Laser Hair Removal

Remove body hair with lasers

Laser hair removal became commercially available in the mid-1990s, offering an alternative to shaving, waxing or plucking unwanted hair on the face and body. These precision lasers can be used to target both large and small areas while creating only minimal discomfort. However, there are some limitations inherent with these hair removal laser systems; for example, they can be ineffective on hair that isn't brown or black in color.

Cost of Laser Hair Removal

Most laser clinics charge between $200 and $600 per session, with larger areas like the back or legs costing more. The laser hair removal cost for very small areas may be even cheaper. Since the lasers can target more than one follicle at a time, the procedure is faster than some other hair removal methods. While laser hair removal may be expensive up-front, they offer savings over other hair treatment methods; most other techniques must be repeated again and again, and the bills add up over time.

Patient Evaluation

The ideal candidate for hair removal by laser is someone with dark hair but light skin; however, recent technological advancements have made it possible for people with lighter hair and darker skin tones to get treatment as well. However, you should always consult an experienced laser hair removal professional to determine whether or not you make a good candidate.

The Laser Hair Removal Procedure

The concept behind laser hair removal is that the laser causes localized damage by targeting the melanin in the skin that is responsible for hair growth. Since light is absorbed by dark-colored objects, lasers are able to target brown or black follicles more readily. An experienced doctor or technician, using the most advanced laser hair removal equipment, can make the procedure quick and relatively painless, with lasting (albeit non-permanent) results.

Anywhere from five to seven sessions are necessary to target all of the actively growing hair follicles in a given area. As many as 12 sessions may be needed, depending on the thickness of your hair, your skin tone and the size of the area to be treated. Sessions are generally spaced four to six weeks apart. Laser facial hair removal and body hair laser removal are both very popular options; you can also combine hair removal with other laser skin treatment techniques as part of a full-body rejuvenation.

Risks of Laser Hair Removal Surgery

Laser hair removal poses several risks to the patient. There is the possibility of skin burns or discoloration on darker skin, which will manifest as hypopigmentation or white spots. Other risks include swelling or scabbing around the follicle, acne flare-ups in the treated area and red or purple staining on the skin.

Recovering from the Operation

Laser hair removal is performed on an outpatient basis, with sessions lasting anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Most patients will experience a temporary sunburn-like rash around the treated area as well as some discoloration; both of these side effects are temporary. Applying post-treatment creams and ointments, as directed by your doctor, is the best way to avoid unwanted side effects.

Alternative Procedures

Shaving, waxing or plucking are manual ways of dealing with unwanted hair. Electrolysis provides a more permanent solution, though it's more painful and often more expensive. However, it is suitable for all hair colors and skin tones.