Heat Up the Summer With Laser Hair Removal
Glowing, sun-kissed skin is the epitome of summer, and the season gives you plenty of opportunities to flaunt it. However, some people may feel too embarrassed by excessive hair to actually enjoy it—or feel exhausted and irritated by trying to get rid of it.
Laser hair removal and electrolysis are two of the most effective ways to ensure your skin is smooth and hair-free for the summer. While similar, they use slightly different methods to remove hair follicles safely and with little discomfort.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is fairly self-explanatory—it’s a method that uses lasers to get rid of unwanted hair along the face and body. The laser beams convert into heat that pierces through the hair follicles under the skin, preventing further growth.
There are several types of lasers used for hair removal treatments, and it is common to use more than one laser to get rid of all unwanted hair. Most laser hair removal treatments are done using a handheld device that runs the laser across the skin.
Dr. Guy uses several different types of lasers for hair removal: the 1064 wavelength Yag laser, the broadband light laser (BBL, also known as the IPL), and the Lumenis Lightsheer Diode Duet (with the large handpiece for quicker treatment of large areas).
Patients may feel a warm pinprick as the laser beams pass through the skin and hit the hair follicles. Typically, laser hair removal results in little discomfort and even less downtime.
Recovery and Results
Patients may experience some minor skin irritation or swelling right after laser hair removal treatments. Usually, any discomfort quickly subsides within hours or a few days after treatment.
Patients will need to avoid sun exposure for at least six weeks right after laser treatment. They may also need to avoid certain skin care or other hair removal products as the skin continues to heal.
Results are typically immediately apparent, with hair shedding over the next few days or weeks before it starts the regrowth cycle again. Repeated treatments target progressively weaker hair follicles, ensuring hair growth diminishes.
Laser hair removal is an almost permanent hair removal method but typically requires touch-ups intermittently. Some hormonal or stress-related issues can cause hair to regrow faster.
Laser Treatments for Different Hair and Skin Types
Laser hair removal is well suited for patients with light skin tones and dark hair color. They’re still effective for other skin tones, but the risk of damaging skin pigmentation is greater when there’s less of a contrast between hair and skin color. That is why several lasers are necessary to meet the needs of different patients with different skin types.
The thickness of the hair and the targeted location may also affect the number of necessary sessions. Your laser hair removal specialist can give you an idea of the number of sessions, based on her exam.
What Is Electrolysis?
This hair removal method goes a step further in getting rid of unwanted hair, typically ensuring it doesn’t ever come back. Electrolysis uses a special device that directly targets the center of the hair follicle, where new hair growth is generated, using a form of chemical or heat energy.
The energy blast destroys the hair follicle to prevent it from regrowing. Tweezers or a tiny needle may be used to fully remove the hair. All areas can be treated with electrolysis, including the eyebrows, face, stomach, thighs, breasts, and legs.
Recovery and Results
Patients may experience some discomfort right after an electrolysis treatment. The most common side effects tend to be skin irritation and redness from the treatment. Typically, these symptoms will subside just a few hours after treatment.
Electrolysis is the only hair removal method that removes hair permanently, according to the FDA and the American Medical Association. Still, repeated sessions may be necessary to remove all unwanted hair, especially if the hair is very dark and thick or if there are any hormonal changes.
Most patients will need to come back for repeated sessions, usually weekly or bi-weekly, until the hair is completely gone from the area. The good thing is, once the hair is gone, it’s gone for good—only minor maintenance may be required to address new hair growth. Occasional touch-up sessions are also suggested for electrolysis.
Want smooth, hair-free skin for the summer? Call our office at 321-727-1600 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Guy soon.