Ought to You Get Laser Hair Elimination? Estheticians Weigh In

For individuals who select to take away their physique hair, it could actually generally look like there’s no such factor as an ideal possibility. Shaving can result in bumpy, irritated pores and skin (razor burn, anybody?), to not point out it’s time-consuming. Waxing is extra environment friendly, however requires a certain quantity of hair re-growth and, for some folks, can result in pesky ingrown hairs that go away discoloration behind.

For individuals who battle with each these choices, laser hair removing can provide an answer. Whereas it’s not with out its personal drawbacks, it could actually remove most of the points related to conventional hair removing and provides folks the outcomes they’re on the lookout for. On this publish, I’ll reply all of your urgent questions on laser hair removing with the assistance of Madalaina Conti, a New York-based, licensed esthetician specializing in laser hair removing, inflammatory pores and skin circumstances, and built-in wellness. I’ll additionally share my very own expertise with laser hair removing—let’s dive in!

How Does Laser Hair Elimination Work?

In response to Madalaina, there are just a few several types of lasers for hair removing. The most typical are Alexandrite and Nd:YAG. 

Alexandrite lasers principally work by selecting up the distinction between the pigment within the hair versus the pores and skin, which means they work greatest on folks with truthful pores and skin and darkish hair (mild brown to black). For a similar purpose, Alexandrite lasers aren’t appropriate for darker pores and skin tones (this is able to be Fitzpatrick skin types 4-6).

Nd:YAG lasers, however, work by passing mild vitality straight below the follicle. The sunshine vitality turns into warmth, which weakens the follicle and causes the hair shaft to detach and shed. Over time, the absence or weakening of the follicle reduces hair development. Since Nd:YAG lasers don’t depend on distinction, they’re an important possibility for these with darker pores and skin tones.

(Enjoyable Truth: Dr. Fitzpatrick created his eponymous scale to assist dermatologists gauge a affected person’s danger for pores and skin most cancers, however he was additionally the one to get Tretinoin FDA-approved for wrinkles and anti-aging. After I first began my profession, I used to be fortunate sufficient to meet him and witness this course of firsthand!)

Does Laser Hair Elimination Work on Blonde Hair?

In case your hair is white, gray, or very mild blonde, laser hair removing might not be a great possibility for you. Each Alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers are finally interested in the pigment within the hair, and that is how the vitality supply will get directed. If there may be little to no pigment within the hair, the lasers can have a a lot more durable time focusing on it efficiently. 

There have been developments that make it simpler to focus on blonde or mild hair. One is laser dyeing, which entails artificially dyeing the hair to “trick” the laser. One other is lengthy pulse lasers, which can be safer for these with blonde hair. Even with these choices, remember the fact that laser hair removing usually isn’t as efficient for mild hair as it’s for darker hair. Be sure you seek the advice of together with your supplier earlier than committing, and ensure they’re being upfront about cheap expectations.

How Many Periods of Laser Hair Elimination Are Wanted?

“In my expertise,” says Madalaina, “this may differ fairly drastically relying on the machine and the consumer. Extra traditional machines often require eight or extra periods, and I discover machines like mine that use a mix require round six for greatest outcomes.” She added that the remedies are often spaced 4 to 6 weeks aside for the face, underarms, or bikini, whereas the remainder of the physique usually requires six to eight weeks of downtime in between. That is to make sure that the world being focused is on the proper stage of hair development. In any other case, remedies aren’t as efficient.

Are Contact-Ups Required?

Madalaina notes that touch-ups will rely on the consumer’s hair kind in addition to the machine used. It’s additionally a matter of choice and depends upon how fastidious somebody desires to be. Madalaina says most purchasers solely require one or two touchups per 12 months, however some choose to return in additional usually. “The beauty of shaving versus waxing is that you would be able to shave in between and it received’t mess up the hair development cycle,” she says. “This implies you possibly can keep clean between appointments and don’t need to undergo the awkward development stage required with waxing.” 

Does Laser Take away ALL Hair? What Are Real looking Expectations?

The brief reply isn’t any. I actually first tried laser hair removing in 2005, and I distinctly keep in mind being advised, “You’ll be able to throw away your razor, you’ll by no means need to shave once more.” This was undoubtedly an over-exaggeration, however as of late, practitioners are much more upfront about setting sensible expectations. I attempted it once more three years in the past, and I’d say it completely eliminated about 90% of my hair (which is fairly nice!). Now, it’s generally known as laser hair discount as an alternative.

Whereas laser hair removing doesn’t take away 100% of hair, it may be life-changing. It considerably reduces hair development (which means a lot of the hair received’t develop again in any respect), and the hair that does stay is thinner and really sparse. This makes it much more manageable and implies that shaving is simpler and far much less frequent. One other bonus? Apart from nearly stopping ingrown hairs of their tracks, laser hair removing fades previous discoloration attributable to ingrowns and irritation. The result’s a lot smoother, brighter pores and skin total, even after only one session. 

In response to Madalaina, the one approach to completely take away all hair is thru electrolysis, which she notes is a painful and tedious course of.  

What’s the Finest Time of 12 months to Get Laser Hair Elimination?

