Laser hair removal: how does it work?

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Laser hair removal: how does it work?

In a time where days are busy and free time is at a minimum, we women are after long-lasting results for everything we do. We try before we buy, we search for the fastest route to wherever we’re going and we see no need to deal with fuzzy limbs on a weekly basis when we have the option to be permanently smooth and silky.

Enter laser hair removal. This more permanent treatment will leave you free of lumps and bumps, burns, nicks, cuts – and best of all, unwanted hair. And the best part? The optimum time to start having laser is during the winter months (aka now). 

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Find out more about laser hair removal and how it works below…

What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a technique that uses beams of highly concentrated light to penetrate deep down into the base of the hair follicles on the body and face. The light energy (or laser) is attracted to the dark pigment (Melanin) in the hair follicle. Once the light reaches the base of the hair follicle, it effectively destroys the follicle, making it unable to regrow hair (hooray)!

How does it work?

Once you have your first laser hair removal treatment, your hairs will grow back as normal and then you’ll find that most of them will fall out on their own. It should take around 3-6 weeks for these hairs to grow back, depending on your hair cycle, and that’s when your next session should be. This process will repeat each time you have a laser hair removal appointment until your hairs are so fine, they eventually stop growing at all. So basically, you can kiss this sitch goodbye:

Why is it effective in permanently removing your hair?

Laser hair removal is targeted to each individual hair follicle, making it more effective than other kinds of hair removal, but the main reason it is so effective is that the results are permanent. This means that the vast majority of hair follicles that are ‘disarmed’ by the laser remain disarmed forever. At Nad’s Laser Clinic, Brand Manager Natalie Brill explains why laser is a better option for people seeking a more effective hair removal solution. “The machines used are specifically designed for hair removal, from the first treatment you can expect a minimum of 15% reduction. The wavelengths are specific and consistent, and work by destroying the root of the hair for a more permanent result.” 

Who is it suitable for?

As the light energy is attracted to the pigment in the hair follicle, laser hair removal is suitable for those with dark hair. Unfortunately for that reason, laser hair removal isn’t as effective on people with red, blonde or grey hair. Your laser therapist will choose the best laser for your skin type (either light or dark).

How should you prepare for laser hair removal?

Before your laser hair removal appointment, you should steer clear of fake tan or a large amount of sun exposure (which means it’s way easier to do in winter). This is because the light can be drawn to the pigment in your skin rather than the pigment in your hair follicle. Registered Nurse and Clinical Educator for Cynosure Australia, Sandra Sostres, also says you’re “not recommended to have a laser treatment while taking some photosensitizing medication (antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-acne, or natural remedies such as St John’s Wart). You should let your therapist know what medications you are taking”. You should also ensure you shave the area to be treated with the laser the night before your appointment. This is both to help reduce any pain and to allow the laser technician to clearly see what they’re doing. 

How many treatments do you need?

As hair grows in cycles, it can take many months to effectively stop all hair growth using laser hair removal treatments. For the average person, it takes 5-12 treatments for permanent hair removal, depending on the area treated, among other factors. If you commence a course of treatment now, you’re likely to be hair free by summertime!

Things to keep in mind when choosing a clinic: 

As with any other in-salon treatment, we recommend going with a well-known, established company with a good reputation. According to Sandra, you should make sure you “receive a consultation prior to having a treatment”.  During this, the process of the laser hair removal treatment should be explained in detail, “including the number of sessions and intervals between treatments”. The therapist should also do a patch test “to assess your skin tolerance and to determine which laser energy to select prior to the treatment.”

Main header image @stephclairesmith

What do you think about laser hair removal? Which areas would you consider getting treated?

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