Unwanted hair is a common cause of distress for both men and women. Many options are available for removing hair, including waxing, shaving, and tweezing. Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure in which a concentrated beam of light is focused onto the hair follicles and ultimately destroys the hair. This also prevents further growth of the hair follicle. This procedure is more suitable for people with light colored skin and dark hair, as the laser is focused on pigments of the hair with the exception of sensitive regions, like the eyelids. However, laser hair removal can be used in any area.
This procedure is commonly used to remove hair from the legs, arms, underarms, and face.
The benefits of this procedure include:
- Accuracy – The laser can be precisely targeted on the region with unwanted hair without affecting the surrounding region.
- Permanent hair loss – In most cases, laser hair removal is permanent, as further growth of hair follicles are inhibited after about three to five sittings.
- Speed – Focusing the laser for hair removal is helpful in removing many hairs at the same time and at a faster rate.
However, there are a few risks associated with this procedure. Some hair may be difficult to remove from the hair follicles and may re-grow even after the procedure. The new hair may be smoother in texture and lighter in color. Some of the common side effects of this procedure include skin irritation and pigmentation. In some cases, the skin may turn reddish with swelling after the treatment. These signs generally fade within a few hours after the treatment. In some cases, fine changes in the pigments of the hair also may be noted. Those who have dark skin may develop light skin after the procedure, particularly if not used properly.
Under normal conditions, the hair is trimmed to a few millimeters above the surface of the skin before the treatment. The laser is then adjusted based on the color, thickness, and location of the hair, and color of the skin. Laser treatment is usually avoided around the eyes, as it may lead to eye injury. Ice-packs, anti-inflammatory medications, and cold water compresses are used to alleviate the discomfort after the treatment. Further sessions of laser treatment can be fixed to have permanent hair removal. A new session is usually scheduled after four to six weeks of the initial treatment.