Guide To At Home Laser Hair Removal
As summer approaches, many of us are breaking out the shorts and dresses, and for many women, this also means more shaving. This is why many women have turned to laser hair removal. When laser hair removal first became available, it was extraordinarily expensive, and not readily accessible to many people. These days, laser hair removal is available at almost all salons and estheticians for a reasonable price. As laser hair removal has become more popular, DIY removal devices have also become available for at home laser hair removal.
DIY, at-home laser hair removal devices were especially welcome during the COVID-19 salon shut-downs. They still can save you the time it takes to frequent the salon for treatments, and can be much more affordable than professional treatments.
But there’s a lot to know about removal treatments before you get it done professionally or do it yourself. If you’re curious about laser hair treatments, but not sure where to start, here ‘s what you need to know.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic medical procedure that directs concentrated bursts of light beams onto your hair follicles. This process delays and inhibits hair growth. A small device is used on the surface of the skin, one section at a time. After your follicles are exposed to the beams, part of the follicle becomes damaged, resulting in slower hair growth. The procedure is not a permanent solution to hair removal. But when done correctly, it can inhibit hair growth on a temporary basis.
Laser hair removal is not an instant procedure. Instead, it is done in multiple sessions over a period of time. Because your hair grows naturally on a cycle, the procedure needs to be repeated to produce visibly noticeable effects. Your hair may begin shedding inconspicuously. As it grows back in, it will often appear thinner and lighter in color. Depending on the size of the area you’re having treated, each laser hair removal session can last between 10 minutes to an hour.
As for pain related to the procedure, you can expect to feel warm pricks coming from the laser device. If at any point you feel a burning sensation or the pain becomes intolerable, say something immediately if you are having a professional service. Or, stop the treatment at home and consult with a dermatologist. These are possible signs that the laser is damaging your skin.
Who Can Get Laser Hair Removal?
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. I would advise scheduling a consultation with a professional if you are unsure about laser hair removal.
Those with extremely light hair (light blond, gray, white or red hair) may not be a candidate. The laser beam of the hair removal device targets the pigment in your body hair. If your skin and body hair are relatively similar colors, the laser won’t pick up on your hair pigments. Difference in body hair and skin color is important to get the best results and avoid skin damage.
Be sure to review your medical history with a doctor before getting professional laser hair treatments or using an at-home device. Because the removal devices use potentially harmful light beams, certain medications should not be taken when getting the procedure done. Plus, those with a history of skin diseases or damage may be at higher risk for side effects.
How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last
According to the Amercan Society of Cosmetic Surgeons, laser hair removal doesn’t get rid of unwanted hair completely. It can, however, reducesthe number of unwanted hairs in a given area, it doesn’t get rid of them completely. When the hair grows back, they will be finer, lighter, there will be less hair in the treated area. Most people require between four and six sessions to consider an area completely treated , and occasional maintenance may be required.
How Much Is Laser Hair Removal?
Before taking the plunge and beginning the removal process, take a look at the price as well. While some salons offer packages and discounts, multiple sessions over a long period can get expensive. The American Society of Cosmetic Surgeons reports that the average cost of a professional treatment in 2020 was $389. And will likely need multiple sessions depending on the area. This procedure is really only “worth it” if multiple sessions fit within your budget.
Prices for at-home laser hair removal devices range wildly from about $75 to $1,300.
Regardless of which you choose, it’s important to note you most likely will not see major results after just one session.
Before and After the Procedure
Here are a few requirements for before and after the procedure, whether you’re doing it at home or with a professional.
- Shaving: Shaving is required about 24 hours before the procedure. If your hair is too long, a doctor will likely turn you away and ask you to shave or re-shave.
- Other hair removal: Waxing and plucking your hair while undergoing laser hair removal treatments is not recommended. This is because these hair removal methods alter your natural hair follicle, which could potentially affect your laser treatments or result in skin damage.
- Exposure to the sun: Limiting your exposure to the sun before and after your laser treatments is important. You’ll also want to wear sunscreen with SPF and avoid getting a tan or sunburn. Learn more about choosing the right SPF.
- Any tanning products used to darken the skin should also be avoided.
Tips for the Best At-Home Laser Hair Removal:
- Do your research before buying an at-home laser hair removal device. Read a lot of reviews (especially those with pictures) and buy from reputable companies. You don’t want to take any chances.
- Follow the provided schedule. Your device will come with a treatment schedule that you should try to follow as closely as you can. This will result in the most effective treatment, and you’ll get the most for your money.
- Be sure to follow all of the safety precautions when doing laser removal yourself at home. Yes, the sunglasses look silly, but your eyes will thank you in the long run.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider if you are considering laser hair removal to determine if you are a good candidate for the services.