Did you ever wonder how much time you’d save if you could skip your routine shaving or waxing sessions and no longer worry about unwanted body or facial hair? You’d be surprised just how quickly those hours standing in the shower with a razor or sitting on the floor with waxing strips add up, but the good news is that there’s a long-term, sometimes permanent solution. Laser hair removal is the fastest, easiest way to achieve drastic hair reduction. It’s a service offered by Laser Skin Solutions Jacksonville in Jacksonville Beach, FL.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
During this treatment, a high-energy laser is used to target the melanin pigment in your hair. The melanin absorbs the laser and, due to the laser’s concentrated heat, the hair follicle is damaged and inhibited from growing for a period of time. This keeps your skin smoother than any other treatment, saving you time and keeping you feeling confident about your body.
We have hair all over our bodies, but depending on our preferences, we might want some places to be smoother than others. Popular areas for hair removal include the face, chest, back, legs, and bikini area. Laser treatment is compatible with all of these areas with the exception of the brow area, which is not treated with lasers due to an increased risk of eye injury even with protection.
Due to the natural growth cycle of our hair, you’ll most likely need a series of treatments to see optimal results. Our hair grows in stages. At different points, some follicles are dormant while others are growing, which makes removing all of your hair in the target area at once impossible. Your treatment plan will take this into account and target each hair as it comes into its active growth stage.
Before your laser treatment, you’ll be able to sit down with your doctor to discuss your target treatment area and treatment plan. You’ll also be able to ask questions about the treatment itself and the equipment used.
Your doctor will give you instructions to follow before your appointment, which you should follow carefully. These often include no waxing or tweezing for 6 weeks before the appointment, arriving to your appointment with the target area clean-shaven, and avoiding harmful sun exposure, tanning bed use, and self tans or spray tans for 2 weeks before your appointment.
Changing a Routine
Continuing your normal hair removal routine with waxing or tweezing before your session removes the laser’s target from the skin, making treatment much less effective. As a rule, avoid any routine that pulls the hair from the skin and stick to shaving for the time before your appointment. Tanning, whether in the sun or on a tanning bed, is also to be avoided, as are fake tanning products. Darkening your natural complexion before treatment can reduce the laser’s accuracy in distinguishing the hair from the skin, which can affect your results.
The Day of the Appointment
On the day of your appointment, you should make sure you have shaved within 24 hours and that your skin is as smooth as it can be. This might seem counterintuitive, but it actually protects your skin from being burned. If your hair is too long, the laser will heat the entire piece of hair and transfer some of that heat to the surrounding area. You should also thoroughly remove any makeup if you’re having hair removal done on your face. Neglecting this step could increase your risk of burns.
During your treatment session, your doctor will use a handheld laser to target your hair follicles, destroying the root by using the high temperature created by the concentrated beam of light. The laser used is gentle, and the machine includes a cooling factor to counteract any heat you may feel from the laser.
Your doctor will press the handheld laser against your skin and use it to treat the entire target area. When the laser is activated, its beam passes through your skin and damages the hair follicles, preventing them from growing new hair for a period of time. Your session will probably fly by thanks to the speed of laser treatment. For smaller areas like the upper lip, sessions can be as short as just 3-7 minutes. Larger areas like legs or back can take up to an hour.
After your session, you may experience mild skin irritation and swelling. This is actually a good sign that tells you the treatment was successful. You can soothe your skin at home with an ice pack if needed. Your doctor will tell you to avoid sun exposure and tanning beds for approximately 2 weeks after treatment. Whether you’re recovering or not, you should always apply sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful rays which can cause accelerated aging, dark spots, and skin cancer.
Other than these precautions, however, you can immediately return to your daily activities with zero downtime, which makes this treatment convenient for every schedule.
You may notice the hair in your treated area shedding over the first week following your hair removal treatment. This is normal, although it may first appear that your hair is growing. You can help speed this shedding process by exfoliating your skin to slough off dead hair and skin cells. Use a loofah or soft washcloth in the shower and rub your skin gently in circular motions, covering the entire area treated. After several days, the shedding will stop and the results of your first session will be visible.
