Laser hair removal is an amazing thing. I really think that. And even though it’s not permanent, a lot of efforts are put into make it permanent.
Another area where advances are made concerns the skin and hair type that a person must have in order to undergo treatments.
As you well know, it’s still valid that only people with dark hair and fair skin can opt for this method but there is professional equipment designed for other skin tones, too.
How it Works
A device attacks multiple hair follicles at a time with pulses of light. Those pulses of light damage the follicles, stopping hair regrowth for about 2 years.
Besides laser, there is also IPL (intense pulsed light). Those two are highly similar, only a technicality sets them apart. Laser uses coherent and monochromatic light, while IPL equipment uses non-coherent light over a range of wavelengths. Other than that, everything is common, from results, percentage of growth reduction, pain and side-effects.
One of the most important things that you need to know is that before undergoing laser sessions, you need to shave your hair and shave it as close to the surface of the skin as you possibly can if you want to get good results, without feeling too much pain or a greater discomfort.
That’s true for in-between sessions, to. Only shaving is permitted, neither waxing nor epilation.
How Effective Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal can be performed by a specialist or at home, thanks to specially designed kits for home usage. Both options lead to similar results – massive reduction in hair growth.
Laser can be described as long-term hair reduction, up to 90% growth reduction on some areas. Usually, the results last for about 2 years.
After enough sessions you might be so lucky as to have up to 90% of hairs not growing back for about 2 years.
Even a 60% or a 75% growth reduction is wonderful. It means that you only have to remove a small percentage of hairs for the next few years. You can do that by shaving, using an epilator or waxing, that’s your call.
The number of sessions needed depend from person to person as well as the growth reduction that you will experience.
6 sessions are usually standard because hair grows in 3 cycles so you should perform 6 treatments to make sure that you have attacked a big percentage of hair follicles.
However, you might end up needing more sessions for getting as high as 90% hair reduction.
After that, there are maintenance treatments. Once every 6 months or once a year you should do another session. And that’s basically how laser hair removal works, whether done in a beauty salon or at home.
At home, usually, it will take up to 30 minutes per leg, up to 10 minutes for the underarms and up to 8 minutes for the bikini area.
The average cost for laser hair removal is around $235 for each session. Obviously, it depends on the country you live in and on the beauty salon that you choose.
At home IPL devices can be as affordable as $200, up to $300. You pay only once for the device and after that you only buy the cartridges. A cartridge can last for even 2 to 3 whole body sessions.
Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?
For some people, laser is not painful, whether it’s an at-home kit or a professional device. Others describe the sensation as a discomfort, as an intense heat.
For others it’s not a discomfort, not a wave of heat, but pure pain.
The most common side-effect is getting red burns on the skin, similar to sunburns.
You can use ice packs to reduce the swelling and the redness and even if you leave it be, in two days’ time all that redness will pass and your skin will be smooth and beautiful.
The most serious side-effects are acne and skin discoloration.