What You Need to Know About Laser Hair Removal

With summer upon us, many of us are thinking about the less-than-lovable task of hair removal. Of course, there’s shaving, waxing, and hair-removal gel, but each comes with its own set of annoyances. But there’s also a “more” permanent solution: laser hair removal!

It’s important to remember that laser hair removal is not for everyone. Here are a few things you need to know!

It’s Not for All Skin and Hair Types

If you have light hair or pigmented skin, you may not get great results from laser hair removal. The lasers work by targeting the pigmentation of the hair follicle and destroying the cell around the root to prevent it from growing back. If your hairs are not dark enough relative to your skin, the laser cannot detect hair follicles accurately. This means blondes, redheads, and people with gray or white hair may be in trouble. Likewise, darker skin can present a problem since the follicles are more camouflaged. Your hair’s texture also plays a role: Coarser hair makes for better results.

It Doesn’t Hurt Too Much

We can tell you from experience that laser hair removal doesn’t hurt as much as you may think. In our case, the “pain” was more like heat – the same feeling you get when a curling iron is too close to your head and almost burns you. This discomfort was fleeting after each zap. Healthline says that the pain level is similar to waxing, but we honestly felt it was less. Certain areas, like parts of the face, underarms, or bikini line, may be more sensitive than thicker places like legs.

There Can Be Side Effects

Most people experience little to no complications while undergoing laser hair removal, but side effects are possible. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons lists some potential side effects like mild swelling around the hair follicles, temporary or permanent pigment changes, slight redness of the skin, and temporary irritation, resulting in blistering, crusting, scarring, or other changes in skin texture.

It Doesn’t Necessarily Last Forever

Laser hair removal is marketed as a permanent solution for hairlessness – but that’s not necessarily true. Some hair may still grow after your treatments are complete, but the new hair is likely to be finer and lighter in color. Most people experience hair removal that lasts several months, although it could last for years. Certain factors, such as pregnancy, may also influence regrowth as hormonal changes occur.

Looking for long-term hair removal results? Now that you know the ins and outs of laser hair removal, you can decide if it’s the right option.

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