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Laser Hair Removal Guide


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Body hair is a natural part of your body. Though it is most welcome and wanted on the head other parts are not so lucky. Hair is mostly unwanted on your arms, legs, and lips. This is especially true if you are a woman. Even men prefer their body hair to be on the low side and not dense. Hair removal is an ancient practice, only the techniques have evolved over the decades. The latest in this area is the Laser Hair Removal. Hair removal can be purely cosmetic or even ritualistic in certain cultures but seldom is it medical. Traditional methods like plucking and waxing are not only painful but can also irritate skin with ingrown hair and acne-like bumps. Laser hair removal can be a viable alternative for you in this.

Understanding Laser Hair Removal

One of the most common cosmetic procedures done today by people is Laser hair removal. In simple terms, it is a procedure that removes unwanted hair by using a concentrated beam of light also known as laser. A laser is a non-invasive technique of emitting light which is then absorbed by the hair pigment or the melanin present in the hair base. This light energy then converts to heat causing damage to the hair follicle sacs which produce hair. Hence causing delays or even inhibiting hair growth in the future.

Unfortunately for blondes and brunets this process best performed on people with dark hair and light skin since the process targets melanin. Mayo Clinic also elaborates that laser hair removal only delays hair growth and doesn’t eliminate it.

What Is The Cost Of Laser Hair Removal?

The most important factor that you think about when deciding on any cosmetic treatment is the cost involved. The same goes for laser treatment. On an average one laser session in India for upper lips will cost you around Rs 1500 to Rs. 3000. Keep in mind though that this is just a very general range and the actual cost depends on multiple factors like:

  • Hair density
  • Type of laser used
  • The texture of hair
  • Area of treatment
  • Hair growth
  • Clinic reputation
  • Experience of the concerned dermatologist
  • The clinic location

That said even though hair removal by laser looks expensive it is not when you do the maths. In the long term, you end up spending about 4 lacs in a reputed salon on hair removal in 10 years. Here even with follow up sessions you don’t go beyond 2 to 2.5 lacs making it the more cost-effective option over the years.

Different Laser Hair Treatment Techniques

The technique remains the same only the type of laser used changes. Some different types are:

  • Ruby Hair Removal Laser: The oldest in the laser hair removal technology and uses a short wavelength of 694nm targeting melanin. It is ideal for removing hair that is both light and thin. Since it requires more time it is good for targeting small areas and is not advised for dark skin tones.
  • Alexandrite Hair Removal Lasers: This is the most popular and the fastest system under hair removal by laser technology. It also uses a short wavelength of 755nm and is ideal for individuals with light to olive skin tone. Being the fastest it is recommended for larger area treatment but the flipside of its speed is pain.
  • Diode Hair Removal Lasers: This is a relatively new technology and uses a longer wavelength of 800 – 810nm. This is ideal for darker skin tones and works best for removing coarse and thick hair. It is generally used on men for removing their back or chest hair.
  • Nd: YAG Hair Removal Laser: A highly advanced laser technology that operates at a wavelength of 1064nm. In this, the laser does not target the melanin but the carbon. Before treatment, your skin will undergo a carbon application and the laser then targets this carbon to effectively remove hair from all types of skin even the tanned skin.
  • IPL Hair Removal: This utilizes a laser equivalent in the form of Intense Pulse Light or IPL. It’s a little different from the conventional method but scores by being more flexible and is customizable about the wavelength, pulse period and energy levels. Since it does not involve laser it can also be used by all the skin tones.

Why Choose Laser Hair Treatment Over Others

Excess and unwanted hair is a common problem. It is prevalent in both genders and its removal is associated with methods:

  • Waxing
  • Threading
  • Tweezers
  • Shaving
  • Medication
  • Hair Removal Creams

So why should you leave the convention and traditional methods aside to opt for the laser hair removal treatment? Some benefits as per Universal Spa Training Academy that can help you decide are:

  • Laser removal technique is the only technique offering a long term resolution for hair removal. All other methods are temporary.
  • Laser technique is a relatively painless technique, unlike the traditional methods that are all painful.
  • Methods like waxing and threading cause skin irritation leading to ingrown hair, acne-like abrasions, and skin darkening.
  • Laser removal will also help you in saving time in the long term. You will not be bound by any daily restriction to shave or monthly restriction to wax to rid of the unwanted hair.

It will also help to understand the shortcomings of the other traditional alternatives that are available to you.

