Are you curious about laser hair removal? Thinking of getting the treatment for yourself? And doing your research? There are a lot of myths about the procedure out there. As well as many facts that you may not know about. That laser treatments are not that expensive for example. Below are 5 things you probably didn’t know about laser hair removal.
You do not need to let the hair grow out
Laser hair removal is not like waxing. Your hair does not need to be long. It does not need to have grown back. Simply because it does not target the hair itself, but the pigment within.
When you go for a wax, both the hair and the root are removed. The point of the procedure is to actually remove the root. So you do need hair to achieve that. And thus, you need to wait for your hair to grow back.
Because the thing is, it takes some time. Up to six weeks. Imagine how annoying when half of your hair grows faster than the other? Yes, it is inconvenient.
But you cannot do anything about it. Because if you wax the hair that grows back sooner, you will have to do it for the other half of your hair soon enough. And you might be stuck in that vicious circle. Especially if you do not wish to have your hair on display in the summer.
Laser hair removal, however, does not have that problem. Sure you will initially have to stop waxing altogether. But you do not need long hair for a session to produce good results. It is actually quite the opposite.
Long hair would actually reduce the efficiency of the treatment. And might increase risks of burns and scaring. You need to shave before each session. The laser will be able to target the hair pigment in the follicle.
Laser hair removal is unexpectedly inexpensive
There is one big myth about laser hair removal. It is that the treatment is very expensive. Well, so you know, it is not. The upfront cost may seem high. However, what you need to focus on is the long term.
Look at shaving. You’d need to shave every other day. And buy razors, cartridges and shaving cream. Plus, you will never experience hair growth reduction. Thus, you will probably have to pay for years and years.
Waxing? Sure, it contributes to hair growth reduction. Just a bit. In the very long term. After waxing for years. However, waxing costs a lot. In the long term that is. At least $100 per appointment if you do the full legs, Brazilian, underarms and upper lips.
Imagine the cost after all those years. It is probably a lot. Laser hair removal, on the other hand, allows you to save a lot of money in the long term. Because it is a one-off treatment.
You pay upfront for your initial treatment. You may need touch-up sessions here and there. However, because it damages the hair follicle, no new hair grows. Thus, you are rid of your body hair for good.
Then, you will not need to pay for more treatments. Conclusion? Laser hair removal is cheaper in the long term than any other hair removal option.
Results show after a few sessions
Laser hair removal is a procedure that requires multiple sessions. Each session must be six weeks apart. This is because of the hair growth cycle.
Indeed, laser hair removal only works when the hair is in the anagen phase of growth. It is the only time the hair and follicle connect. Any other stage, the energy cannot get to its destination. The thing is, only 20% of all hair is in the anagen phase of growth at any point in time.
Thus, one session can treat up to 20% of your hair on the treated area. That is why you need several sessions. After three sessions, you can hope to have treated at least 50% of unwanted body hair.
Thus, you will see a significant hair growth reduction after three sessions. You may see good results after the first session already. Indeed, the hair will start to shed a week or so after. Yet, it is after a couple more sessions that the best results start to show.
Even after four to five sessions, most hair will be gone. Following sessions will mostly help treat patches of hair and lonely hair still showing.
Laser treatments are suitable for all skin complexions
Another big laser hair removal myth? It does not work on dark skin. Wrong. It does. With the right laser machine and the right wavelength.
The ideal candidate has fair skin and dark hair. Indeed, the laser targets melanin. Thus, a sharp skin-to-hair contrast makes it easier to pick up the hair. However, laser hair removal works on all skin tones.
Patients with dark skin should be treated with diode or ND: YAG lasers. The wavelength that is safe and effective is 1064nm. This is because it is a wavelength that does not rely too much on melanin to get through to the follicle.
What about blonde or ginger hair? Redhead and blondes usually have fair skin. Here, it is the opposite problem. There is no skin to hair contrast because both are lacking pigmentation. However, they can still be treated.
First because not all blonde hair is very fair. Some patients have dark blonde hair. Second, because the right laser machines will not rely too much on melanin to get to the follicle either.
People with blonde or ginger hair should be treated with the 755nm wavelength. However, people with white or grey hair will not see results. Indeed, both completely lack pigments to target.
You cannot wax or tweeze between sessions
Remember when we said that you do not need to let the hair grow out between sessions? It does not mean you should remove it. You can, but not by way of waxing, plucking or tweezing.
Waxing and its alternatives remove the root along with the hair. Thus, there is nothing left in the follicle. The thing is, laser hair removal needs a hair to target. A hair that still sits in the follicle. Even if it is short or shaved.
Thus, if you wax, you take the risk that the hair has not grown back on time. If it did not, it cannot be targeted. Hair that was waxed can take up to 6 weeks to grow back. And be in the right stage.
If you wish to remove remaining unwanted body hair between sessions, you can shave. Although you should wait at least 10 days after your session, shaving will not affect the results of your next treatment.