Skip to content

What is Laser Hair Removal?

For anybody who has unwanted hair, they have probably considered laser hair removal at some point.  Yet, it can be difficult to decide if laser hair removal is right for you especially if you don’t really understand the process behind it.  Today, we’re going to take a deeper look at laser hair removal so that you can develop a better understanding of the procedure and what you may expect from it.

What is Laser Hair Removal?

Let’s start with a basic definition.  Essentially, laser hair removal involves using a laser (or concentrated light beam) to remove hair “permanently.”  In fact, laser hair removal works by limiting hair growth for an extended period of time – sometimes the results are permanent, but several treatments are usually required.  During the procedure, the laser is absorbed by the melanin in your hair and the heat from the laser disrupts the hair follicles in such a way they inhibit hair growth.  Since laser hair removal is not a new procedure, there is a lot of evidence to suggest it works best with dark hair and on people with fairer skin.  Still, the technology is always improving and laser removal procedures have been developed to work better for people with darker skin and lighter hair colours as well.

Side Effects

As you would expect from any medical treatment, there are potential side effects to laser hair removal.  The main risks associated with this procedure are skin irritation and/or changes to skin pigment.  Many of these risks can be mitigated with proper skin care before and after treatment; nevertheless, temporary redness and swelling are potential side effects of laser hair removal.  Fortunately, symptoms of skin irritation usually resolve within a few hours.  Skin pigmentation can also change after laser hair removal, particularly if you don’t avoid the sun before and after treatment.

Pre - and - Post - Treatment Recommendations

Before you have a laser hair removal treatment, your practitioner should discuss how to prepare for the treatment.  Usually, you want to avoid the sun or skin creams that alter the pigment of your skin.  You should also avoid other hair removal practices such as waxing, plucking, and shaving.  After your treatment, you may have mild discomfort.  Your practitioner may provide you with treatments or creams that can soothe irritation, but applying ice may also help alleviate some redness and swelling after your treatment.  Also, you should stay out of the sun and tanning beds for at least 6 weeks after your laser treatment.

Fortunately, laser hair removal technology and techniques have improved drastically over the past several years so results are more predictable and reliable than ever.  For a more permanent solution to managing unwanted hair, speak with a qualified hair removal practitioner today.