Laser Hair Removal: Benefits, Side Effects, and Cost

When you have made the decision to rid yourself of unwanted hairs there are two options to consider electrolysis and laser.

As with electrolysis, cases of scarring have been reported, but these are extremely rare. 

Compared with electrolysis, laser hair removal is more precise and much faster.

Electrolysis is intended to be a permanent hair procedure, but much like laser hair removal, it is not guaranteed to be 100% effective.

Prior to laser technology, the only options for removing unwanted hair were smelly hair removal creams, sharp razors, stinging wax, or painful electrolysis needles.

In fact, laser technology is already eliminating the need for these traditional methods.

Almost anybody who has undesirable hair is a candidate for laser hair removal. Both men and women have found laser technology beneficial for hair removal.

What is Laser Hair Removal? 

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure in which unwanted facial and body hair is removed by exposing it to laser light to destroy hair follicles. With the technology developments, laser hair removal is proven to be safe and effective. A person undergoes two to three treatments to complete the procedure. 

Once the procedure is done, unwanted facial and body hair is expected to regrow less and last for several months. The hair is expected to be finer and lighter in terms of color. Once the unwanted hair again regrows, a person can undergo again the procedure. The procedure can be done on the back, shoulders, bikini area, neck, chest, upper lip, and chin.

The benefit of laser hair removal includes having the area of treatment or procedure undamaged. There are also normal side effects after the procedure.

It includes pink skin, itching, and swelling of the treated area. These normal side effects last for two to three days. There are also serious side effects in undergoing the procedure such as acne and skin discoloration, allergy, burning of the skin, scab formation, hypopigmentation, purpura, and infection. Therefore, it is extremely important to choose a dermatologist who is trustworthy and to be prepared for risks. 

In addition, patients may experience pain during the procedure, but it can be alleviated by applying numbing cream that is available at pharmacies or clinics.

The cost of a laser hair procedure depends on the area of treatment. Smaller areas of treatment range from $350 to $500 and larger areas of treatment range from $600 to $900 per treatment.

Who Does Laser Hair Removal Work For?

Not everyone can enjoy laser hair removal and its benefits. Laser hair removal is for those that qualify to have their unwanted hair gone.

There are two things that factor into just who can do it, including your hair color and your skin color. Blonde, red, white, and grey hair is not recommended for laser hair removal. If you tan you must wait until your tan has faded only if you have dark hair. If you have tanned skin and light hair you do not qualify for laser hair removal.

It is also important to consider your skin type and skin history when it comes to laser hair removal. Your practitioner will ask you questions about your skin and skin history. Make sure you do not lie. You could damage your skin after treatment if you do so. 

Meladine can now be used by people with light hair who want to remove laser hair. It is an enhancer for melanin that will give you better results if you have light hair. You apply this before and sometimes even after your laser hair removal session. This is not a drug so you need not worry there! It is considered a cosmetic. There is no guarantee that comes with it, so you will use it using your own confidence.

If you are looking for a quick way to get rid of hair, laser hair removal is not for you. In spite of the fact that this will reduce your hair growth and may even completely remove it, it is not a fast procedure. A hair removal session may take four to six sessions, depending on the area.

A large area will take more time, whereas a small area, such as the chin, may only take one to two sessions. The amount of hair will also affect how long it takes. It may seem like an easy way out, but it’s not.

As with any other procedure performed on your body, you should do your research before undergoing laser hair removal. If you do not take the proper precautions, you may end up feeling very unhappy and unsatisfied with your results.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal works by selectively targeting a specific area of the body and absorbing light at a specific wavelength. In contrast to hair-by-hair treatment, it focuses on a wide beam of light that treats a large number of hairs simultaneously. In order to damage the targeted tissue area, the wavelength of light absorbed must be sufficient to leave the surrounding area untouched. Photothermolysis is the principle behind this process.

Lasers are intense beams of monochromatic and coherent light. Laser devices that contain minerals or gases produce these light beams. There are four main types of lasers: solid state, semiconductor, gas, and dye.

