Thinking of going under the laser? Get to know the ins and outs of the procedure before you cough up the funds necessary to go hair-free for good.
1. It Works Best on People with Dark Hair and Light Skin
Those with blonde, red, or gray hair won’t see optimal results because lasers actually target the pigments in hairs (as opposed to the hairs themselves)—and there isn’t enough pigment present in these hair colors for the laser to effectively detect it, says Joel Schlessinger, M.D. What’s more, some machines aren’t compatible with tan or darker skin tones because there isn’t enough contrast between the pigment in the skin and the hair.
2. You Can’t Pluck or Wax Pre-Treatment
Once you’ve set a date for your first treatment, you’ll have to hold off on your usual hair-removal routine. “This is a precaution to ensure that your hair follicles are in the proper growth stage prior to the hair-removal process,” says Paul Flashner, M.D., chief medical director of American Laser Skincare. If there’s not enough hair present for the laser to “zap,” you won’t get the best results. You’ll also want to limit sun exposure and self-tanning lotions at least three weeks prior to your treatment so there’s enough contrast between your skin and your hair for the treatment to work.
3. …But you Should Shave
On the day of your treatment, you should run a razor over the areas that will be treated. That enables the laser to focus more precisely on the hair follicles, says Flashner.
4. You’ll Need to Make Multiple Appointments
To get the best results with laser hair removal, it’s important to be consistent and to make appointments every four to six weeks, says Maria Rianna, lead aesthetician at White Tea Med Spa in New York City. In general, it takes a bit longer to get results on the body (expect eight to 10 sessions) than the face (which usually requires six to eight sessions).
5. It’ll Cost You Around $5,000
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of a laser treatment is $300 per session. This can vary, though, depending on the size of the area being treated, how many sessions you require, where you live, and other factors.
6. It May Not Get You Totally Hair-Free
There’s a possibility that your treatment will leave behind fine hairs that can’t be eliminated by a laser, says dermatologist Purvisha Patel, M.D., of Advanced Dermatology in Memphis. It just depends on the person—some women experience this, while others don’t.
7. Post-Treatment Irritation is Normal
If you notice that your skin is slightly red or irritated after your laser treatment, don’t worry. This is typical, and a cool compress or ice pack will help. Flashner suggests staying hydrated and out of the sun; the irritation should dissipate in a few days.
(laser hair removal in Hicksville NY)
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