Women in America have been regularly shaving their body hair since the 1940s, which means it’s become an ingrained social expectation none of us can escape from – not that we would want to! A body free of extraneous hair is silky-smooth and easier to care for. But is shaving the only way to get rid of unwanted body hair? At Refine U MedSpa in Oklahoma City, OK, we know all the solutions to refine your beauty routine, including laser hair removal.
How Effective Is Laser Hair Removal?
If you’ve been shaving for half of your life, it makes sense to be a little skeptical about laser treatments for hair removal. But there’s no need to be doubtful – laser hair removal treatments are just as effective as traditional shaving, with the added bonus that you will ultimately be slowing down your natural hair growth in the future. Most patients can expect a 30% decrease in body hair after each treatment.
How Does This Treatment Work?
The effectiveness of this treatment boils down to how the treatment work. Most laser treatments for hair removal work under the same premise that concentrated exposure to light and thermal energy will damage your hair follicle enough that new hair will grow more slowly and less thickly. Over time, the rate at which your hair grows will slow to a stand-still and you will effectively be free of obligatory shaving.
Is All Hair Removed?
Yes, all hair is removed by this treatment. You have two types of hair on your body, which are vellus and terminal hair. Vellus hair is the small, light dusting of downy hairs on your body and face that are more or less invisible to the naked eye. Vellus hair does not grow thicker or darker after it has been removed and is not sensitive to hormonal changes.
Terminal hair, on the other hand, is body hair that is responsive to hormonal fluctuations and is most commonly associated with secondary sex characteristics. Terminal hair includes leg hair, underarm hair, public hair, the hair on the stomach, and hair on the face for men. With this treatment, terminal hair is usually the main target.
Will This Treatment Damage Your Skin?
No, laser treatments for hair removal will not damage your skin in any way. This is because the laser treatment is programed to only target pigment that is darker than your skin tone, which means only your dark body hair will be exposed to the follicle-damaging light and heat of the treatment.
Your surrounding skin is completely safe and will not be at risk of damage from this treatment. In fact, the quality of your surrounding skin may even improve as a result of this treatment – but more on that later.
What Can You Expect From Treatment?
Your treatment will begin with a consultation if you have never had laser treatments before. Your consultation will consist of examining the areas where you wish to have treatment, gathering any relevant personal and medical information, and going over the expectations you can have for your treatment.
The most important thing you can do to prepare for your treatment is to avoid unprotected sun exposure, tanning beds, and sunburns for at least seven to 14 days before your scheduled treatment appointment. If your skin has been exposed to heat too close to your appointment, you will need to reschedule.
It’s also important you completely shave the intended treatment area before your appointment. It may sound counterintuitive, but the only way for the laser treatment to work correctly is to shave at least 24 hours before your appointment. Please only shave; if you tweeze or wax the intended treatment area, you will have to reschedule your appointment.
Your treatment sessions will take between 30 to 60 minutes depending on the number of areas to be treated and how large those areas are. Some patients choose to only treat one area of the body at a time, while others like to have bulk treatments. We will help you determine the best process for your hair removal needs.
After your treatment, your skin will be sensitive and vulnerable to sunlight exposure. This is normal for laser treatments in general, which is why we urge patients to use SPF 30 to 50 anytime they are outside for at least two weeks after their treatment appointment. We also urge patients to stay away from excess heat, sweating, hot water, and tanning beds during recovery.
We may provide you with additional aftercare directions to follow after your treatment, such as to:
- Use aloe vera liberally
- Exfoliate treatment areas
- Use ice or cooling towels
- Avoid strenuous exercise
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing
When Can You See Results?
It will take some time for your results to show up after your treatment. The average patient will see initial results about one to two weeks after the very first treatment appointment. These results will include hair growing back thinner and more sparse than before.
However, for optimal results, you will likely require several weeks before results match your aesthetic goals. Most patients need about six to eight treatments to achieve the desired results, with about four to six weeks between each treatment. You may need more treatment appointments if you have hair that is particularly thick.
How Often Should You Have Treatment?
