Sick of shaving, waxing and ingrown hair? Then laser hair removal may be your solution. Laser hair removal has become one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed in the United States, and its popularity is catching up in Asia – with many clinics and salons offering this treatment. Here are eight facts about the procedure that you should know:
1. Laser hair removal utilises beams of highly concentrated light which is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicles and this destroys the hair within that hair follicle.
2. The procedure was originally described to be performed on dark hairs on light skin; however newer technologies have made the procedure safer for patients with darker skin and those of colour.
3. A variety of lasers and light sources have been developed that may be employed in laser hair removal. They include the diode, ruby, alexandrite, and Nd:YAG laser, as well as intense pulsed light (IPL) devices.
4. Prior to having laser hair removal, thoroughly check the credentials of the physician or technician performing the procedure. Although laser hair removal is a common cosmetic procedure, many clinics promise results that are not realistic.
5. Do undergo a skin test: If there are any apprehensions as to how the laser may interact with the skin, ask for a skin test to ensure there will be no adverse side effects.
6. The average number of visits necessary to see permanent hair reduction is four to six. Some people respond well in two sessions, and others need a dozen.
7. Don’t tan before or after a procedure as this can interfere with the absorption of laser light and may cause unusual lightening of the skin. Artificial tanning lotions should also be avoided because the perceived darker pigmentation may also interfere with the absorption of the laser on the skin causing unusual burns and bumps.
8. Some medications may interfere with laser procedures, making the skin more susceptible to burning and scarring. To ensure that your medication won’t interfere with the procedure, consult a physician before undergoing any laser treatment.