There are several modern non-invasive cosmetic procedures that are popular nowadays and laser treatment for hair removal is one of the most commonly-used techniques today.
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light (laser) to remove unwanted hair. In this process, a laser is used to emit a ray of light that is absorbed by the pigment of your strands. The light energy that is administered to the surface is converted to heat, and this damages the tube-shaped sacs found within the hair follicles. This helps restrict hair growth in future.
So, is laser hair removal permanent? This procedure is effective to inhibit hair for growth for prolonged periods though it does not help in permanent hair removal. A series of treatments might be required which have to be supported with supplementary procedures. This treatment is most effective for individuals with lighter skin and darker hair but others could also experience the benefits.
Benefits Of Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is extremely effective in the removal of hair from the leg, arm, chin, back, bikini line, underarm and other areas as well. So, a number of people seem to have the same question ‘is laser hair removal safe?’ Well, hair removal is largely safe as it is an extremely accurate process and has several advantages:
Precision and accuracy: This process can specifically target coarse, dark hairs without damaging the skin in the adjacent areas.
Speed: This is an extremely fast process as each beam of the laser can target several hairs at the same time. While smaller areas like the upper lip can be attended\ to in a matter of minutes larger areas like the back and legs could take more than an hour.
Efficacy: A continuous sequence of treatment sessions extending from 3-7 could be very effective in removing your hair permanently.
Laser Hair Removal Process
The hair removal process is quite elaborate and demands some preparation to ensure a smooth and convenient process. Since the procedure involves certain risks, it would be prudent to check the credentials of the doctor who will be responsible for the procedure.
Also, since different people could have different problems and expectations, it would be advisable to discuss the same with the doctor before you proceed with the treatment. So, if you should stop plucking, electrolysis and waxing at least 6 weeks before treatment and only restrict yourself to shaving. The laser focuses on the hair roots that have been temporarily removed by waxing or plucking.
Make it a point to keep sun exposure to a minimum of 6 weeks before and after treatment. This is because exposure to the sun creates problems in hair removal and increases the possibility of complications in the recovery process.
Also do not use tanning products at least 3 weeks before treatment and make it a point to exfoliate the area to remove all residues.
Before the procedure is initiated the hair that will be treated will be trimmed to a few millimetres above the surface. A topical numbing machine will then be used to 20-30 minutes before the procedure is started to minimise the severe impact of the laser pulses. Necessary changes will be made to the laser equipment by taking the thickness, colour and location of the hair being treated. Adjustments are also made taking by taking note of the colour of your skin.
You will also need to use eye protection depending on the source of light or laser colour being used for treatment. A special cooling device or cooling gel will be applied to the outer layer of your skin to protect it from the rays and this will also help the laser penetrate your skin smoothly.
The technician will then do a laser test initially to ensure that your skin does not adversely receive the rays' impact and check for your reactions. This is also done to ensure that the equipment is in perfect working order.
After the procedure is completed, you will be given cold water, ice packs, lotions and anti-inflammatory creams to reduce the discomfort and make your recovery process more convenient. The next treatment can be scheduled after 4-6 weeks. The treatments will continue until the hair finally stops growing.
Once the laser treatment is administered you will feel that the treated area has been sunburnt and it will also look like you have been out having a good time in the sun. You might have to take the help of moisturizers and cool compresses.
You need to follow your schedules diligently as your hair follicles are all at various stages of growth, so you want to make sure that each one is removed completely, you need to be regular with your treatment. If you stop, however briefly, your hair will be on the way back.
Do not go to the gym at least a day or two after treatment as the laser stays in your skin for a minimum of 24 hours after treatment. Also do not use the gym, hot tub or sauna as they offer optimum conditions for bacteria to multiply.
Laser Hair Removal Cost
The cost of laser hair removal treatment in India varies ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000 per session. This is because the procedure of treatment also depends on the skin type of the patient, hair density and texture, causes of hair growth which ultimately decides the type of laser that will be used and of course the experience of your doctor & the facilities available at the clinic that you decide to choose.
