Unlike waxing or shaving, laser hair removal is intended to eliminate hair permanently. During this medical procedure, a laser emits wavelengths of light that pass through the skin to the hair follicle where it’s absorbed by the pigment in the hair. It’s the laser’s intense heat that damages the follicle, preventing it from generating new hair. Laser hair removal is most effective for people with light skin and dark hair, but anyone can have the procedure done on nearly any part of the body.
Clients often ask whether laser hair removal is painful, and the answer is no. Though there may be some minor discomfort, you are more likely to feel a cold sensation from the cooling device on the tip of the instrument that protects the top layer of your skin from the heat.
Not surprisingly—and much like waxing or sugaring—different areas of the body may be more sensitive to laser hair removal than others. The underarm and bikini areas are quite often more sensitive than the leg or arm, for example. It’s also important to note that laser hair removal is not a spa treatment; it is a medical treatment that should only be performed by a certified laser hair removal specialist or a medical professional. Dr. Nada Eid at Jasmine Laser Clinic is both a licensed physician and a certified laser hair removal expert.
Laser hair removal is extremely effective at slowing hair growth, but it does take multiple treatments to achieve maximum results, and you may need to schedule maintenance treatments (every 6 to 12 months) for any regrowth that does occur.
Depending on the area you are having treated, the laser hair removal process can take a few minutes or several hours. Dr. Eid will go over these details during her initial consultation with you, as well as do a complete review of your medical history and discuss the risks and limitations of laser hair removal.
Following the procedure, you may experience some temporary discomfort, redness, or swelling at the site of the laser hair removal. This is normal and typically subsides within 24 hours. Laser hair removal can also cause temporary pigment changes to your skin that will even out over time.
Be sure to avoid sun exposure as much as possible after laser hair removal—and that includes tanning beds. You should also avoid using other hair removal methods, such as tweezing, waxing, and electrolysis, which interfere with laser hair removal by stimulating the hair follicle. Shaving is perfectly safe, since it removes hair at the skin’s surface.