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A Quick Guide To Laser Hair Removal

Aug 17, 2007
Laser hair removal has come a long way in the last ten years and is now one of the most requested cosmetic procedures. The days are long gone when the procedure was mainly recommended for individuals with fair skin and dark hair, as major advances in laser technology have opened the door to successful treatments for all skin types. Laser hair removal can be applied to just about any 'problem hair' area of the body and is equally appropriate for both men and women. So if you think you're a candidate for laser hair removal treatment, let's take a look at some of the common questions asked about the procedure before you decide to put your body on the line.

What Is A Laser?
A laser is nothing more than an intense beam of light energy. In laser hair removal, the laser beam is delivered to the skin via a handheld 'pen-like' device by your dermatologic surgeon. The method is quite ingenious as the laser is designed to focus on the dark pigment in the hair follicle and destroy it without damaging the surrounding (lighter) skin tissue.

Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
At the time of writing, 100% permanent hair removal remains an elusive goal. However, clinical results indicate you can expect the successful removal of unwanted hair for a period of up to ten years. Some individuals will see long term results while others may need some maintenance treatments over time.

How Much Does It Cost? The cost for laser hair removal treatments varies depending on the area to be treated. It is common to find 'per session' prices from around $150 for an upper lip treatment to around $650 for a full back treatment. Of course our individual needs differ and some folk will require shorter treatments while others may need additional sessions to achieve the desired result.

How Many Treatments Will I Need? Depending on the type of hair you have, it will take about 3-6 treatments to produce the desired results. This is because your hair grows in 3 phases (the growing phase, the dormant phase and the resting phase) and laser treatments can only target hair that is in the growing phase which is about 85% of all body hairs at any given time. You simply have to wait for the other 15% to enter the growing phase before they can be treated. The good news is each successive treatment should be faster and less expensive.

Is Laser Hair Removal Painful? The actual feeling is not unlike being snapped with a rubber band and most people would not classify it as pain.

What About Side Effects? For a few hours after the treatment there is usually a little redness and maybe some slight swelling; not unlike what you would experience after a waxing session. Within 24 hours, you are back to normal.

It is important to note that like any medical procedure, there is the potential for complications to arise which may include burning, changes in pigmentation, persistent redness and swelling and possible scarring. As always, it is best to consult your dermatologic surgeon concerning the risks involved in the procedure.

What Should I Do Before A Treatment? Your treatment clinic will have a list of do's and don'ts that you will need to be aware of prior to you appointment. However, as a general rule, the skin to be treated should be as natural as possible when you present for a laser hair removal treatment. That means no tans allowed! Not even fake tans.

Where Can I Find A Laser Hair Removal Clinic? It is wise to thoroughly check the credentials of the physician or technician performing the procedure prior to making an appointment. Most countries have a professional dermatology society with a directory of local accredited dermatologic surgeons that you are able to consult (in the US it is the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery).

Thanks to laser hair removal, it is at last possible to be problem hair free! Just make sure you do your research before taking the plunge and you will be well on the way to a bright and shiny you!
About the Author
Bo Collins is a writer and publisher of Laser Hair Removal
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