Disadvantages of Conventional Hair Removal Procedures

At this point, you must be wondering about the disadvantages associated with traditional methods. Some of them about laser treatment as per the FDA are:

  • Waxing and Threading: This method plucks hair below the surface and is hence a painful procedure when compared to laser removal which in most cases is painless or less painful. It also more often than not causes skin irritation and infections from the wax used including allergies, minor sunburns, and chapped skin.
  • Threading: This is an ancient practice that can lead to permanent hair removal in some cases since it damages the follicles. Again, it’s a painful and very time-consuming process and also requires an expert practitioner.
  • Tweezers: This involves grasping hair with the tweezers and then plucking it. It can cause damage to the hair follicle leading to abrasions. Also, it is a very time-consuming process since each hair has to be individually plucked and is generally limited to facial hair.
  • Shaving: It is an extremely short term and tedious process. You have to make sure that you shave on wet skin and opposite the hair direction to reduce skin irritation. Also, you must use a clean sterile razor to eliminate the chances of skin infection.
  • Depilatories Like Gels and Creams: These products are highly alkaline and affect the protein structure of your hair reducing it to a jelly-like mass that can then be simply wiped off. It is again a time-consuming process with side effects ranging from skin burns, itchiness, rashes, blisters and skin peeling.

You are probably wondering now that if these traditional methods are so bad for your skin then why is laser hair removal technique, not a very common practice?

Complications and Success Rate explained

The laser removal process is the most successful permanent hair removal option. Even though laser does not guarantee permanency 100 percent it is still your best bet in the market. But it does come packed with some side effects:

  • Blistering
  • Skin Discoloration
  • Skin irritations like swelling and redness
  • Sometimes scarring
  • Heavier on the pocket

You must remember that even though it is an aesthetic procedure it is still a medical procedure that involves beaming laser into your follicles. As such it is bound to have certain complications, but these are few and by far less serious than the effects of other procedures like waxing.

But then again, the very fact that it is an invasive procedure even if that invasion is minimal can be detrimental for many.

Things to Know When Preparing for Laser Hair Removal

It’s important to know the benefits and side effects but before deciding to opt for laser hair removal there are other things also that you should consider. These include educating yourself about:

  • What Is Involved In The Procedure: The procedure is simple generally requiring no anesthesia, but for sensitive areas, some topical lotion might be applied to ease the discomfort. Your hair will be trimmed to a few millimeters. Also, remember that your eyes will generally be covered during the procedure for protection and the laser will be beamed directly on a patch of skin.
  • Preparing For The Procedure: WebMD suggests that you will be asked to avoid other forms of hair removal for at least six weeks before the laser treatment. You also need to limit sun exposure both before and after the treatment again for at least six weeks.
  • Procedure Time: This depends on the hair removal area and the amount of the area involved. Generally, it can take anywhere between 15 minutes to several hours.
  • Recovery Time: Right after the procedure, your skin might look red and irritated. You should use a cold compress to ease skin irritation. However, this only lasts for a couple of days maximum. But you need to limit sun exposure for six weeks.
  • How Many Settings Will Be Required: As per Mayo Clinic be warned that the hair removal procedure will require at least 2 to 6 settings. The interval between the settings is decided by the area in question. With high hair growth areas, the setting is needed every 4 to 8 weeks but in slow-growth areas, it’s about 12 to 16 weeks.

Laser Removal: Medical procedure or Cosmetic procedure?

There is no government or medical regulation with laser therapy. It is a procedure easily available with a storefront or in any so-called “cosmetic clinic”. However, there is a high possibility of harm to the patients when the procedure is not carried out by a qualified practitioner. Given that it involves the use of a medical laser with the high possibility of scarring, burn and pigmentation physicians argue that it should be classified as a medical practice with proper regulation to curb it from being practiced by the business for profit reasons. On the other end, the non-clinic advocates argue that it is a very safe minimally invasive technique with a lotq=7 fewer complications than those currently offered by the beauty salons like electrolysis and waxing. Considering the distinct lack of clarity you should protect yourself when deciding on this treatment by keeping in mind the following points:

  • Exercise caution when getting the procedure done by a beautician and not a physician
  • Review former clients from that clinic
  • Mention your medications
  • Ask questions about the procedure to gain clarity and judge the beautician’s or physician’s expertise

Best Laser Treatment for the Indian Skin

The following list about the popular laser treatment especially designed for the Indian skin can help you decide which one will work for you best:

  • Starwalker by Fotona
  • Soprano Diode Laser
  • SP Dynamis by Fotona
  • E-Light System
  • Tribeam Premium (Q Switch Nd YAG Laser)
  • Carbon Dioxide (C02) Fractional Laser

Common Doubts Reviewed

Basic misgivings that you must be harboring after reading through the jargon about laser therapy would include whether laser removal is indeed permanent? Is it worth it? How expensive are it and the ultimate query is it bad for your skin? To settle your doubts, laser removal is generally permanent but there are no assurances on that department. It’s 100 percent semi-permanent in the sense that your hair will not grow back within a few months but over the years it might.

Whether it’s worth it or not is completely your call. You know the pros and cons so decide. Also, it can be expensive but not so much when you factor in the long-term savings. It’s more of an onetime pinch on the pocket. Lastly, it’s not bad for your skin. It’s better than the other removal techniques. But the bottom line is that it is invasive if a minimally invasive procedure. And your skin is unique. To conclude laser removal procedures are the next big thing in the market of beauty treatments. They have certain advantages over the traditional procedures that cannot be ignored. But you must ultimately take the call on whether it suits your purpose or not.

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