For the past few decades, people have been trying to remove hair from parts of their bodies, which is unlike in previous decades when body hair was not frowned upon. Today, people use a variety of hair removal products, razors and shaving creams and waxes to remove unwanted hair. Here is some information on the various hair removal procedures.
There are various methods of removing hair, and at the moment, laser hair removal is the latest and most advanced procedure around. Given its recent inception and the infrequency of which it is performed, there is still a lot of unknown information about this hair removal procedure. Here is everything you need to know about it:
How does it work?
Unlike the common misconception, laser hair removal does not work using light but rather using heat. When the laser beam is produced by the laser machine, it is absorbed as heat by the skin and hair follicle. The root of the hair follicle absorbs the most heat, because it is darker and the darker tone absorbs more heat, thereby causing the hair to wither and die.
Successive treatments are required because the root of the hair grows in stages, and the laser treatments are required to kill it in every stage to create a permanent effect.
Where can I get the procedure done?
Laser hair removal is still not very common right now, but the necessary equipment can be found in your local spa or beauty salon most of the time. Laser hair removal equipment varies in size and strength, so you can find a simple one in a small beauty salon, but a more complex one at a larger institution. The larger one is usually advisable because it does not have limitations to skin tone or the color of the hair follicle, and can thus work on all types of individuals.
Alternatively, you can buy a personal at-home hair removal kit which is handheld and can do the same thing as the one in the salon. However, these may be expensive because they are relatively new in the market.
Is it painful?
Yes, you can expect to feel some level of pain during the laser hair removal procedure. However, it’s not intense burning or searing pain, and clients have described it as a flick of an elastic band which is still not as painful as waxing is as far as hair removal procedures go. Besides this slight pain during the procedure, the treated area might also become irritated and sensitive to pain. The bottom line is, compared to the benefits one hopes to achieve, the effectiveness of the procedure and the low risks, it is said to be worth the slight pain.
Where is laser hair removal used?
Since laser hair removal is very safe, it can be used to remove hair on almost all areas of the body. Starting from the head downwards, it can be used on:
The head and neck: Hair can grow on the neck, but more commonly around the face itself in the form of a beard and mustache. These areas can be cleared of hair through a laser hair removal procedure without any major complications. Other rare areas include the ears and nose, and these too can be cleared of hair using this procedure. If you wanted, you could also get rid of the hair at the top of your head, but this is very unusual – most people don’t wish to become bald.
The upper body: Laser hair removal from the chest area is usually in high demand during and right before summer when people are looking to take off their tops and enjoy some sun. The good news is, the procedure is very safe. All areas of the upper body are safe, including the chest (also the nipples), back, stomach and the underarms. If you’ve got a shaver at home for your beard, then you know just how ineffective it can be for removing hair from the underarms, but laser hair removal is not only safe but very effective.
Arms and legs: Just like the chest, there are no sensitive organs in the arms or legs, and these areas of the body can be hair-free through laser hair removal. Every inch of the arms and legs, from the shoulders to the fingers, and the thighs to the toes can be taken care of. This is also a common region where laser hair removal procedures are frequently requested during summer.
The midsection: For the private regions of the body, you will be happy to know that these, too, can be taken care of through laser hair removal. The procedure can be performed to remove pubic hair around the reproductive organs and also the buttocks and perianal regions. Laser hair removal is preferred for this areas because it provides a smoother shave and prevents regrowth of hair quickly afterwards.
What are the risks?
Just like other medical procedures, laser hair removal may also present some risks, but they are often mild and not dangerous or alarming. In fact, the only risks are cosmetic and temporary, such as:
- Pain – There is only a little pain experienced by most, although everyone is different and some people claim to have experienced a lot of pain. Either way, it is only temporary and the procedure can be stopped whenever you’re too uncomfortable.
- Skin irritation – You may also experience some itching around the area where the procedure was performed, but this is also temporary. If you’re too uncomfortable, use ice to compress the area and soothe the irritation.
- Skin discoloration – Often, the skin on the affected area will become red due to the heat produced by the laser. Sometimes, the skin becomes discolored whereby the lighter skin becomes darker or darker skin becomes lighter.
As you can see, all these risks are temporary and not serious or threatening to your health. However, this procedure has still not been approved by any official health regulatory body, and this has planted a lot of doubt in many people. You should know that all cases of negative consequences have only been mild and temporary, suggesting that the procedure is very safe. In fact, most of the risks associated are similar to those experienced when using other hair removal techniques like depilatory creams.