Women have been shaving their body hair religiously for several decades – and even factoring in the French and the no-shave trend taking over our social media feeds, the fact remains that most of us do tend to shave. The downside of shaving, however, is the ever-dreaded razor burn and skin irritation, which is neither comfortable nor pretty. Fortunately, at Southeast Regional Med Spa in Columbus, GA, we know one of the best ways to manage your body hair is laser hair removal.
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
The main draw of laser hair removal is the promise of extended results. Overall, the results of this kind of treatment are designed to be long-lasting, not necessarily a lifetime of freedom from shaving, though some people can achieve permanent results in the right situation. But just because the results of this treatment aren’t technically permanent doesn’t mean the long-lasting results are any less impressive.
More to the point, however, is that the real purpose of this treatment is to diminish the amount of body hair that is grown over time. By reducing the amount of hair grown on the body, you can ultimately simplify your personal care needs, and save both money and time in the long run.
What Is the Benefit of Reducing Hair Growth?
Reducing hair growth is a benefit all by itself, but what about the other benefits of the treatment? In addition to simplifying your weekly hygiene routine by shaving less frequently, the other benefits of this treatment include:
Avoid Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs are the worst. They usually present as swollen or painful lumps, sometimes with zit-like infections that look just as bad as they feel. Typically, ingrown hairs are caused by hairs that grow crookedly from the hair follicle, which is what leads to the swelling and pain on the surface of the skin.
Laser removal of your body hair will prevent ingrown hairs as hair eventually grows back. This is because the laser energy from the treatment zaps the hair follicle and corrects the direction the hair will grow from the follicle. Sometimes, patients seek this treatment exclusively for avoiding ingrown hairs, particularly in delicate areas of the body, such as the bikini area.
Precise Hair Removal
Precise hair removal is another benefit of seeking this treatment. For example, there are areas of the body where precisely removing hair is necessary, such as areas that are small are difficult to get to. The ability to precisely remove hair with laser treatments is preferable to shaving since it can be difficult to remove unwanted hair by shaving, especially in areas where you may not necessarily be able to see the hair that is being removed. This will help you avoid skin irritation or even cuts and nicks from razors.
The precise nature of this hair removal has to do with how the laser systems are designed. The laser that is used for your treatment is programed to only activate when the technology senses color that is darker than the natural pigment of your skin; in other words, the laser energy is only summoned when the technology sees your hair, which leaves the surrounding skin unharmed and intact.
Softens and Tones Skin
Laser treatments, in general, are often used to tighten, soften, and tone the surface of the skin. One of the biggest fringe benefits of laser treatments for hair removal is the fact that the laser energy being used to stop hair growth at the follicle will also help resurface the top-most layer of skin. This can be incredibly beneficial for those who have superficial skin concerns, such as minor skin laxity, skin dryness or roughness, or uneven skin tone.
Overall, laser treatments for hair removal are non-invasive laser techniques that do not injure the surface of the skin. These treatments are designed to specifically target hair and hair follicles only, which means that your skin will never be at risk of injury. The non-invasive nature of this treatment is greatly preferable to other types of hair removal as well, such as waxing, which can sometimes strip the top layer of skin and create scabs or discoloration. Overall, there is very little risk involved with laser treatment for hair removal.
What Is the Treatment Process Like?
The complete treatment process for this type of laser treatment is both simple and prolonged. The treatment is simple because there isn’t much you need to do to prep or recover, but to get the results you want, it’s going to take some time. There are several basic steps that are involved in your treatment process, starting from your consultation.
The consultation is your starting point and it helps us gather information about you, such as your hair removal habits, how quickly your body hair grows, the coarseness thickness of your body hair, and your skin type. All of this information will help us determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment, particularly the tone of your skin. Once you are approved for this type of treatment and we have built a care plan for the areas of your body that you would like to use this treatment for, you will be scheduled for your first appointment.
