Everything you need to know about laser hair removal
While many women and men opt to let their body hair grow au natural, there’s no denying the increasing popularity in removing some, if not all of it.
Shaving, waxing and epilating were all commonly used methods of hair removals in the past – but with technological advancements came laser hair removal, and a new way to get rid of unwanted hair, for good.
How does laser hair removal work?
A laser is effectively a machine that makes billions of atoms pump out trillions of photons all at once so they line up to form a really concentrated light beam.
Laser removes the hair by a process called selective photothermolysis. The light energy from the laser is transferred into thermal energy in the hair follicle. The laser targets melanin, the pigmented region in the hair follicle. Heat from the laser is absorbed by the melanin in the hair resulting in the follicle being destroyed.
What areas of body can be treated?
Nearly every area can be treated. We choose to not do around the eyes/ brows for safety reasons only.
There are contraindications that we screen for that may make you an unsuitable candidate for laser including pregnancy, certain medications, conditions and medical concerns.
What are some common misconceptions about laser hair removal?
The most common misconception is that it is the same as IPL. They are incredibly different.
The second is that it is incredibly painful – I think a lot of people associate the pain with that of IPL or other energy based treatments from a long time ago. There have been huge advancements in cooling devices and comfort.
Thirdly, that all hair can be treated – laser hair removal can only work on hair with melanin present. Grey, white and some blondes and red heads are not suitable candidates unfortunately, however different parts of the body have different levels of pigment, so a patch test is a great way to understand feasibility.
Is laser dangerous?
Anything in the wrong hands can be dangerous. The key with any treatment is to make sure it is operated in the hands of a trained technician, qualified and experienced.
Also the laser machine itself should be the genuine thing – anyone can purchase a second hand, reconditioned machine and operate it.
Key questions to ask include training and experience in hair removal and laser, qualifications, safety protocols and also what the machine is, where it was purchased from and servicing and maintenance.
What are the side effects?
If your laser treatment is performed by a trained and experienced technician, and you follow the aftercare instructions diligently then any side effects should be negligible. For most it is similar to have a wax where the area may be sensitive for a short period after.
Like all medical treatments sometimes unexpected adverse reactions are possible, and it is for this reason we perform a patch test before commencing treatment to eliminate thi s possibility as much as possible.
Will every hair be removed?
No, for most people the feeling and look of hairlessness is around 85-95% reduction. Those hairs that are left are often the finer, lighter vellus one, all which cannot be treated by laser due to lack of melanin. Some people experience well over 95% hair reduction. As mentioned previously as well, our age, hormones and other factors e.g. medications can all trigger sporadic hair growth which is why most people require a top up periodically. For some people they may require more than 6-8 sessions to actively target hair in the growth phase.
Treatment by any energy based device is technically classed as permanent hair ‘reduction’, due to the targeting of follicles only in certain stages of the growth cycle.
Will my hair ever grow back?
All follicles that have actively destroyed by the laser cannot generate another hair. Again dependent on age, hormones, medications you may have new follicles generate hair. This is usually managed through annual top ups.
What should I do with my hair in between sessions?
Shave and avoid waxing, threading, plucking, epilating or bleaching the hair 4 weeks prior to treatment and for the duration of your laser course
The melanin containing hair must be present in the follicle as it is the target for the laser.
To make the treatment work you need to have hair attached to follicles, so none of the above only shaving is acceptable.
You also need to make sure you don’t have any natural or active tan, and ensure you don’t expose yourself to the sun before or after.
Dr. Ashok Pandey from Bombay Cosmetic Clinic is a celebrated and revered personality in the field of cosmetic surgery. Currently conducting his cosmetic and aesthetic surgery practice in Navi Mumbai, he is associated with number of leading hospitals across the city where he regularly imparts his services to the needy.
Such is his expertise in his field of knowledge that he has successfully conducted more than thousand cosmetic practicing in South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai and plastic surgeries in his career so far.
For consultation call – 099307 31109 / 022 27801101