You should be able to feel a difference in the treated area shortly after treatment; your skin will feel smooth and there should be no hair present. If you do notice hair growing soon after your treatment, it’s possible that this hair was part of a different growth cycle. Make sure you tell your doctor this information so that they can target the hair follicles during the next session.
Your skin should remain smooth for approximately 6-10 weeks. Enjoy the freedom of no hair removal routine. Any follow-up sessions depend on the area you treated. For example, the hair on your face grows quickly and could require a maintenance appointment 4 weeks after your first session, while your leg hair grows more slowly, which results in a longer time between appointments. You’ll know it’s time for the next session when you notice fine, lighter hair beginning to grow back in your treated area.
How Often Do I Need Laser Hair Removal Treatments?
Now that you understand how laser hair removal works, you may be wondering how often you’ll need to return for appointments and how long the entire process will take from start to finish. As you read above, the frequency of your appointments depends on the area you’re targeting, but on average patients return every 6-10 weeks for 6-9 treatments to achieve the full results.
Once this treatment plan is completed, you can wait to see your long-term results appear to determine how often you may need hair removal treatments in the future.
There’s no truly permanent hair removal process, but laser hair removal does deliver some of the best results available today. Most people notice the short-term results of the treatment after the first session. Since every subsequent session builds on the success of the previous one, you’ll find that after 9 or 10 completed appointments, your hair reduction journey is nearly, if not already, completed.
Once you’ve finished your treatment plan recommended by your doctor, you can assess the rate of hair growth. For some people, results will last for several months before hair begins to grow back, although the hair is usually lighter and finer than it was pre-treatment. Others report results lasting a few years, and a small percentage experience permanent hair loss in treated areas, although this is rare.
If you wish to maintain your reduced hair, you should prepare to return for maintenance appointments as often as you notice your hair beginning to grow again. Your doctor can always adjust your treatment plan to ensure that you achieve and maintain your ideal results.
Am I an Ideal Candidate?
Laser hair removal is an excellent choice for almost anyone frustrated with the appearance of unwanted hair in most areas on their body.
Skin and Hair Color
Historically, this treatment worked best for those with clearly differentiated hair and skin. Past lasers were able to target dark, coarse hair against light skin. Using these lasers on darker skin or on lighter skin with lighter hair was much less effective.
Today, technology has improved by leaps and bounds, and almost everyone can find success with laser hair removal. Different types of lasers may be more appropriate for different skin tones, so make sure to ask your doctor about which laser or setting is best for you. The only possible exception is for those with fine light blonde or red hair. The melanin in the hair is too light to be detected by most lasers and good results can be difficult to attain. You should talk to your doctor about how well this treatment may work for you if you have light hair.
If you want to get rid of hair between or around your eyebrows, you should consider other hair removal options as lasers cannot be activated that close to your eyes for your own safety. However, all other body areas are able to be targeted by this treatment with equal accuracy and results, making it the most versatile hair removal treatment available for your needs.
Finally, it’s important to disclose any medications you’re taking when you have a hair removal treatment. Antibiotics, for example, can be sensitive to light and could increase your risk of experiencing discoloration if they’re in your system during treatment. Healthcare professionals also recommend that pregnant women postpone this treatment until after pregnancy.
Keeping unwanted or unsightly body hair under control can be a time-consuming, frustrating process. Whatever your normal hair removal method of choice, the results don’t last long enough and it feels like you’re going in circles without attaining the skin you want. With laser hair removal, you can expect to see real, lasting results appear over time. You’ll save time and money by skipping your usual routine and fall in love with the way you feel in your own skin.
Don’t wait to take back the time you spend on hair removal methods at home. Get results that will leave you looking and feeling your very best. If you’re interested in learning more, contact the experts at Laser Skin Solutions Jacksonville in Jacksonville Beach, FL to schedule your initial consultation. We look forward to serving you and helping you meet your goals through our laser hair removal services!