In most cases, the dermatologist will make a specific division of the areas of your body that need to be treated and thereby zero down on the number of sessions you will require for the total procedure. Areas such as the chest will require more time than other sections like the pubic region. The doctor will then be in a position to give you a consolidated package.
The color of your hair makes a difference in the total cost of hair removal. The pigment of your hair absorbs the energy of the laser if it has a darker tone than your skin. Blonde or reddish hair will require a significant number of sessions for hair removal.
Always look for a professional who is well-versed in the finer details of the procedure and is updated with all the technological advancements of this process.
Side Effects Of Laser Hair Removal
A lot of people are worried about laser hair removal side effects. Though laser hair removal is a relatively safe process, some people might experience the following side effects.
- Redness And Swelling: Some people might experience a certain amount of redness and swell around the affected area, quite similar to waxing. However, a topical anaesthetic might be applied by the doctor before starting the procedure to minimize the effects.
- Pigmentation: Certain individuals might notice a change in skin tone from lighter to darker or vice versa but these are temporary changes and are easily reversed.
- Blisters And Scarring: People with darker complexions could develop blisters but such cases are extremely rare. So, people with darker skin need to take extra care. The doctor will in most cases use a less intense laser for people with darker skin tones. You could also experience redness, swelling or scarring. However permanent scarring or changes in skin colour would be considered extremely rare.
- Hair Growth: Sometimes the patient might experience excessive hair growth in the region where the treatment has been applied.
Hair removal is not suggested and indeed not possible on the eyelids, eyebrows and adjoining areas because of the possibility of injury.
Laser hair treatment is also not recommended during pregnancy as there are no facts to establish that it is safe during this time. Sometimes women experience increased hair growth in the stomach and breast regions after pregnancy. However, no treatment is needed for this as it falls out on its own in due course.
At times, the light from the laser could also stimulate specific types of finer hair, also known as vellus hairs, into growth by the light from the laser.
People who have tanned skin should ideally wait until the fading of the tan as in their case the pigment absorbs the light from the laser thereby reducing the efficacy of the treatment.
90% of people report success in their permanent hair removal procedures but on occasion, fluctuating hormones can lead hair to grow back. This might necessitate quarterly or half-yearly top-up treatments to ensure that the hair does not grow again.
While laser hair removal is largely a complex procedure and if done competently is a convenient experience for most, some precautions have to be taken. A detailed discussion with your doctor is a must before you undertake the procedure. For more solutions to your hair problems, we suggest that you start with the Traya hair test for a detailed analysis and our experts will be happy to assist you towards an early resolution of your hair problems.
Q1 - Does Laser Remove Hair Permanently?
Ans - Laser treatment does not guarantee permanent hair removal. Hair will grow back and probably in a lighter and finer form. You might need constant and repeated interventions to ensure that the hair is removed permanently.
Q2 - What Are The Negatives Of Laser Hair Removal?
Ans - Laser hair removal is essentially a very safe process but on rare occasions, it could cause crusting, blistering, or scarring and certain changes in the texture of your skin. Sometimes you might even experience greying of hair or more hair growth around the areas where the laser has been applied but such cases are few and far between.
Q3 - Is Getting Laser Hair Removal Worth It?
Ans - Laser hair removal is a relatively expensive process and if you find shaving, waxing, or tweezing cumbersome and inconvenient, this could be one procedure you can opt for.
Q4 - How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Really Last?
Ans - Most patients need between 2-6 laser treatments to remove the hair. The hair does not appear for several months and could extend to years. Even after it grows there is relatively sparse growth. They also tend to be lighter in color and finer.
Q5 - Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Cancer?
Ans - The ultraviolet wavelengths that are used in laser hair removal are markedly different from those harmful UVs that are found in sunlight that damage DNA and cause skin cancer. There is no evidence to suggest that a laser could be responsible for any type of cancer.