Beauty & Style
Laser Hair Removal: What You Need to Know
“If I prayed as much as I plucked,” talk show veteran Kathie Lee Gifford wrote in her memoir, “I’d be the Dalai Lama.”
Fortunately, advances in laser hair removal now allow us to put aside the tweezers – for good.
Since the early lasers of the 1990s, the technology has been refined so that there is a range of options, suitable for all skin tones and hair types – and with increasing power to permanently reduce hair from those places we don’t want it.
Lasers work by damaging the hair follicle, which is completely different from the superficial and temporary removal achieved by plucking, waxing or shaving.
The range of today’s laser hair removal options at Advanced Dermatology PC’s Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa, where I am a medical laser technician, includes the Ellman Cheveux II Diode, the Apogee, the GentleLASE, the Gemini, the Lyra, and the Soprano – each with varied characteristics best suited to different clients’ needs.
To understand the latest laser hair removal options, here are some answers to common questions:
1. Why choose lasers and not electrolysis?
Studies on laser hair removal underscore the overwhelming levels of satisfaction, with rates of almost 100 percent for people who choose lasers for hair removal. That’s nearly 30 percentage points higher than electrolysis. Lasers can treat a much more extensive area more quickly and can also achieve long lasting results.
2. Which laser is right for me?
At this point, there are many different laser options, including the varied menu offered by Simply Posh and Advanced Dermatology PC. These options allow for a personalized approach, depending on a client’s skin tone and hair type, as well as the area to be treated. The growing range of options makes it especially important to work with an experienced technician who can explain the choices and recommend the most effective laser hair treatment for you.
3. Why do I need more than one treatment?
Lasers work by damaging growing hair follicles. Because our hair follicles’ growth cycles vary, multiple treatments are needed so that all of the follicles in a given area are treated during their early growing period. At this point, advances in laser technology allow us to achieve results with fewer treatments – typically in five to nine sessions. The number of sessions varies depending on individual characteristics, including hair type and treatment area. It’s important for clients to talk with their technician to gain a clear understanding of how many sessions may be needed for optimal results.
4. How much does it hurt and how long does it take?
Part of the attraction of laser hair removal is everything it’s not: it’s not invasive, it’s not painful, and it’s not time-consuming. The time required for the procedure is quite short – a small area, such as above the lip, takes minutes, while a larger area like the back takes longer. The ability to quickly treat multiple hair follicles is part of the advantage of laser hair removal.
5. What is the recovery time?
People are able to immediately return to their regular routine. There may be some redness and tenderness, but that will quickly fade. Laser treatments free people from the need to spend ongoing time taking care of unwanted hair – allowing them to devote their efforts to other aesthetic goals.
For more on Dunning’s work, click on her byline (above).