Laser hair removal is a non-invasive, FDA-approved method for permanent hair reduction. Many people choose laser hair removal to reduce their unwanted body hair. It is known to be very successful and requires only a few treatments in order for you to live a hair-free life. This treatment is a great alternative to waxing or sugaring and can be performed on many areas of the body including: underarms, back, arms, legs, brazilian, buttocks, and chest. Laser hair removal is a cost-effective solution for those who take a monthly trip to get a brazilian wax, and don’t have the side effects of waxing such as ingrown hairs, redness, irritation, and possible allergic reaction.

Here are 10 things you should know about laser hair removal

1) How Laser Hair Removal works

The laser is set to your specific skin tone and hair color. The laser light damages the hair follicle and prevents it from growing back. Only 30% of your hair is in the proper growth cycle at the time of treatment, which is why multiple treatments are the key to seeing lasting results. After your first treatment, expect the follicles to fall out after approximately 8-12 days and your skin will be smooth for 2-3 weeks.

2) You will need multiple treatments to see results

Most areas require at least 5 treatments, but almost always less than 8 treatments for successful hair reduction. At Capizzi, M.D. our packages include 6 treatments, which is usually enough to remedy the area of your choice from unwanted hair.

3) You will see noticeable results after your second or third treatment

Image of a woman receiving laser hair removal on her inner thighThis is typically when we see that patients have a noticeable reduction in the hair amount and texture. Once you complete your treatment package, you can expect long-term hair reduction! Hormones, medications, nutrition, and stress can affect your response to the laser treatment. It is important to keep your provider updated on any changes during your course of treatment.

4) The laser targets pigment

The laser is not attracted to blonde, grey, white, or light red hair and these hairs remain unaffected. If you have a fair complexion, laser hair removal may not be the most effective remedy to unwanted hair.

5) Stay out of the sun before and after your treatment

You can’t receive laser hair removal if you have a sunburn, tan, or spray tan as it will not be as effective and you can risk hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation of the treatment area. If you’re a beach babe, you may want to start your treatments during the winter months to avoid any inconvenience.

Sun protection is also critical following laser treatment. Sunscreen with SPF 30 is recommended for the area(s) treated by the laser, even if they are under clothing. If the area is on the face, a wide-brimmed hat is strongly recommended.

6) Shave the area you are going to have treated

Getting laser hair removal isn’t like getting a brazilian wax, you don’t need to grow your hair out prior to the appointment. In fact, you should shave the area at least 12 hours before your treatment. However, avoid waxing, tweezing, bleaching, threading, or the use of depilatory creams or anything that might disturb the hair follicle.

7) It’s not the most comfortable feeling (and also not the worst)

Image of a man's back, hairlessWhile laser hair removal certainly isn’t as shocking as a brazilian wax, it isn’t the most comfortable feeling. The laser feels like a snap against the skin, some say the sensation also resembles a small sting. The feeling remains for only a few seconds before it disappears. Immediately following treatment, you may have some redness and slight tenderness at the area treated. This is completely normal and will dissipate within a couple of hours.

8) Your treatment will take between 20 minutes and 1 hour

This timing is typical depending on the area you are having treated, and where you are in your treatment package. Underarms or bikini lines are usually the areas that take the shortest amount of time to treat while full legs or back can last longer.

9) After your treatment, avoid intense exercising or hot showers

You should avoid creating excessive sweat for 24-48 hours after your treatment as your pores are open and susceptible to bacteria or ingrown hairs.

10) Consistency is key

Check with your provider to find out the recommended intervals at which you should schedule your treatments. Keeping your appointments is what can spell success when getting laser hair removal. Typically it’s intervals of 4-6 weeks between treatments.

And the question that everyone’s been waiting for: Is it worth it? The answer is a resounding YES. Think of laser hair removal as a beauty investment. It can combat unwanted hair in many areas of the body that are inconvenient or costly to shave or wax on a regular basis. Let Capizzi, M.D. assist you in choosing the best package for your particular needs.