Are you tired of waxing and plucking your hair? You shaved and removed it last night, and you see it growing already. Constantly battling with ever-growing body hair can be frustrating, but there may be means to get rid of it for good.
Laser hair removal is a treatment many people believe could end their struggle with unwanted hair. It is a procedure where laser beams burn the root of your hair and attempt to destroy it forever. But is it permanent?
The experience with laser hair removal procedure is not always positive. Various things affect its outcome and longevity. If you wonder how long does laser hair removal last, read on. This article will look into different factors and risks associated with this treatment.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal removes the hair follicle. The laser beam is directed at the hair and the pigment absorbs it. Once the laser gets absorbed, it generates heat. This heat burns the hair all the way to its growth center. If the center is completely burned, there shouldn’t be any new hair growth.
The issue appears because not all hair grows equally. Each hair on your body has its own growth cycle. As such, the hair that you want removed can be in a resting phase. During this period, neither the hair nor the growth center is visible to the technician and the laser.
Because of this, you could notice new hair growing in the same place where you had the procedure. So, it is usually not enough to do this once. After the first four to six weeks, there is a chance that new hair will appear. Depending on your hair’s specific growth cycle, you may need to repeat this procedure up to six times until you remove all the hair.
What Makes Laser Hair Removal More Successful
Not all types of skin and hair have the same effects. Sometimes you may need to visit the technician only once. Other times you will have to schedule many treatments.
Some things to consider are:
- Skin type: Darker skin contains more melanin and might not absorb the light from the laser very effectively. On the other hand, fair skin is much more successful with absorption.
- Growth rate: The speed and density of hair growth is different for everybody. Different body parts also have different growth rates. Your head has a higher growth rate than any other area. When the growth rate is lower, the procedure will be more successful.
- Hair color: Darker hair increases the effectiveness of laser hair removal. Lighter hair doesn’t absorb light as much as dark, so the treatment may be more difficult.
- Age: This isn’t always an important factor. However, the growth rate in young adults is higher than in older people, which means that older people can have more lasting and better effects.
The best combination for successful laser hair removal is dark hair and fair, thick skin. The closer you are to this description, the fewer treatments you may need.
Are There Any Risks Associated with This Procedure?
You may notice some side effects during treatment, including a burning sensation in the root of your hair. It is short term, but it can be unpleasant. You may also smell burning hair.
Other side effects may include:
- Skin irritation
- Skin infection
- Temporary change in skin color
- Crusting and flaking of the skin
Most of the side effects are minor and might not appear at all. If you feel pain, nausea, or fever, or notice any signs of serious skin damage, you should consult your healthcare provider.
How to Prepare for the Process
Before you consider removing your hair, you should prepare well. Here is what you need to do:
- Do a medical check-up: Check if you have any skin conditions which may increase your risk of side effects during the procedure. Some pigment disorders can make the treatment less successful, or even dangerous. Consult with your technician about your medical history and potential risks.
- Do not remove your hair from the root: If your hair removal method involves waxing, plucking, or similar, don’t do it. Anything that removes hair from the root can interfere with the procedure. However, normal shave before the procedure is necessary.
- Bleach your skin: Sometimes the dermatologist may prescribe products that will lighten your skin if it’s too dark. This will help hair pigment to draw the light to the follicle.
- Stay out of the sun: If the pigment of the hair draws unnecessary light ahead of the procedure, it may stop the laser beams from being effective.
How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?
Is laser hair removal permanent? In some ways yes, but not completely. When a hair follicle is gone, it will not grow any new hair. If it is only damaged, it will heal and regrow after some time. Also, hair that was in the resting phase during the treatment will regrow. Because of this, you may notice new hair growing from the treated area.
You will probably need additional treatments to fix up all the occasional hair that regrows here and there. This means you will have to target some individual hairs, and there is still a chance that they may regrow. Hormones and medications can also influence the growth and reappearance of hair.
So, laser hair removal can last for a long time and, depending on different factors, can help you achieve the desired results. It is not completely permanent, but it could help you get rid of the majority of unwanted body hair. However, there is a possibility for new hair to turn up occasionally.
Should You Try Laser Hair Removal?
Consider the factors and risks before you opt for this procedure. You should bear in mind that it is not a cheap treatment and that you may need a lot of revisits until you feel satisfied. Depending on your skin and hair type, it can be more or less effective.
But maybe you feel tired of plucking, waxing, and electrolysis. If you believe removing a good chunk of hair can improve your quality of life and save you time, you could be happy with the procedure. With technology constantly progressing, this treatment may become even more effective in the future.