Welcome to your skin check-in with Life & Style’s resident health and beauty expert, Dr. Will Kirby, a celebrity dermatologist and Chief Medical Officer of LaserAway. Every week, he’ll be spilling his candid thoughts and professional advice on all things skin, beauty and wellness as it relates to you — and your favorite stars.
Styles and trends come and go, but unwanted body hair will never be fashionable! So throw away your razor, fire your waxer and make an appointment for laser hair removal. Here are 11 things to know before getting laser hair removal:
1) We Treat Everything:
While the most common area to get laser hair removal is still the axilla (the armpit), laser hair removal can be implemented anywhere you have hair. Yeah, even down there! It’s actually no big deal and purveyors of laser hair removal are well-equipped to treat your nether regions.
2) All Skin Types:
The technology used in laser hair removal has improved greatly in the last decade and, as long as you are being treated with modern devices, laser hair removal is now safe for all skin types! So, no matter what, you can be treated but …
3) Redheads Need Not Apply:
Laser hair removal works best on dark, coarse, thick hair. It works moderately well on finer, brown hair. It won’t work at all on light blonde, red or gray hair. See, for laser hair removal to be permanent, the light that the laser produces has to travel down the hair shaft to destroy the hair bulb and darker, thicker hair creates a better result.
4) Pale Is the New Tan:
The paler you are, the better the treatment will work. Patients with tan, sun-exposed skin, or even spray-tanned skin, should wait until they are pale to get treatment. My suggestion? Start laser hair removal when it’s cold outside.
5) Multiple Treatments Are Required:
Because of the growth cycle of hair, you need multiple treatments to get a permanent hair reduction. Generally speaking, most people need seven treatments on body hair and nine treatments on facial hair to get up to an 80 percent reduction … or more!
6) Technology Is Not Created Equal:
While hair can be reduced with IPL treatment or an 808nm diode laser, for the best results, a long-pulse 1064nm and/or 755nm wavelength needs to be utilized. Triple-check with the facility you choose to make sure they are using gold-standard technology like the Elite+ from Cynosure.
7) It’s Not That Painful:
The discomfort isn’t awful by any means, but it’s also not completely pain-free. Most patients tolerate the treatments extremely well and there are a variety of methods to help mitigate the discomfort like compressed cold air from a chiller device.
While laser hair removal works remarkably well, you are unlikely to maintain a 100 percent permanent reduction in hair. Some people may require a “touch-up” or “maintenance” treatment every few years or so to keep their body hair-free.
On rare occasions, some medications can make you more sensitive to laser hair removal treatments. Make sure you disclose all the medications you take to the clinic staff so they can check to make sure there are no contraindications to treatment.
10) Aftercare Matters:
After laser hair removal treatment, you might be ever-so-slightly sore and just the tiniest bit swollen. Don’t worry, that’s completely normal. Make sure you use common sense caution and avoid hot tubs and excess sweating for a few days after treatment. Also, after 24 hours, you can gently hydrate the treated area with a quality moisturizer like Drenched or Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatment.
11) It’s Affordable:
Most people are shocked to find out that laser hair removal is actually pretty affordable. When you factor in the time it takes to shave and the cost of razors and shaving cream, the price makes even more sense. Plus, since you’ll need a few treatments, most practices offer a discount for multiple treatment sessions which drives the cost even lower.