be performed by a medical professional. Lastly, the FDA has classified this type of device as cosmetic as opposed to medical. This means these devices do not receive the testing or scrutiny necessary to determine safety. No long term studies have been conducted to determine either efficiency or safety. Your best option is to have your laser hair removal in Michigan performed by a professional to ensure you are safe and will receive optimal results.

The Procedure for Laser Hair Removal

The technical name for this procedure is SPTL or selective photothermolysis. This means the light emitted by the laser is sent through the pigment contained within your hair follicles. During this process, the light is converted into heat which damages the bulb and the hair follicle. This is what triggers the hair to fall out while preventing the hair from growing back. The only way to be certain the procedure has reached every hair is through multiple sessions. Your hair grows in different phases. The laser has to catch your hair in the right phase to be effective. As your hair cycles through the different phases, the laser will target these hairs until all of the hairs in the targeted area has been treated. This is the reason multiple treatments are necessary. 

After every session, you will need to allow between one and three weeks for the treated hair to fall out and disappear. In most instances, between six and eight treatments in each area are necessary to get rid of your unwanted hair permanently. You should have your treatment performed by a skilled medical professional with experience in the area of hair removal. This will help make certain your treatment is performed efficiently, safely and correctly. You should also have a consultation with a medical professional before you have your treatment. This is when you will find out if this is the right treatment for you. You can also ask any questions about the procedure you may have. In most cases, the medical professional will ask you questions about your medical history and any medications you are currently taking. 

You will need to tell the medical professional if you have ever had any type of hair removal procedure, if you have ever experienced a skin disorder and about any scarring. You will also talk about what this treatment is capable of, your expectations and the benefits you can expect to receive. Photographs will be taken for an assessment after your treatment. You will be given instructions to prepare you for your treatment. You will need to follow these instructions because they are important. The most common preparation includes:

  • If your skin is darker or you have a tan, the medical professional may write you a prescription for a cream to bleach your skin. Do not use any type of cream that may darken your skin.
  • You should shave and trim the targeted areas the day before your treatment. This eliminates the possibility of hair above your skin being burned but your hair shaft under your skin will still be intact. 
  • You will need to avoid exposure to the sun for approximately six weeks prior to your treatment. You also need to use a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen on a daily basis.
  • Do not use any medications to thin your blood prior to your procedure such as anti-inflammatory drugs or aspirin. 
  • You should not have any type of hair removal performed before your treatment including electrolysis and waxing. This can disrupt your hair follicles. These methods must be avoided for a minimum of four weeks prior to your procedure. 

You will most likely need two to six sessions. The length of time between them is determined by the location of the hair. If the area has a faster hair growth like your upper lip, you will schedule your next treatment in four to eight weeks. If the hair growth is slower like on your back, your next session will not be for twelve to sixteen weeks. You will be given special goggles for your treatment so your eyes are protected from the laser beam. If necessary, the targeted area will be shaved. A topical anesthetic will be used to stop you from feeling any pain during your treatment. The actual laser is a handheld device the medical professional will hold against your skin. If there is not a cooling tip on the laser, your skin will be protected using a cool gel. 

Once the laser has been activated by the medical professional, the beam of the laser passes through the skin to the follicles of hair. The heat from the laser is intense enough to inhibit hair growth by damaging the follicles. You will feel the cool sensation of the cooling gel or device during this time. Only a few minutes are necessary for the treatment of a smaller area like your upper lip. Larger areas can take in excess of one hour. During your treatment, the pigment in your hair will absorb the light from the laser. This is when your hair follicles responsible for producing new hair are damaged by the heat from the light energy. This will either delay or eliminate new hair growth. 

Between your sessions, you need to avoid both tanning beds and natural sunlight for approximately six weeks. You also need to use a good sunscreen with a broad-spectrum every day to protect your skin. You hair will not immediately fall out after your laser hair removal treatment. This will happen gradually over the next few days and weeks. Multiple treatments will ensure your hair follicles will be treated while in the new-growth stage. This is critical for optimal hair removal. Some individuals see results lasting for months while others last for years. When you hair eventually grows back, it should much lighter in color and finer. To help ensure hair reduction for the long term, you may need to have maintenance sessions. This is an extremely effective option for removing unwanted hair for long periods of time. 