The gas or mineral properties are stimulated by an electric current, which excites the atoms. Light beams of the same wavelength are then emitted by the atoms in narrow, parallel lines. In the matrix of the dermal papilla, which is the small, cone-shaped indentation where the hair bulb fits at the base of the hair follicle, the light beam is focused just for a fraction of a second on the dark hair pigment. As the light beam is absorbed, the pigment is heated, which causes the dermal papilla to vaporize. The more intense the light beam, the hotter the pigment becomes. The dermal papilla is severely damaged or destroyed as a result.

Laser hair removal works best on hair that is in its anagen phase. In this case, the hair is growing and is attached to the dermal papilla. A coherent light beam focused on the dermal papilla is believed to destroy and vaporize dark pigment in the hair shaft if it extends down to it. The reason for this is that the light beam will follow the dark pigment all the way down to the derma papilla.

The wavelengths of visible light range from 390 to 770 nanometers. This range of lasers allows for successful laser hair removal without damaging the dermis. Lasers that operate between 700 and 1000 nm effectively target melanin in the hair shaft. As an example, the wavelength of an alexandrite laser is 755 nm, which is red in the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum, making it able to target melanin. The stronger the wavelength, the deeper it penetrates the target, selectively absorbing it.

Laser hair removal uses a variety of wavelengths of laser energy. The wavelengths range from near-infrared radiation to visible light. For hair removal, Alexandrite, Pulsed diode arrays, and NeoDymium Yttrium Aluminum Garnets, or Nd: YAGs, are the most commonly used lasers. These lasers have wavelengths of 755nm, 810nm, and 1064nm, respectively.

To work effectively and safely on the human body, laser hair removal uses a complex system of physics and science. The popularity of laser hair removal grows as technology advances.

Areas of the Body That Can Be Treated With Laser Hair Removal

There are many areas of the body where laser hair removal can be used. Some will be assumed, while others might surprise you. The areas that can be treated are listed below.

Face Hair

Facial hair can embarrass women easily. The process of tweezing, bleaching, and plucking has been repeated over and over again. Consider laser hair removal if you have unwanted facial hair. Since it is a smaller area, it will cost less and you won’t have to worry about hair.

Even though men are supposed to have facial hair, that doesn’t mean they want it! Just like our legs, men get tired of shaving. There are some men who grow more hair than others and who have to shave daily. It can become a nuisance for some people. Consider laser hair removal if you are tired of shaving your face every day.

Back Hair

Both men and women can have back hair. There are more men who have problems with back hair and should look into laser hair removal. Do you get tired of shaving or waxing your back all the time? You can eliminate shaving and waxing altogether with laser hair removal. Athletes can benefit greatly from laser hair removal for their back hair.

Leg Hair

Tired of constantly shaving your legs? It’s true for many women! Laser hair removal allows you to maintain a clean-shaven appearance without ever picking up a razor! Imagine how much time you’ll save in the shower, tub, or just getting ready for a night out. There won’t be any razor bumps or irritation from the razor. Due to the larger area, this procedure may take longer than in other areas. You will not care how long laser hair removal takes when you consider the benefits!

Chest Hair

Some men and women find chest hair bothersome. It is common for men to wax their chest hair if it is too thick or bothersome. If you want to reduce your chest hair growth, laser hair removal is the perfect solution. It will give you a sleeker, cleaner look. Athletes can also benefit from laser hair removal for chest hair.

Bikini Line

Is your bikini line constantly shaved or waxed? Keeping it spotless from hair can be very frustrating for some women, especially models. Then there are the unwanted extra hairs that can grow along with the normal ones. Laser hair removal reduces the growth time of bikini line hair, so less hair needs to be treated if there is any! For anyone who spends a lot of time in a swimsuit or just wants to keep this area clean.

There are a few areas you may not have known could be treated with laser hair removal:

  • Fingers
  • Toes
  • Pubic Area
  • Breasts
  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Ears

Consult your practitioner on what you want to be treated with laser hair removal. Their advice can help you select the best treatment for a specific area.

Pros of Laser Hair Removal

1. Faster Than Other Treatments

Unlike other hair removal treatments, laser hair removal takes only a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes. Laser hair removal is much faster than other methods that take about an hour to complete.

2. Increased Safety

There is a large percentage of dermatologists and patients who believe laser hair removal to be safe for them. Laser hair removal is reported to have only rare negative effects.

