Are you “done” with plucking, waxing and shaving your legs and underarms? Let’s not forget about unmentionable areas and the embarrassing dark hair over your top lip. Imagine never having to do it again. Now there is a way to safely remove that unsightly hair virtually forever. Let’s talk – first laser hair removal: what to expect.
Laser hair removal uses selective photothermolysis to target the hair shaft without touching any surrounding skin. The laser targets the pigment and travels to the hair follicle using light energy. The heat damages the hair follicle and prevents more hair growth. It vaporizes the hair! This process can reduce hair growth by 90%.
The number of treatments needed depends on which area of the body is being treated. If it is an area that involves hormones, like the face or the bikini area, you may need more treatments than the legs or underarms need.
What To Expect
Limit any plucking, waxing, or electrolysis for 6 weeks before your first treatment. Avoid any sun exposure as well.
- A numbing gel will be applied to the skin being treated to reduce any discomfort.
- You should see immediate results based on the color and thickness of your hair, the area treated, the type of laser, and the color of your skin. Regardless of these variations, you should notice a 10-25% reduction of hair after the first treatment.
- Expect no downtime after your first treatment. The area will be red and swollen, but that diminishes within a day or so. Use a cold compress to reduce any swelling.
- Complications are quite rare like blisters or scarring. Only see a board certified dermatologist like Dr. Wendy Gottlieb in Reston, VA who is a specialist and skilled at laser hair removal.
- One week after first treatment, hair will begin to shed, but this is not new growth. Do not pluck or tweeze.
- Three to four weeks after the first treatment, your skin will be smooth. You may see what looks like some growth, but don’t worry about it. This will be taken care of in your next treatment.
- Within three months (and after 2 treatments) 50% of your hair will be gone.
- Within six months all hair will be gone.
- It typically takes 2-6 treatments to remove all hair from an area. Then you should see no hair for several months or years. If you do see any growth, it will be thinner and lighter in color. Some maintenance could be needed down the road.
After treatment, avoid hot showers, saunas, and exercise for 24 hours. Use no deodorant, moisturizers, or fragrances.