What you should know about laser hair removal versus electrolysis
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam (laser) to remove excess hair.
During laser hair removal, the light emitted by the laser is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. Light energy is converted into heat energy, thereby damaging the tubular sac within the hair-producing skin (hair follicle). This damage can inhibit or delay future hair growth.
Although laser hair removal effectively extends the long-term growth of hair, it usually does not result in permanent hair loss. Initial hair removal requires multiple laser hair removal treatments and may require maintenance therapy. Diode laser hair removal is most effective for people with lighter skin and dark hair.
The risk of side effects varies with skin type, hair color, treatment plan, and compliance with pre- and post-treatment care. The most common side effects of laser hair removal include:
Skin allergies. Temporary discomfort, redness, and swelling may occur after laser hair removal. Any signs and symptoms usually disappear within a few hours.
Laser hair removal is not recommended for eyelids, eyebrows or surrounding areas due to possible eye damage.
What can you expect?
Laser hair removal usually requires a series of two to six treatments. The interval between treatments will vary depending on the location. In areas where the hair is growing rapidly, such as the upper lip, treatment can be repeated in four to eight weeks. In areas where hair growth is slow, such as the back, treatment may occur every 12 to 16 weeks.
For each treatment, you should wear special goggles to protect your eyes from the laser beam. The assistant may shave again if necessary. Your doctor may use a local anesthetic on your skin to reduce any discomfort during treatment.
In the program
When the doctor activates the laser, the laser beam will travel through your skin to the hair follicle. The intense heat from the laser beam destroys the hair follicles, thereby inhibiting hair growth. You may feel uncomfortable, such as warm acupuncture, and you may feel a cooling device or a gel cold.
Treating a small area, like the upper lip, may only take a few minutes. Treating larger areas, such as the back, can take more than an hour.
During the first few hours after laser hair removal, you may notice redness and swelling.
To reduce any discomfort, apply ice to the treatment area. If you develop a skin reaction immediately after laser hair removal, your doctor may apply a steroid cream to the affected area.
Avoid sun exposure between laser hair removal and scheduled treatment - including natural sunlight and tanning beds - for six weeks or as directed by your doctor. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen every day.
The results vary widely and are difficult to predict. Most people experience hair removal for several months and may last for years, but laser hair removal machine does not guarantee permanent hair removal. When the hair is regenerated, its color is usually finer and lighter.
You may need to maintain laser treatment to reduce hair for a long time.