3. Longer Lasting

It takes six to eight months for laser hair removal to take effect. As opposed to shaving and plucking twice a week, laser hair removal lasts longer. After a long period of time, it causes unwanted hair to grow.

4. Saves Time

Dong manual hair removal is done twice a week, whereas laser hair removal is done only three to four times a year. This will reduce the time you spend shaving and plucking and allow you to spend more time doing other things.

5. Hair Reduction

As a hair reduction treatment, laser hair removal does not really work as permanent hair removal.

6. It Works

People all over the world have already tried laser hair removal. It is already proven to be effective.

Cons of Laser Hair Removal

1. Not Permanently Removes Hair

The laser hair removal treatment works only as a hair reduction treatment, not as a permanent hair removal treatment.

2. Side Effects

Laser hair removal can cause side effects such as sunburn, changes in skin color, blisters, redness, and swelling. In rare cases, scarring or a permanent change in color may occur.

3. Quite Expensive

A laser hair removal treatment is done one to two times a year, which makes it expensive. Treatment costs range from $350 to $900 depending on the part of the skin to be treated. A dermatologist’s fee and the clinic’s fee also determine the cost.

4. Quite Painful

Pain varies depending on the area being treated. People with darker complexions feel more pain because they have more pigment in both their hair and skin. The first treatment will hurt the most, but it will get better after the next. Because of this, a topical anesthetic is recommended before treatment.

5. Multiple Treatments Needed

It depends on the area to be treated and how many laser hair removal sessions are required. The number of sessions would need to be increased if the area of treatment actively grows hair.

6. Works Better on Persons with Dark Hair Color

Laser hair removal is more effective on darker hair. In people with lighter hair, the laser finds it hard to detect the difference between light skin tone and light unwanted hair.

Laser Hair Removal Side Effects

There are side effects associated with laser hair removal. The side effects are normal as long as they last for two to three days, but if they last longer, medical attention should be sought. Following are some of the normal side effects of laser hair removal.

1. Skin Burns

Minor skin burns are normal side effects after undergoing laser hair treatment. Lasers can cause burns when overexposed to a patient’s skin or if the patient’s skin is light in color. Dermatologists and patients can work together to avoid it.

2. Skin Discoloration

Laser hair removal should result in minimal or no skin discoloration. There are two types of skin discoloration: hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin and hypopigmentation or lightening of the skin. Consult your dermatologist if there is too much discoloration in the area of treatment.

3. Itching

Itching is expected after the treatment on the treated area. Laser light irritates sensitive skin, resulting in itching. After the treatment, the itching should only last two to three days.

4. Redness in the Skin

Red marks will appear on the treated area. The laser still causes your skin to experience heat from the light. Itching always accompanies redness.

5. Pain

Patients will experience a small amount of pain during and after the treatment. Those who can handle the pain do not need tropical anesthetics. If a patient has low pain tolerance, he or she should ask their dermatologist about topical anesthetics before treatment begins.

6. Tingling

The patient will experience tingling after the treatment. Tingling will also last two to three days, so don’t worry about it.

7. Numbness

After laser hair removal, numbness occurs when pain is no longer felt. A topical anesthetic that is given by the dermatologist before the treatment can cause it. Numbness will disappear when the tropical anesthetic fades.

8. Blistering

Burning and exposure to laser light cause blisters, which are small pockets of fluid. There is a clear fluid inside blisters. Where laser light has been used, a clear fluid protects the burned or exposed areas. Viruses can enter blisters if they are popped. It is important to let the blister fade on its own.

9. Swelling

The area of treatment swells. There is always redness and itching associated with it. In most cases, swelling subsides on its own within two to three days. In order to avoid serious side effects, the patient must inform his/her dermatologist if the swelling worsens.

However, if these side effects exceed normal levels, a patient should ask for medication assistance.

Cost of Laser Hair Removal

The cost of laser hair removal depends on what area you want to be treated, the clinic you use, and your region. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of laser hair removal in 2020 was $389.

Fees may vary depending on the length of the procedure or the number of laser pulses used. There might be packages available at some clinics based on what area you would like treated. 

