Photo by: Senivpetro
Lasers have many applications in cosmetic medicine. One of the most exciting uses is to reduce or remove unwanted hair from virtually any area of the body (including the legs, arms, bikini area, face, and back). This eliminates the need for daily shaving, monthly waxing, and cumbersome tweezing. Millions of people enjoy smooth, hair-free skin, thanks to laser hair removal.
The revolutionary treatment is available at the New England cosmetic surgery practice of Dr. Mark X. Lowney. Here, he shares what laser hair removal patients should know before starting treatment.
TREATMENT WILL NOT WORK ON LIGHT-COLORED HAIR
Laser hair removal only works if the laser is attracted to the pigment in the hair follicle. If there is not a clear delineation between the color of the hair follicle and the color of the skin, the laser cannot find the hair follicle. This is why laser hair removal is not recommended for blonde or white hair.
AVOID THE SUN BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
You must avoid the sun as well as artificial tans (e.g., spray tans or bronzers) as you prepare for treatment so that the laser can differentiate between the pigment in your skin and the pigment in your hair. Be sure to avoid the sun after treatment, too, to prevent pain and discomfort.
Many people schedule laser hair removal during the winter since the sun is less powerful. Starting in the winter is also a good way to enjoy smooth, hair-free skin by the time the summer bikini season arrives!
SHAVE THE AREA AHEAD OF TIME
Do not grow out unwanted hair before treatment. The laser destroys the hair follicle, not the hair itself. You will be asked to shave (not wax!) hair in the area to be treated ahead of time. If you do not do this prior to your appointment, you will likely be provided with a razor to shave in the office.
DON’T EXPECT INSTANT RESULTS
The laser only destroys hair follicles in the active growth stage, and not all hairs grow at the same time. You will need to undergo several laser treatments to be able to target all of the follicles as they grow at different times. Most people need four to six treatments, depending on the size of the treatment area. However, you can start to see initial results after your first session; the hair will look finer and sparser in the treated area.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
For the best results, you will need to stick with the schedule provided to you by your cosmetic surgeon or laser technician. Most people return to the office for treatment every four to six weeks until all of the hair follicles have been targeted. If you stop in the middle of your treatment regimen, you will not see the smooth, hair-free results you want.