Before Your Appointment
There isn’t much you will need to do before your appointment. Depending on the type of system being used, it may be recommended that you avoid blood-thinning medications for at least five days before your treatment and that you prepare for your scheduled appointment by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever to ensure your comfort during your treatment.
It’s important that you do not wax or tweeze the indicated treatment area for at least two weeks before your appointment, as well as avoiding tanning beds. At least 24 hours before your treatment, you will be instructed to shave the intended treatment area. We may provide you with additional instructions, such as to arrive at your appointment without any perfumes, powders, or lotions applied to the intended treatment areas.
During Your Appointment
Your appointment will usually take between 20 and 40 minutes to complete depending on the number of areas that are being treated. For example, if you are treating your legs and at least one additional area, such as the bikini line, then your appointment may only take 20 minutes; treating all areas of your body, on the other hand, may take closer to 40 minutes to complete.
Your treatment will be performed by one of our skilled aesthetic experts. Your treatment appointment itself will consist of using the laser device on your skin to target most, if not all, of your hair follicles. Most patients do not feel any significant sensation during this portion of the treatment process; in fact, many patients compare the sensation of this treatment to a tanning bed or a snapping rubber band.
After Your Appointment
After your appointment is concluded, you will be free to return to most of your normal daily activities, within reason. For example, returning to work is usually permissible, but using a tanning bed during the first one to two weeks of your treatment is not advised. We will provide you with a full list of aftercare instructions to ensure that you will achieve the ideal results. Some of these aftercare instructions may include:
- Avoid direct unprotected sunlight
- Do not pick or scratch the treatment area
- Do not wax or tweeze the treatment area
- Wear SPF in direct sunlight
- Avoid hot water and excessive heat
- Wear loose-fitting clothing for at least one to three days
Can You Use Lotion?
You may use lotion after your treatment. Some patients prefer to wait at least 24 hours before applying moisturizer, while some begin to use products such as aloe vera right away. Ideally, the lotion you use after your treatment should be unscented and non-comedogenic, which means that it does not clog your pores. If you aren’t sure what kind of moisturizer you should use after your treatment, we can help you find a product that works for your skin needs.
How Many Appointments Will You Need for Results?
Getting the results you want from this treatment will take time. Most patients will require about six to eight treatment appointments to significantly reduce or slow hair growth. This is an average estimate, however, and some patients may find that they require more or fewer treatment appointments depending on their hair thickness and their natural rate of hair growth in any given treatment area. We will help you determine the ideal number of treatments to achieve your desired results.
How Frequently Should You Have Treatments to Maintain Results?
Your treatments will generally be done about four weeks apart until you achieve your ideal results. After that, many patients find that seeking additional treatments about once every six to 10 weeks, which is about as long as your skin will remain smooth. Over time, you may find that you can have treatments less frequently than that, depending on how well the results of your treatment are maintained.
What Happens if You Miss an Appointment?
If you miss an appointment, then you will lose all of your progress on achieving long-term results. It’s especially important that you attend each of your treatment appointments during the first round of your laser hair removal treatments, since missing an appointment will put you right back to square one. This is why it’s important to have appointments once every four weeks to achieve your desired results.
How Much Does Each Treatment Cost?
The cost of your treatment will depend on which areas of the body are being treated at one time. For example, some patients choose to only treat one area of the body at a time, while others decide to seek full-body treatments to achieve their desired results.
- Full leg costs $400
- Upper lip costs $100
- Bikini line costs $150
- Full face costs $300
- Underarms costs $150
Who Are Good Candidates?
Good candidates for this type of treatment are any adult over the age of 18 who would like to reduce or slow hair growth. Ideally, your skin tone should be fair to medium, although those with darker complexions may still be eligible for the treatment depending on their exact skin tone.
Simplify Your Personal Care With Laser Hair Removal
While the results of this treatment may not be permanent, the ability to slow or reduce hair growth is still impressive. If you’re ready to simplify your personal care with this laser hair removal treatment, please contact Southeast Regional Med Spa in Columbus, GA to schedule your initial consultation today.