Most clinics charge for laser hair removal based on the following factors:

  • Area being treated
  • Size of the area
  • The number of sessions required for your treatment
  • The amount of hair being treated

The average number of sessions per patient is three to five. When getting a consultation, keep this in mind.

Find a laser hair removal clinic that is highly recommended. While they might be a bit more expensive, you will get better and more effective results. For each treatment, more experienced laser hair removal clinics can charge around $500 dollars. Practitioners usually recommend four treatments on average.

Laser hair removal sessions for large areas, such as your entire legs or back, can cost more than $500. The cost of treating small areas, such as your chin, might be less. Contact the laser hair removal clinic of your choice to find out.

Necessary Care after Laser Hair Removal

It is important to know and do certain things before and after laser hair removal treatment. Taking care of the treated area properly is very important for a patient. If you know how to care for your skin after laser hair removal, you will reduce the risk of having serious side effects. After the treatment, here are some tips for taking care of the treated area.

1. When the skin is treated, it becomes vulnerable to direct sunlight. You should apply sunscreen to your skin in order to protect it. For four weeks, use sunscreen with SPF 15, 20 or 50.

2. Try to avoid the heat of the sun as much as possible. Heat will cause irritation to the treated area. You experience pain during the treatment because of the heat that comes from the laser light.

3. Put a nice pack on the treated area if you are experiencing pain from the treatment. The ice pack will relieve the pain and make the treated skin numb for a short time, but once it melts, the pain will return. Two to three days should be enough for the pain to subside.

4. After the treatment, you should avoid waxing and shaving. For best results, treatments need to be repeated several times. It is important to avoid waxing and tweezing because laser hair removal requires intact hair on the skin.

5. In the event that ice packs are not enough to ease the pain in the treated area, your dermatologist may recommend numbing cream. Pharmacy stores or clinics where you underwent treatment sell it.

6. Do not request another laser hair removal session before 12 weeks have passed. Before you take another session, make sure the treated area has already healed. In order to avoid unwanted side effects, it is extremely important to put distance between the latest and the next session.

7. In the case of a facial area that is being treated, you should avoid applying make-up for twenty-four hours except for mineral makeup that your dermatologist will recommend.

8. If you haven’t finished all your sessions for your treatment, don’t tan your skin. It is still best to have a lighter complexion for the next treatment sessions. To achieve better results for your next treatment, maintain your skin’s complexion.

9. For healing skin burns and blisters, apply vitamin E capsules to the affected area. You should not touch the blister, as it will cause scarring and infection.

10. Skin discoloration may occur if the treated area is exposed to sunlight. Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation are possible discolorations.

FAQs About  Laser Hair Removal

1. Is laser hair removal safe?

The effectiveness of laser hair removal has been proven by dermatologists and patients who have undergone the procedure. A small percentage of risk exists if the treatment is not performed properly. If you want to avoid problems or risks, it is important to follow the instructions of your dermatologist or the person who is performing the treatment.

2. What areas can be treated by laser hair removal?

Excess or unwanted hair can be removed with laser hair removal on the face and body. Treatment can be performed on the eyebrows, upper lip, and chin areas of the face. On the body area, the parts that can be treated are the chest, breast, back, underarms, arms, bikini line, pubic region, and legs.

3. Who are the best candidates for laser hair removal?

Those experiencing problems and embarrassment with excess and unwanted hair on different parts of their bodies are the best candidates for laser hair removal. The treatment is available to both men and women.

6. How long does a laser hair removal treatment take?

Each laser hair removal session lasts a different amount of time. It depends on the area that needs to be treated. There is less time spent on areas that are small than on areas that are large.

7. What are the types of lasers used in laser hair removal?

Ruby lasers, alexandrite lasers, neodymium lasers, diode lasers, and intense pulsed light lasers are used for laser hair removal.

8. Why choose laser hair removal instead of electrolysis?

Before laser hair removal was discovered, electrolysis was used to remove excess or unwanted hair. The reason people choose laser hair removal over electrolysis hair removal is that it causes less pain. As far as the number of sessions required, electrolysis is more expensive than laser hair removal.

9. How much pain does laser hair removal does?

In the first session of laser hair removal treatment, only a little pain is felt. When a patient cannot handle the pain, a topical anesthetic is recommended.

Leave a Comment