What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a non-surgical aesthetic procedure for the long-term removal of unwanted hair from the face or body. During the procedure, a professional technician utilizes a handheld, medical-grade device that emits a concentrated beam of light focusing on the follicle of the unwanted hair.
How long has laser hair removal been around?
Scientists first discovered the potential of lasers for hair removal in the early 1960s, just a few years after the invention of the laser itself. These initial procedures used a continuous laser beam that was difficult to control. Later, technology was developed that allowed the laser to be emitted in short bursts, or pulses.
In 1997, the FDA approved laser procedures for “permanent hair reduction.”
How does laser hair removal work?
The pigment in the unwanted hair absorbs the laser energy as heat. That heat damages the follicle, which is a tube-like structure that produces hair. The damaged follicle is temporarily or permanently unable to produce hair.
How long does it take?
The procedure itself may take a matter of minutes or may require multiple hour-long sessions, depending on the size of the area being treated. Hairs within the treated area will fall out in a matter of days.
Does it hurt?
Laser hair removal may cause temporary discomfort, but it should not be painful. The heat from the laser is almost entirely absorbed by the follicle itself before it reaches the rest of the skin. Additionally, many of today’s hair removal devices have built-in cooling tips, and your technician can use a cooling gel to maximize your comfort during and after the procedure.
Is it safe?
Laser hair removal has been approved by the FDA for more than a quarter century. The most common side effect is temporary irritation of the treated area. When administered by a professional, laser hair removal is a safe and popular procedure.
Is it effective?
Laser hair removal is very effective, although results vary according to a number of factors. You may require multiple sessions depending on where the hair is in its growth cycle. Over the long-term, your follicles may eventually heal, requiring additional treatments in the future.
Talk to your technician to find out if laser hair removal is right for you.