6 Laser Hair Removal Facts You Should Know


How Does Laser Hair Removal Work

How does laser hair removal work and how does it succeed where other hair removal techniques fail? Shaving removes hair by cutting exposed hair while waxing removes hair by pulling the hair out from the root. Laser hair removal, on the other hand, removes hair by targeting the cells at the source. Hair which is made out of keratin, the same protein that is found in our nails, is grown from the hair bulb and is anchored to it by the hair follicle. Cells found in the hair bulb divide and grow to build the hair shaft, more commonly known as the hair itself. A concentrated beam of light at a specific wavelength is pulsed onto the skin and is absorbed by the pigments in the hair shaft, hair follicles and hair bulb. The pigment, called melanin, then absorbs the light energy from the laser, heats up and destroys cells in the hair shaft, hair follicle and even in the bulb.

As an after effect, the hair falls out and the bulb now has difficulty re-growing hair.

  • It Doesn’t PERMANENTLY Remove Hair

Contrary to what laser hair removal salons and glozine lifestyle news and blogs want you to think, laser hair removal doesn’t remove hair permanently. It is categorized as a semi-permanent hair removal technique because the hair still grows after a while.

  • So why bother with laser hair removal?

It may not permanently remove hair, BUT it does make it possible to grow slower especially after several sessions. Most people will find a marked difference in the third session (around 3-4 months after the first session). At first, you will need to go back to the salon every 6-8 weeks and progressively longer after that until such time when you only need to get a laser treatment done once every year as a “booster” treatment. Even then, there will still be hair, but the hair will be the vellus type (thin light and similar to peach buzz) not terminal (the hair on your head), which is the most that laser hair removal can do for you.

  • Believe Your Technician When She Says NOT To Wax or Shave For Weeks Afterwards

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We cannot stress this enough—do NOT wax or shave for weeks afterwards. Some people think they can ignore this advice especially if it was given by a technician instead by a doctor. Waxing, shaving, tweezing and laser hair removal all cause trauma to your skin. Waxing or shaving after treatment can not only injure your still sensitive skin it can also lead to more skin trauma and encourage darkening of the treated area.

So unless you want to spend even more money to now have to deal with skin discoloration, heed what your technician says.

  • Don’t Have It Done During the Summer

In the same vein as above, tanned skin (whether by natural or artificial means) is damaged skin. No exceptions. Blasting your tanned skin with high-frequency beams will signal your body that your skin is under “attack.” In your body’s effort to protect your skin, it will now then produce extra melanin in the area (the pigment has a mainly protective function) leading do uneven skin darkening or even burning.

The ideal time to start a laser treatment regimen is during the fall. It will take around 10-12 weeks for your hair to start becoming sparse and by the time summer rolls in, you won’t need to be undergoing laser treatments as often.

  • Additional Benefit of Laser Hair Removal

An unexpected benefit of laser hair removal is the treatment of unsightly bumps on the skin, especially in the underarm area. Often called “chicken skin,” these natural skin bumps often become a problem for people who want their underarms to be completely smooth. Laser hair removal, because the hair is thinner and doesn’t grow out as much, unexpectedly lessens the appearance of these bumps.

  • Post-treatment Care Tips

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In the same way that you cannot wax or tan before the treatment, you also can’t wax, tan or shave afterwards. Also, because the skin on the treated area can be extra sensitive, avoid taking hot baths, using deodorant or harsh soaps (exfoliating soaps especially those made of alpha hydroxyl or beta hydroxyl acids).

If you had laser treatment done in exposed areas such as the face, arms and legs be sure to slather on sun block to avoid skin discoloration.

Pro Tip: avoid using retinol or tretinoin treatments four weeks before and another four weeks after the treatment. Vitamin A and its derivatives can make skin extra sensitive making it twice as possible for your skin to burn or be irritated.

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