Shaving, waxing, and other hair removal methods only provide short-term solutions. Shaving lasts maybe a day before the hair returns in its prickly form. Waxing lasts a couple of days and requires you to wait a couple of weeks for a touch-up. In the cosmetic community, people choose laser hair removal for quick and long-lasting hair removal results.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal uses light energy to target the pigment in the hair. As the laser goes over the skin, the hair root heats from the light energy and damages the hair follicle without harming the surrounding skin and tissue. Laser hair removal may be done on any part of the body, including the face, legs, arms, bikini area, and underarms.
At Essential Med Aesthetics, we use the Cutera xeo and excel HR Nd: YAG for the most effective medical-grade laser treatments on all skin types and tones. The variety of wavelengths allows for the most effective and customizable hair removal treatments, enabling long-term removal for all skin types and hair colors except blonde, red, gray, or white.
How Do I Prep for my Laser Hair Removal Appointment?
Before your appointment, you must not tan or use fake tanners within four weeks of your treatment. The changes in skin tone can affect your results. It is also recommended not to apply makeup, lotion, deodorant, or sun cream before your appointment. The creams hinder the effectiveness of the laser. If you do use any creams, inform your practitioner so they may thoroughly clean the area before you start.
Furthermore, do not tweeze, wax, or pluck the area treated. The laser cannot target the pigment and stop hair growth if you remove the entire hair follicle. While plucking, waxing, and tweezing hairs are discouraged, it is best to shave within 24 hours of the appointment. Shaving allows the laser to target the follicle without burning the hair on top of your skin.
What to Expect with Laser Hair Removal
During your session, you will relax in the treatment room while we clean the treatment area to remove any dirt, oil, and moisturizers. After you are cleaned, the handheld laser treats the site using light energy. You may feel mild stinging like a rubber band snapping against your skin as the laser targets and heats the hair follicles. You may experience soreness similar to a mild sunburn for a few days after your treatment.
Treatment time depends on the area and the size of the treatment area. Smaller sites may take as little as 20 minutes, while larger areas like the back or legs may take an hour or more.
How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?
Laser hair removal requires 6-9 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart. Your hair grows in phases, with the lasers only able to target hair in the growing stage, meaning multiple treatments are needed to remove all hair. The spaces between the appointments allow dormant follicles to enter the growth phase and give the treatment area time to recover.
The permanency of your laser hair removal treatment can vary depending on skin type, color, hair color, age at the time of your treatment, hormonal status, and other factors. Certain areas such as the chin, neck, and regions of the face may experience regrowth faster than slower-growing areas such as the back or legs.
After the final treatment, however, many experience months to years of smooth, hair-free skin. Any hair growth tends to be more delicate and sparse. For the best lasting results, most only need annual touch-up treatments.
Is There Any Recovery Time With Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal does not require downtime, but you should avoid direct sun exposure and wear dermatologist-approved sunscreen to protect your sensitive skin after your treatments.
You also may need to change your beauty regimen to avoid using scrubs, glycolic acids, and retinol creams two days before and after your laser hair removal sessions. It would be best if you also avoided chemical peels and fake tans during your treatments.
How Many Sessions Do I Need with Laser Hair Removal?
Most people only need 6-9 treatments to see near-permanent hair removal, but it may change depending on your hair color, thickness, growth, skin tone, and other factors. Most people see their desired results after six sessions. Annual touch-ups are typically needed to maintain your results.
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Why Does Laser Hair Removal Need Multiple Sessions?
The laser uses light wavelengths to target pigment in the hair to damage the hair follicles. Your hair grows in four stages: growing, transition, resting and shedding. Laser hair removal only targets hair in the growing phase.
At every point of your life, you have hair in each stage. So, the laser needs multiple appointments to target and destroy all the follicles for semi-permanent hair removal.
Results of Laser Hair Removal
You can expect a 10-25% reduction in hair after your first treatment with continued improvement after several sessions. After your final appointment, you will see smooth, hair-free skin for months to years. Laser hair removal is one of the most popular long-term hair removal treatments.
Laser hair removal also reduces the number of ingrown hairs. If your hair grows back, it grows back finer, more sparse, and straighter than before, minimizing ingrown hairs and irritation to the skin.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
In 2020, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons stated laser hair removal costs an average of $389 per session. The cost depends on the practice’s location, the practitioner’s experience, the size of the treatment area, and the final price depends on the number of treatments needed.
At Essential Med Aesthetics, our membership plans offer up to 6 laser hair removal sessions.
Who’s a Good Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
Most people wanting a long-term hair removal solution are good candidates for laser hair removal. The best candidates have lighter skin with darker hairs. With the Cutera xeo and ND: YAG lasers multitude of light wavelengths, however, Essential Med Aesthetics can treat nearly all skin tones and types.
Laser hair removal does not work on blonde, red, gray, or white hair. In rare cases, patients see more hair growth with laser hair removal. Our physician will look at your hair to determine if you are a good candidate for laser hair removal or at risk of any side effects.
Take the Next Step
Dr. Freda Cobbinah provides an array of Aesthetics services from Skin Rejuvenation to Laser Vein Removal and Hair Removal. Schedule your complimentary skincare consultation by filling out the form below or calling us at (210) 568-7555. We are proud to serve the San Antonio, Stone Oak area.