Until fairly recently, the procedure was only considered safe if the individual had light skin and dark hair. This was because of the way the pigments were targeted by the lasers. Newer technology has enabled the medical professional to match the individual’s skin tone and hair color with a specific laser. This is yet another reason why having your treatment performed by an experienced medical professional is so important. This will not only ensure your treatment is safe, but your results will also be much better and more permanent. When your treatment is performed correctly, there are incredibly few side effects. All of them are minor. Some individuals experience a little redness on their skin after the procedure. This does not happen to the majority of individuals who have this treatment and any redness will naturally disappear with a couple of days. 

The Benefits of Laser Hair Removal in Michigan

Some individuals have this procedure for cosmetic reasons while for others it is a matter of good hygiene. No matter what your reasons, the popularity of this treatment is due to the numerous cosmetic and medical benefits. This procedure has been performed across the globe since 1997. Both men and women have realized this treatment is an effective, safe and permanent solution for removing unwanted hair. The treatment has even received approval from the FDA for the consistent ability to decrease the growth of hair over time. Some of the best benefits of this treatment include:

  • The Ability to Target Hair in the Growth Phase: The growth of human hair occurs in three different stages. These are the anagen, catagen and telogen stages. When your treatment is provided while your hair isin the anagen or growth stage, your results will be the most effective. During laser hair removal, a beam of light is focused on your hair follicles. The transformation of this light beam into energy is what your hair’s natural pigmentation will absorb. Your hair follicle is heated and burned at the root by the energy to prevent the hair from growing back. This results in smooth, hair-free skin. 
  • Saving Valuable Money and Time: The traditional methods for removing hair are tweezing, shaving and waxing. The problem is all of these methods require time. This can be difficult to find when you are in a hurry. Since this treatment often becomes a permanent solution, you will not have to keep wasting your valuable time removing hair. You will also be saving money on regular treatments, razors, shaving creams, shaving gels and wax. You will discover your hair becomes finer, lighter and sparser with every treatment. You can wear anything you want without having to constantly look for stubble or find the time to remove the unwanted hair before you can get dressed. Wearing certain clothing according to where you have stubble will become nothing more than a distant memory. 
  • No More Pain: If not done correctly, waxing can lead to painful skin irritations, rashes and scalding. Shaving frequently leaves cuts and nicks behind. Tweezing can result in odd-looking bumps. One of the best benefits of this treatment is it will not leave a mess or any stickiness behind. You will not have to be concerned about prickly stubble or ingrown hairs appearing by the time your day ends. You can have this procedure in numerous different areas including your face, legs, bikini area, underarms and arms. A lot of men have shown off their amazing tattoos or incredible abs after having this procedure. You can even eliminate any ingrown hairs you had prior to your procedure quickly and easily. 
  • The Speed of the Treatment: Another great benefit is you will not have to spend much of your valuable time when you have a treatment. Numerous areas approximately the size of a quarter can be treated by the laser in a large area of your skin in just a few minutes. If you are targeting your upper lip, you entire session will only require about one minute. Even some of the larger areas like your legs or back can be treated in about sixty minutes or less. If you are targeting your bikini area, you only need to allow about twenty minutes for your session. The areas you had treated should be permanently smooth and silky to your touch after three to seven treatments. 
  • A Painless and Safe Procedure: The reason your treatment is safe is that only your pigmented hairs are touched by the light beams. This means your skin around the area remains untouched. Despite all of the benefits of this treatment, one of the best is you can say goodbye to the pain of waxing. Even if you have sensitive skin, the topical anesthetic should keep you comfortable during the procedure. 

Get in Touch with Us for More Information

When you think about all the benefits associated with this treatment, it makes sense to have this procedure to rid yourself of unwanted hair. Your treatment is safe and effective. You should not experience any downtime after your session. The small amount of time required for you sessions comes back to you every morning when you do not have to shave or wax before getting dressed. To learn more about having permanent laser hair removal, please feel free to reach out and make an appointment with Southwest Michigan Plastic and Hand Surgery. At our convenient locations in Portage and Battle Creek, Michigan, our caring and dedicated team of professionals will be pleased to explain this option in greater detail and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!


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