If you are considering getting your unwanted body hair removed by a laser, you are probably wondering if it is really as effective as you’ve heard it is. The short answer is that when conducted by a professional clinic such as Orlando Dermatology in Orlando, FL, laser hair removal is extremely effective, especially if you’re looking for long-term removal.

Laser Hair Removal: How Effective Is It?

Overall Results

Most people who get their hair removed by laser experience long-term results that last for several months. However, results do differ from person to person, and are dependent on a few factors, which will be discussed later. Some people report that their hair loss is more permanent, lasting for at least a couple of years, but typically, even these patients need to have touch-up laser treatments every so often, just to keep their skin as silky smooth as they prefer.

Immediate Results

Immediately following a laser treatment, you will not see instant results. This is because it will take a few days for the hair follicle to die and the hair to fall out. You’ll notice that your hair appears to be regrowing, but this is not the case at all. Instead, it is simply coming out of the follicles and just needs to be wiped away with a wet cloth. This process can take a few days to a few weeks.

Repeated Treatments

In most cases, patients who get their hair removed by a laser will need to undergo a series of treatments to remove all their hair. This is because hair grows in cycles, and the laser is only effective on hair follicles that are in the new-growth stage. Therefore, you may need as many as six sessions about one month apart to achieve your desired results. Some people will only need four treatments, while others may need the full six sessions.

Hair Color and Skin Type

Your hair color and skin type can also affect your results and the number of treatments you’ll need. Lasers work by removing the pigment from the hair, so the darker the hair, the better the results. Additionally, you want your hair to absorb the light from the laser and not your skin, so light skin will also provide better results. Therefore, the best candidates for this treatment have light skin and dark hair.

This does not mean that if you have dark skin and light hair that you can’t get laser treatment to remove your hair. It just means that you might need more sessions to fully achieve your desired results. While gray, blond, red, and white colored hair does not respond as well to laser treatment, you will still notice results that get better with every session. Moreover, the laser is safe for any hair color or skin type as well.

Making Laser Treatment More Effective

Even though removing your hair with a laser is very effective without additional actions, it never hurts to do what you can to make the treatments work even better. In fact, if you take care to follow some simple guidelines in the days leading up to your laser sessions, you may even be able to get the results you desire in fewer appointments. The following preparations can help make your laser treatments more effective.

Avoid Waxing or Tweezing Prior to Treatment

When you arrive at your laser treatment session, you want to make sure that you have not waxed or tweezed the hair in your treatment area for six weeks prior to your appointment. This is because for the laser to work properly, there must be hair in the follicles, but both waxing and tweezing removes the hair from the follicles. It’s okay to shave the day of your appointment, since this process only removes the hair on the skin’s surface.

Avoid Tanning or Prolonged Exposure to the Sun Prior to Treatment

Your results will be the best when your skin is the lightest, giving contrast between your skin color and your hair color. Tanning and prolonged exposure to the sun mean that your skin will be darker than normal. Therefore, you should use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 or higher for the two weeks leading up to your appointment. Moreover, you’ll want to continue using sunscreen between your sessions as well.

Wear Light-Colored Clothing to Your Sessions

Wearing light-colored clothing to your sessions is especially important if you are having your bikini line treated because dark colors absorb the light. Since you want your hair in the treatment area to absorb the light, and not your clothing, the lighter the color of your clothing, the better your results will be. You’ll also want to wear comfortable clothing as well so that it does not rub up against newly-treated skin.

Ready to Begin?

Now that you know how effective laser treatment for hair removal can be and what you can do personally to make your sessions as effective as possible, you’re probably ready to begin the process of getting silky, smooth, hairless skin. Contact Orlando Dermatology in Orlando, FL to schedule your initial consultation and our experts will answer any other questions you may have.

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