For men and women who want long-term hair reduction, laser hair removal is the ideal treatment. The procedure directs laser energy at the pigment in the hair to heat the active hair follicles, so they produce no hair.
While nearly any area of the body can be treated, several sessions are needed to reduce hair, as hair growth occurs in phases. The laser only targets active follicles, so each session will target hair during a different growth phase.
Candidates for Laser Hair Removal
Both men and women can benefit from laser hair removal. Common treatment areas include:
- Ear lobes
- Bikini lines
Most people can benefit from laser hair removal as long as they have some pigmentation to their hair. The laser targets pigment, so hair removal is most effective for those with dark hair and light skin. It’s also best for those with realistic expectations. A series of treatments is required, followed by maintenance treatments over time to achieve the best results. Patients should be committed to the idea of removing unwanted hair. As time goes on, the interval between maintenance sessions gets longer.
Once the target areas have been determined, you will have your first treatment. Typically, a topical numbing cream is applied beforehand. The treatment itself has often been described as the sensation of a snapping rubber band. More delicate areas of the body may be more sensitive, but most people do quite well with their treatments, and feel that the outcome makes the process worthwhile.
What can I expect after treatment?
Because the skin around the hair follicles is impacted during treatment (to disable the follicle), it is typical to experience some redness, swelling and itching around the target areas. Some report tingling and numbness, as well, but these side effects are almost always resolved within three days. After the first session, you will want to schedule follow-up treatments to get the optimal benefit from laser hair removal.