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Laser Hair Removal: The Basics You Need To Know

Waxing, plucking, and shaving—you know the routine. Hair removal is such a constant practice for so many women. But it doesn’t have to be. With laser hair removal, you can target specific areas of the body and avoid shaving and waxing in the long run. Sure, the procedure might sound intimidating. But it’s a lot simpler than you may have thought.

How does laser hair removal work?

Laser hair removal is completely cosmetic. So whether or not you think you need the treatment is completely up to you. In laser hair removal, lasers target unwanted hairs according to their color. Basically, lasers detect dark hairs by sending light to a group of hair follicles and disabling the roots. Many dermatologists have different lasers that target lighter hairs. But more often than not, laser hair removal works best on dark hairs, and cannot guarantee results for blonde, red, or white hairs. Not sure where you fall on the scale? Visit a dermatologist at a laser center near you for a consultation.

How long does a laser treatment take?

Every body is different. And this goes for your hair, as well. The laser targets a set of follicles in less than one second. So, depending on the area you want treated (underarms, or legs, bikini area, etc.), a single treatment can take 30 minutes or less. When it comes to smaller areas, such as the upper lip, dermatologists can complete this task in as little as a minute. For long-term results, anywhere from 3 to 6 appointments may be required, depending on your body.

Will the hair grow back?

Laser hair removal cannot guarantee the complete removal of hair in whatever area you want to target. So, some of the hair will grow back. However, it will take several months to re-grow, and many people find that this minimal hair is lighter and finer. So with only minimal plucking or shaving every few months, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort.

Laser hair removal precautions

Laser hair removal is totally safe for your skin and hair because it only targets the follicle (rather than the skin around it). Before you get started, it’s a good idea to let your hair grow back fully. So if you regularly wax, then wait about 6 weeks after your last waxing. Then, in-between laser appointments, it’s impertinent that you don’t treat the hair in your targeted area. That means: no plucking, waxing, or using any hair-removal creams. It’s ok if you shave. But go easy on the targeted area. It will take a few visits for the hair to fall out on its own.


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