After you have achieved your optimal results with your initial round of six to eight treatments, you will still need to have treatments to maintain your results. For most patients, this means scheduling a maintenance appointment a few times a year, most commonly every four months, to continue seeing results.
Will Hair Grow Back After Treatment?
Yes, the hair will grow back after your treatment, particularly after your first few treatments, although this hair growth will be slower than normal. Although this treatment can produce long-lasting results, the treatment will still take some time to show results, especially since the laser treatment is taking care to not damage your skin. Some hair growth after your first few treatments is perfectly normal.
Why Does Some Hair Grow Back but Some Does Not?
You may notice that not all of your hair will grow back after your first few treatments. This is also perfectly normal and has an easy explanation. Because all hair follicles grow hair at a slightly different rate, the returning hair growth will also have varying lengths of time-based on your body and how much exposure the hair follicle had to the laser treatment.
Eventually, however, each of your hair follicles will be exposed to the laser energy for long enough to thwart future hair growth completely, which is why multiple treatments are necessary.
Where Can You Have This Treatment?
You can have laser treatments for hair removal on virtually every area of your body where there is unwanted hair growth. This can include the face, chest, stomach, underarms, arms, bikini area, and legs. Having hair removal treatments on multiple areas of the body is just as common for men as it is for women.
Is This Safe for All Skin?
Yes. It’s often the case with some energy-based treatments that those with medium and dark complexions are not eligible for the treatment due to a heightened risk of hyperpigmentation. However, laser treatments for hair removal are specially designed to be used on all skin tones and types. If you aren’t sure this treatment is safe for your skin, please let us know during your consultation appointment.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
In addition to being a safe option for the vast majority of patients and being able to be used in virtually all areas of the body, there are even more attractive benefits of this treatment. Some of these benefits include:
Prevent Razor Burn or Ingrown Hairs
Both razor burn and ingrown hairs are unfortunate but an all-too-common result of traditional shaving. Whether your skin becomes irritated from the razor or your hair grows back in a painful lump from ingrown hairs, these are two downsides that can be difficult to endure.
However, both razor burn and ingrown hairs are a trouble of the past when you use laser treatments for hair removal. This is because the thermal and light energy used in this treatment allows the hair to simply fall out. Plus, the thermal energy from this treatment plays another role in shocking your hair follicle into growing hair straight, which effectively eliminates ingrown hairs.
The results for this treatment are impressively long-lasting, especially when compared to traditional shaving. Most women end up shaving once or twice a week to maintain skin smoothness. This treatment, on the other hand, can last indefinitely when you keep up with your maintenance appointments. In a practical sense, this could mean no more shaving for the foreseeable future, or at the very least, shaving less frequently.
Improves Skin Texture and Tone
This treatment can also improve the texture and tone of the skin of the treatment area. This is because the thermal and light energy used for the laser treatment will help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the sub-dermal tissues of the skin, encourage a higher rate of blood circulation, and ultimately both tighten skin and eliminate some superficial concerns, such as blemishes or minor sun damage.
The byproduct of increased collagen and elastin production is that your skin will also become tighter as a result of this treatment. Your skin tone will also improve as a direct result of increased blood circulation and your body’s natural response to light exposure. The additional skin-related benefits for this laser treatment may be more evident when used on the face, or on areas of the body where there is increased skin laxity as a result of aging.
Are You a Good Candidate?
This treatment is ideal for the vast majority of patients, including those of medium and dark skin complexions. Both women and men are good candidates if they have the goal of removing unwanted body hair or slowing the growth of body hair. You are likely a good candidate for laser hair removal if you:
- Do not have an active sunburn
- Do not have active cold sores
- Are not pregnant or breastfeeding
- Would like to reduce body hair
- Treat multiple areas
- Enjoy long-lasting results
- And more!
Simplify Your Life With Laser Hair Removal Treatments
Maybe we’ve been shaving for the past 80 years, but that’s only because we didn’t know there was a better option! With laser treatments for hair removal, you can simplify your life and your beauty routine by permanently slowing or reducing hair growth in multiple areas of your body. If you think the benefits of this treatment are ideal for your lifestyle, please contact Refine U MedSpa in Oklahoma City, OK to schedule your treatment appointment today!