If you’re fed up with constantly shaving, waxing, or plucking to get the silky-smooth skin you’re hoping for, laser hair removal could be just the right solution for you. At Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine in Dothan, AL, we specialize in providing the most up-to-date solutions for modern health and cosmetic concerns, including hair removal.
Laser Hair Removal FAQs
Are My Results Permanent?
Laser hair removal is not permanent, and the only completely permanent solution acknowledged by the FDA is electrolysis. Electrolysis is much more time-consuming, painful, and expensive than using a laser, however, so for most people, it’s not the best option.
Instead, you can consider laser treatments as a permanent solution. They will reduce hair growth to the point that you will likely never need to shave again. You can enjoy silky-smooth skin without the need for daily shaving or the worry that you might have missed a spot!
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
One of America’s most popular cosmetic treatments, laser hair removal goes to the root of the problem rather than dealing with just the hair itself, as shaving and waxing do.
Concentrated laser light energy travels down the hair and delivers a blast of heat to the follicles, damaging the follicles so they are unable to grow hair as they used to. In some cases, they will never be able to grow hair again. Some follicles will eventually start to grow hair, but it will be lighter and thinner than before and easily addressed with a touch-up maintenance treatment.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
Most people need between six and eight treatments to get the best results, but everyone is different. Some people get their results in just three treatments. Others can need 10 or even 12 to get there.
It all depends on where your hair follicles are in their growth phase at the time of treatment, the type of skin you have, and the color of your hair. People with darker skin and those with fairer hair will usually need more treatments than those with light skin and dark hair.
How Long Does a Session Take?
How long your treatment sessions take depends on several factors, the most important being the size or number of areas you want to treat. As you can imagine, a treatment that targets just the upper lips or the underarms will be much shorter than one which treats the whole legs or back.
How Long Must I Wait Between Sessions?
You will need to wait at least four weeks between each treatment session. This allows more of the hair to cycle into the active growing phase, where it can be treated much more effectively by the laser.
What Areas of the Body Can Be Treated?
The good news is that almost all areas can be targeted! Wherever you have unwanted hair–except for right around the eyes–can be treated with laser removal.
Most commonly, people seek hair reduction on the upper lip and other areas of the face, on the neck, on the legs and bikini region, or for the back, chest, or underarm areas.
It’s Painful, Right?
Older laser and IPL treatments for unwanted hair could hurt significantly. They felt much as if someone had pulled a thick rubber band as far back as it could go and then released it at your skin! Fortunately, things have changed.
For one thing, numbing creams can keep you comfortable. For another, today’s advanced lasers use special cooling technology to ensure your comfort. This will not be anything like as painful as hot wax hair removal treatment, for instance. Additionally, the more treatments you have, the finer your hair will become, meaning each session will be shorter and more comfortable than the last.
Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
There are two types of people who tend to worry about whether laser hair reduction is the right move for them: men and those with darker skin.
In the past, laser hair treatments couldn’t work well on darker skin. The laser presented a risk of burns to the skin and didn’t work well on the hair. With the modern lasers we use, we can treat a much wider variety of skin tones and hair colors.
Hair treatments are also for men. Men are as likely to have hair in places they don’t want as women are and recourse only to the same unsatisfying options, like shaving. It’s common for male bodybuilders to seek laser removal to enhance muscle definition, for men with thick beards to thin them out to make shaving easier and reduce the likelihood of razor burn, and for men with excess body hair to have it removed.
What Are the Benefits of Laser Hair Removal?
While it’s impossible to absolutely guarantee that no hair will ever grow in your target area again, you can be sure that you’ll see long-lasting smooth skin. Instead of checking every day for stubble and re-growth, you’ll be able to relax knowing your skin is hair-free.
Our state-of-the-art lasers can be precisely targeted to reach every area where you want your hair gone. When you seek professional treatment, you can rest assured knowing we will not leave any areas untouched.
These treatments are fast and convenient. Even if you’re having a large area done, you’re not likely to spend more than a couple hours over the course of four months getting it taken care of. At first, even a couple of hours may sound like a lot, but when you compare that to the amount of time you spend shaving, you’ll realize how quick it is.
The average woman spends nearly 85 days out of her life shaving, and the average man about 76. In the course of a year, assuming you spend five minutes a day shaving, you’ll spend 30 hours total getting rid of the hair you don’t want to see. If you can have it all finished in three to five hours, why wouldn’t you?
How Should I Prepare for Treatment?
About six weeks before your first appointment, it’s time to stop any hair removal practice that will actually remove hair completely. This includes waxing, plucking, and epilating. The laser needs a target to reach the follicle, and that’s what this treatment provides. Don’t worry–there’s no need to let your hair grow out for six weeks! There’s no problem with shaving as often as you like. In fact, you’ll get the best results if you shave the day before your treatment.
It’s also a good idea to stay out of the sun for a few weeks and protect your skin with a good sunscreen when you do go out. This keeps your skin in the best possible shape before you start treatment. Other than that, there’s really nothing you need to do. We’ll remind you of these things and let you know about anything that might be specific to you when you come for a consultation.
What Can I Expect During Treatment?
When you come in, we’ll help you get comfortable. If you haven’t shaved the treatment area, we’ll take care of that. Then we’ll calibrate the laser to match your hair removal target area and the thickness of the skin there. We’ll also calibrate to match the thickness and color of your hair and your skin tone.
You can also expect to wear some eye protection, and your laser hair removal professional will be wearing it, too. This is out of an abundance of caution, to make sure the eyes are protected. As the laser goes over your target area, you may feel warmth, but you should not feel discomfort.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
Once your session is over, you can expect to feel normal. There are no extensive requirements for downtime or recovery. You can go back to nearly all your normal activities, though you should treat your skin with a little tender loving care for a few days. This just means you should protect it from the sun (or tanning beds, which also give off dangerous UV radiation) and moisturize as normal.
Over the next few weeks, the hairs that were treated will slowly shed. At first, this could look much like regular hair growth. The difference is that most of the hair won’t be coming back. If any hair does grow back, it will be finer and slower to grow. This usually indicates that a follicle wasn’t in the active growing stage when you had your treatment, meaning it wasn’t able to absorb a full dose of heat.
Why Does It Take a Couple Sessions to Get It All Done?
As mentioned above, you get the best results when the laser works on actively growing hair. At any one time, many of your hairs are in either the shedding or the dormant cycle, meaning they aren’t efficiently hit by the laser. The next time you have a treatment, more of those hairs will be growing, and the laser will be able to target them more effectively.
What Are the Hair Growth Phases All About?
The hair on our bodies grows in three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The growing phase, anagen, lasts between four and six months for body hair but can be as long as two to seven years for the hair on your head. The amount of time that your hair tends to stay in this phase dictates how long your hair grows, which is why the hair on your head must continually be cut while you never have to do that with the hair on your arms.
After growing for a while, your body hair will then move into the catagen phase, where growth slows. This takes about two months for body hair but only 10 days for the hair on your head. Finally, your hair will move into the telogen, or resting, phase. This lasts about three months for all your hair.
It’s Time to Get Rid of the Hair
It’s never been easier to get rid of unwanted hair. It’s also never been more comfortable and convenient. There’s no need for you to live life always worrying about whether there’s some stubble before you put on a swimsuit or getting out into the sun, only to find you missed a spot with shaving.
If you’re ready to be done with the hamster wheel of endless hair removal, visit Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine in Dothan, AL today and set up a consultation to speak with one of our professionals. We’re experts at laser aesthetic treatments, and we can’t wait to put our expertise to work for you.