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Laser hair removal is a relatively new alternative to more traditional hair removal procedures like waxing, shaving, and plucking. While it has grown in popularity over the last few years, it can still be a bit nerve-wracking to make your first appointment.
If you have questions, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn the basics of laser hair removal.
Who is an ideal candidate for laser hair removal?
Before you even consider making an appointment, it’s important to consider who the ideal candidate for laser hair removal is. Laser hair removal certainly isn’t for everyone, and it’s important to assess both your needs and a few specific requirements:
- You have realistic expectations
- You’re working with a reputable facility
- Your hair is dark
- You want to treat large areas of your body
- You have a moderate pain tolerance
Another important fact to note is that people with darker skin or tattoos are not ideal candidates for this procedure. These lasers, while not strong enough to start a fire, have the potential to burn or damage the pigmentation in darker skin.
How long will my first session take?
The time it takes to complete your first session will vary from patient to patient. In some cases, treating an area like the legs or back can take as little as 30 minutes. In other cases, this could take upwards of two hours. It all depends on your skin type, the hair you’d like to have removed, and the size of the area you’re treating.
How does laser hair removal actually work?
This procedure works by using a concentrated beam of light (the laser) to damage the hair follicles it’s targeting. As the laser moves across the skin, dark hair absorbs the light and each hair follicle sustains damage as a result. Over time, hair follicles become damaged to the point where growth can slow dramatically.
However, not all hair removal is done with an actual laser. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous. While hair removal lasers aren’t anywhere near as powerful as class 4 lasers, which can actually start fires, they’re still supposed to be lasers. Some laser hair removal is performed with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) machines, which don’t actually damage hair follicles. Instead, they damage the hair itself and can’t achieve the same permanent results of actual laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal can be a great way to solve your body hair issues, especially if you have the patience to really get those permanent hair removal results. Don’t worry — you won’t be one of the 27% of people who need to visit an urgent care. Not because of laser hair removal, at least! Now that you have some of the basic info, you should be ready to book your first appointment!