More and more women are opting for laser hair removal because it’s simple, fuss free, and effective. From legs and arms to chin and lips, you can get the smooth skin you desire, even in winter.
Dr Sam Ussamah, Aesthetic Doctor at London Premier Laser Clinic explains everything you need to know about laser hair removal.
How does the process of laser hair removal work?
“Laser Hair Removal works through a series of treatments where the laser targets the hair at the root to destroy it. The light energy from the laser enters the skin and is absorbed by melanin surrounding the hair follicle. Melanin is naturally present in the hair follicle, when targeted with the laser in the right stage of hair growth, this causes the hair follicle to overheat damaging the bulb, preventing further hair regrowth. The process is called photothermolysis, and ensures the hair falls out for good. For best results a course of laser hair removal treatments is recommended to ensure all hairs are caught over differing hair cycle growths.”
What are the key benefits?
“The key benefits are long-term hair reduction, saving time and money on repetitive, costly and painful treatments like waxing/shaving & threading. On average only 8 sessions of 15-60 minutes are necessary for permanent hair removal. Not only does this result in year-round hair free and smooth skin, there are also a number of medical benefits. These include prevention of ingrown hairs which can lead to boils and abscesses, prevention of shaving rashes, and permanent hair removal to help prevent pilo-nidal sinuses, a condition that can occur in both men and women.”
Is the process painful?
“Whilst laser hair removal is not guaranteed to be completely pain-free, it’s good to know that there are lots of options out there your therapist can use to make it as close to pain-free as possible. These include a cool-air fan (often built into the device), specially formulated lotions, and adjusting the settings of the laser.”
What are the misconceptions surrounding laser hair removal?
One misconception of laser hair removal is that it is expensive. Laser hair removal means you no longer have to spend money on other expensive methods of hair removal that have to be repeated multiple times a year. In the long-term, laser hair removal will save you money compared to other methods.
Another myth worth debunking is that laser hair removal is not safe. Whilst all treatments, including laser hair removal, can have side effects (which your therapist will discuss with you as part of a consultation), when used appropriately by experienced practitioners in licensed clinics with FDA-approved lasers, it is an extremely safe process. All of our clinics are CQC-approved.
Does it treat all skin types?
“It treats all genders and skin types, but works on dark and brown hair. It is not effective on red or blonde hair and no lasers in the market will be able to treat white hair due to the lack of melanin.”
Is there anyone that shouldn’t / can’t have laser?
“Laser hair removal is not recommended if you are pregnant, breast feeding or with certain medical prescriptions which your therapist will discuss with you. Laser therapy can only be applied to a natural skin tone without sunburn, deep sun tan or fake tan. The treatment can start immediately after the symptoms, burn or tan has cleared. As part of safety procedures everyone should have a consultation and patch test regardless to ensure maximum safety and compatibility. It is not recommended as hormonal changes can affect hair regrowth so it’s not optimal to have the treatment at this stage.”
Is upper lip laser painful?
“It would certainly be no more painful than waxing or threading and quicker to perform, upper lip treatment would take 2 minutes for the laser to cover the area. The patch test confirms skin suitability, so any reaction would be rare such as scarring. (as regular and similar to dying your hair or eyebrows a patch test is required just in case)”
“You can have laser hair removal treatment on any part of your body. Face is a popular area in addition to underarms/bikini/legs/back/chest. There are more intricate, precise applicators designed for facial or smaller area use.”
Would there be a time where you would advise against laser?
“Immediately after holidays if there is a deep tan present, in which case it is recommended to allow six weeks to elapse before having laser hair removal. We do not recommend laser during a course of sun-bed tanning, immediately before or after harsh sun-exposure, and if the area to be treated is currently inflamed, such as acne, rosacea or dermatitis.”
What is the downtime for this procedure – Are there things you should avoid after?
“There is no downtime, clients can return to any normal activities immediately after treatment. Clients should however avoid any heat treatments such as steam/sauna rooms for 48 hours and avoid direct sunlight without appropriate sunscreen protection.”
Are there any side effects?
“The skin directly after treatment could appear red or raised similar to goose-bumps, which would be expected to disappear within an hour or two. The skin may feel a little itchy after the treatment. Occasionally the lasered hair may return slightly thicker than before in the first few sessions but will eventually disappear with subsequent sessions. This is usually more common when dealing with thick dense hair such as back or chest hair in men. There is no downtime necessary or long-term side effects.”
How many sessions to you need for it to be effective?
“ Eight sessions spread over 4 to 8 weeks is sufficient for most areas, but your therapist will adjust the frequency and strength of the laser treatment to match your response. Although clients should complete all sessions to see the full results, there will be a noticeable difference in hair regrowth even after the first session.. In between sessions clients can continue to shave hair but not wax, tweeze or pluck. People should always research the clinics as above to check there is experienced/qualified staff, clinics are licensed & technology is FDA approved.”