Laser hair removal: Common myths & tips

Laser hair removal: Common myths & tips

Traditional hair removal procedures are exhausting and time-consuming? Are you considering using laser for hair removal, but there are certain common myths that scare you and have a negative impact on your decision? Let’s learn more about laser hair removal…

Laser hair removal myths

  • Effective for blonde, white, gray or red hair! Despite significant progress in laser hair removal technology, lasers that can successfully target light-colored hairs have NOT been developed yet.
  • It is not possible to remove hair for dark skin! It is safe for all skin types as long as there is a contrast between the color of your skin and hair. However, those with darker skin tones should ensure that the doctor had an experience in performing laser hair removal on darker skin tones.
  • Anyone can use the device! Because of this myth, many people suffer from side effects such as burns, pimples, infections, and skin lightening or darkening, so make sure that a certified dermatologist who has the required knowledge to deliver the best cosmetic treatment will perform the laser hair removal procedure.
  • It’s for women only! More men than ever are turning to laser hair removal to permanently remove unwanted hair and avoid problems like razor burn and ingrown hairs.
  • It is painful! When laser hair removal is performed by a board-certified dermatologist, it should produce little or no discomfort and be less painful than traditional hair removal methods. However, the amount of pain a person feels depends on the area of the body being treated and how well the person tolerates the pain. Also, you can use a local anesthetic before the session.

Laser hair removal facts

After you’ve busted the most common myths about laser hair removal and corrected them, you’ll need to learn more about the procedure itself to make an informed decision…

It is a cosmetic procedure that can remove hair permanently. Lasers vaporize hair to remove it. The length of the session depends on the size of the region being treated.

Initial visit to the doctor

Before you begin, tell your dermatologist if:

  • Your body tends to form scars
  • Get a recent tan, whether from the sun or a tanning bed.
  • You have prominent scars
  • Tendency to outbreaks of cold sores or genital herpes.
  • Are taking isotretinoin or any other medicine including OTC medicines such as aspirin.

Then the dermatologist will also examine your skin since the effectiveness and the success of laser hair removal depends on a number of factors, including where the unwanted hair is located on the body, the color and coarseness of the hair, and where the hair is in its growth cycle.

Prior to the session

Some women apply anesthetic cream/gel, as many describe the laser pulses with warm pricks, and it takes about 30 to 60 minutes to work.

During the session

  • You should get rid of any residues of the anesthetic by cleaning the skin.
  • Everyone in the room must wear eye goggles during the session.

Post-session tips

Following your dermatology’s instructions helps reduce potential side effects. These instructions include:

  • Avoiding direct sunlight. You can apply a waterproof sunscreen with a sun protection factor 30 or higher every day before going outdoors.
  • Do not get tanned (indoors and outdoors).
  • Follow your dermatologist’s instructions.

Although your treated skin will become red and inflamed, you will be able to resume your normal activities immediately.

Possible side effects of laser hair removal 

The most common side effects are minor and last one to three days. These side effects include:

  • Discomfort
  • swelling
  • redness

Also, when a dermatologist performs laser hair removal fewer side effects can happen. It is also important to follow your doctor’s instructions because following both the pre-treatment instructions and the post-treatment instructions will greatly reduce the risk of side effects.

When will I see the results?

The color and thickness of the hair, the treated area, the type of laser, used and your skin tone affect the results, so results vary from patient to patient but you can expect a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after the first treatment. Most people need 2 to 6 laser treatments. After this, most patients do not see any hair on the treated area for months or even years! When the hair grows back it tends to be less. The bristles also tend to be finer and lighter in color.