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Everyone has body hair, whether little or much. The irony of it is that most people with excessive body hair do not like it. Such unwanted hair can affect the way they interact with people, their feelings, and their activities. There are many ways we can get rid of unwanted hair in our bodies. These options can be temporary, and they include shaving, plucking, bleaching, and using creams. This option produces provisional results and does not remove hair from the body entirely. The other option is long term, and they can remove hair from the body entirely. They include laser hair removal therapy and electrolysis (use of an electric current to destroy hair follicles).
However, if you don’t want the temporary hair removal methods, laser hair removal may be an option worthy of consideration. In this article, we are going to evaluate the concept of laser hair removal, what it means, how it works, and the side effects.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
It is a medical procedure used to remove unwanted hair from the body. It is commonly done in developed countries of the world as a cosmetic procedure that eradicates unwanted hair. It uses special equipment to beam high concentrated light into the hair follicles. They are destroyed when they absorb the light.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal is more than a mere hair removal procedure. It requires specialized training, and only experts are permitted to handle such a task. During the process, the wavelength of light emitted by the equipment is targeted towards the skin. The energy released heat up and damages the surrounding tissue. The hair follicle stem cells are part of the hair bulge, and the laser treatment needs to target these stem cells to minimize damage to the surrounding tissues. The procedure is set to prevent possible damage to the melanin on the skin surface.
How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal
It’s vital you know everything about this procedure as it is not without side effects. Ensure the facility where you are going to undergo such treatment is medically and legally worthy enough for it.
That said, it’s is always recommended to limit the plucking of hair from the body about six weeks before the treatment commences. This is because the hair roots (which the laser targets) will be removed or strained during plucking or waxing. You should also avoid sun exposure for six weeks before the procedure commences. This is because the sun reduces the effectiveness of the treatment and worsen any side effect. However, a medical professional will furnish you with the necessary do’s and don’ts when you decide to opt for laser hair removal.
What to Expect During Laser Hair Removal
Before the procedure commences, your hair will be trimmed just a few millimeters above the surface of the skin. The area to be treated will be numbed to minimize pain from the laser pulses. The laser treatment will be set according to the length, color, and thickness of hair. You might have to wear a protective shield on the eyes during the procedure. Also, a particular cooling device will be used to protect the outer layers of the skin, and it allows the laser light to penetrate the skin.
The laser technician will apply a pulse of light to the treatment area and ensure the settings used are appropriate for your skin type. He will also use a few minutes to watch out for possible reactions.
At the end of the procedure, you may be given some cream or ice packs to ease any discomfort. You will have to commence another treatment in a few weeks until hair stops growing.
Will My Hair Be Removed Permanently?
This is the question asked by many patients before opting for laser treatment. The treatment may either reduce the growth density of the hair or remove the hair permanently.
A reduction in hair density implies that some hair might regrow after a single therapy, and the patient needs to undergo continuous laser treatment. But a permanent hair removal is said to have occurred when no hair regrows in the affected area. Hence, patients do not need to continue treatment.
However, you cannot determine whether your hair will be removed permanently or the density reduced. It is mostly influenced by a lot of factors, which include: the hair thickness, hair and skin color, quality, type of laser used, and the expertise of the laser technician. It is pertinent to note that there is currently no laser treatment option for individuals with grey hair.
Laser Complications and Side Effects
After the treatment, your skin may feel hot for up to 30 minutes, and you may experience swelling, redness, and other skin irritation for up to 24-48 hours. Most patients experience severe complications, such as blistering and permanent scarring. It is also common for patients to experience pain during the treatment. But there is lesser pain during subsequent treatments.
Before you opt for laser hair removal, you should remember that not all excess hair is a cause for concern. But severe hair growth in areas of the body where it ordinarily wouldn’t grow or excessive hair growth on the chest and legs could cause discomfort for many. It is recommended to speak with your doctor to know if laser treatment will suit your skin type and also to understand everything about the procedure.