Laser Hair Removal: Benefits, Side Effects, and Cost

Laser hair reduction is a permanent way to diminish unwanted hair growth, without shaving, waxing or plucking. After several treatments hair growth is delayed, and when it does grow back it’s finer and lighter in color.

Unlike older lasers, fourth generation long wavelength 1064 lasers are less likely to cause prolonged redness or pigment changes (rare, maybe 2 or 3 cases in a hundred).

No shaving

Unlike shaving or waxing, which only remove hair to the point where it is no longer visible, laser therapy permanently limits future hair growth. It is also safe, quick and pain-free.

The laser energy is absorbed by the pigment in the hair and hair follicle, and is selectively targeted without damaging delicate pores and other skin structures. Each pulse of the laser is only delivered for a fraction of a second, and the body reabsorbs the damaged hair roots.

Shaving, waxing and depilatory creams only remove the hair, but not the underlying hair follicles. These follicles are known as terminal follicles and produce dark, terminal hair in the future. CoolGlide(tm) laser treatment uses the longest, most deeply penetrating wavelength and special cooling to maximize the number of hair follicles killed with each session.

After the CoolGlide(tm) laser hair reduction treatment, you will notice that your hair re-grows thinner and lighter. Please refrain from shaving, plucking or waxing regrowth for 12-18 days* until you can see how well the treatment has worked. This will help ensure the best results possible for your long-term hair reduction goals.

No waxing

After laser hair removal, you should avoid waxing. Waxing can cause ingrown hairs. It also removes the pigment from the hair and can make laser treatments less effective. Ideally, you should wait a few months before waxing again. During this time, your hair will enter the anagen phase, which is when it grows most actively.

If you do wax, your esthetician should use an all-natural product like Epilfree. It is an all-in-one permanent hair reduction treatment that removes unwanted body hair, reduces the growth of new hair & leaves skin soft, smooth & free of ingrown hairs, razor burn & redness. It works on all Fitzpatrick skin colors & can even be used to remove fine vellus hair (peach fuzz) that lasers aren’t effective on.

Before your appointment, take a break from any skincare products that exfoliate the skin. These can include retinols, prescription acne medications and oral acne medications. A dermatologist or esthetician can help you decide when it’s safe to wax again. You should also avoid sun exposure after your appointment because the sun can darken your skin and make laser treatment less effective.

No plucking

Unlike waxing, plucking and tweezing, laser energy is passed directly through the skin to reach the pigment in hair roots and destroy them. The body then reabsorbs the destroyed hairs. Hair regrowth is usually lighter and finer than before treatment.

It is important (if you want to get the most benefit from your laser sessions) not to wax / sugar or use EpiLady-type pluckers for SIX weeks before treatment. This is because these activities remove the pigmented part of your hair follicle, making it harder for the laser beam to find and destroy them.

Shaving is permitted, however. It is also a good idea to have all areas of unwanted hair shaved before your first laser treatment session. If you have a lot of hair above the surface of your skin, it will absorb laser energy and waste it, so shaving is the best temporary way to remove excess hair before treatment. It is also fine to dye or bleach hair, as the laser beam only targets hair roots. However, it is a good idea to wait until after your treatments are completed before bleaching again.

No electrolysis

If you have had laser or light based hair removal treatments it is best to wait until the area has completely healed before having electrolysis. This is because electrolysis will interfere with the healing process.

It takes a series of electrolysis sessions to achieve permanent hair removal. The treatment modalities vary but all equally destroy the hair growth cells that cause unwanted hair. A qualified electrologist works one hair at a time and will design a treatment plan based on your personal consultation.

During an electrolysis session a fine sterile probe is inserted into the natural opening of the hair follicle alongside the papilla. A minute amount of current is discharged which destroys the follicle resulting in permanent hair removal. There are three different treatment modalities that an electrologist may use. The first two never cause scabbing the last method (Galvanic) does cause small scabs which can be irritating on sensitive areas such as the bikini line.

Unlike other temporary hair removal methods, electrolysis is the only truly permanent form of hair reduction. For more information on electrolysis please contact us at Beautiful You By Christine.

No tweezing

Unlike traditional hair removal methods like shaving, waxing and plucking, laser hair reduction removes unwanted hair permanently. It also helps reduce the appearance of bumps caused by shaving or waxing. It’s an excellent option for men and women who are tired of shaving, plucking and waxing, or tweezing their unwanted hair.

Laser and intense pulsed light treatments can only treat hair follicles that contain pigment, so light coloured or blonde hair will not be successfully treated. Similarly, the skin needs to be darker than the hair in order for treatment to work, as dark pigment absorbs the laser or pulsed light energy more effectively.

It is important to have protocols and procedures that clearly set out how treatment will be delivered including the laser or pulsed light settings for different skin types. These are essential if the therapist is to provide safe and effective treatment for their clients. Protocols should also identify conditions, drugs or circumstances that will contra-indicate or reduce the effectiveness of the treatment and advise when referral to a medical practitioner is appropriate.