The very best time of 12 months for laser hair removing is fall or winter. I all the time inform my purchasers that that is one of the best time of 12 months for skilled remedies generally, and the reason being that you just’re much less more likely to get solar publicity. Many remedies make the pores and skin quickly extra photosensitive, and laser hair removing isn’t any exception. The advice is often that you just keep away from any solar publicity on handled areas two weeks earlier than AND after your appointment. 

Be taught why winter is one of the best time of 12 months to eliminate brown spots (and methods to do it).

What Are Prep and Aftercare for Laser Hair Elimination Like?

Earlier than Your Appointment

As I discussed, stopping solar publicity to the areas you’re getting handled is important each two weeks earlier than and after your appointment. You’ll additionally need to verify together with your supplier about discontinuing lively merchandise like exfoliating acids and retinol, and topical prescriptions like tretinoin or hydroquinone (Madalaina says this may differ relying on the machine). When you’re utilizing Accutane for zits, you’ll need to wait a minimum of a month after your final dose to get laser hair removing. Once more, make sure you verify together with your supplier for particular directions.

Madalaina provides that you just’ll need to shave the areas which might be going to be handled the evening earlier than your appointment. “This ensures the simplest remedy since we would like the sunshine vitality to have easy accessibility to the follicle as an alternative of getting to waste vitality on floor hair development (which might additionally burn),” she says. “I discover shaving the evening earlier than to be the candy spot as a result of the shave continues to be recent, however the pores and skin’s had a while to get well. Shaving too near your appointment time can generally lead to additional sensitivity or irritation on the pores and skin.”

After Your Appointment

After your remedy, Madalaina says it’s greatest to keep away from any heavy sweating or moisture for about 24 hours. “Skip the extraordinary exercise, swim, or sauna to keep away from irritation,” she says. When you’re experiencing some discomfort, a quick, cool bathe can be utilized to appease post-treatment.

In the case of laser hair removing aftercare, a very powerful factor is hydration. I all the time advocate that purchasers use one thing light with out perfume or drying alcohol. It’s additionally greatest to make use of one thing you’ve tried earlier than and know you received’t react badly to. Bear in mind, pores and skin is tremendous uncooked after being uncovered to the warmth of a laser, so it must be babied. You should use a thick cream like Phytolipid Comfort Creme, which has calming plant extracts in addition to moisturizing lipids to assist restore the pores and skin barrier. Alternatively, you need to use an oil like Pro Remedy Oil, which has a mix of 12 oils wealthy in omegas and antioxidants. 

Focus solely on hydration for the primary three to 4 days. After this, you possibly can add shaving or exfoliating to your routine to assist slough off useless pores and skin cells and permit hairs which might be detaching to shed by means of the floor. I discover bodily scrubs actually efficient for this, however be sure you use a scrub with rounded particles to forestall any tearing or scratching of the pores and skin. 

Easy methods to Discover the Proper Supplier for Your Therapy

Earlier than reserving a remedy, e book a session. The machines used for laser hair removing are highly effective, and used incorrectly (or on the mistaken individual) they will trigger harm. It’s vital to seek out somebody expert who takes the time to reply all of your questions.

“I’d advocate trying into the kind of laser that greatest describes your pores and skin and hair kind after which doing a little analysis on the laser your potential supplier carries,” says Madalaina. “I all the time discover phrase of mouth to be essentially the most dependable, so when you can, ask these round you to gauge trustworthy experiences! I additionally have a tendency to love smaller, extra specialised studios vs. bigger chains. Lasers are highly effective, consideration to element is every part, and it’s best to really feel that you’re getting a customized expertise. Good suppliers will all the time exit of their approach to acquire in-depth data of your routine and objectives to maximise your expertise. They’ll stroll you thru expectations, guarantee you’re snug and shall be joyful to reply all your questions! Having a specialised laser or superior certification is all the time a plus.” 

My Expertise With (and Sincere Overview of) Laser Hair Elimination

I acquired laser hair removing on my underarms and bikini space three years in the past, and at that time, I’d been waxing them for 25 years! What I all the time hated about waxing (apart from the ache) was the truth that I needed to let every part develop out for just a few weeks between waxes. This meant I had about one week of clean pores and skin, after which I used to be caught with stubble for an additional three or so. There can undoubtedly be some awkward hair development between the primary few remedies of laser hair removing, however as Madalaina identified, you possibly can shave. Ultimately, that awkward re-growth stops virtually altogether. 

I had ten remedies in complete and, as I discussed, it eliminated about 90% of my hair. I’ve a mix of blonde and darkish hair within the areas that have been handled, so the blonde didn’t actually get picked up by the laser. Nonetheless, this hair is so skinny and light-weight now that I don’t even go for touch-ups, and I barely even need to shave anymore.

I do need to say that outcomes can nonetheless differ vastly person-to-person. There’s an opportunity I had a leg up since a few of my follicles have been already shot from so a few years of waxing, plus I used to be 50, and hair development naturally slows down with age. That mentioned, I’m actually pleased with the outcomes and undoubtedly choose it to the waxing I used to be doing all these years. I’m in a position to consider it so much much less, and it’s yet one more factor I don’t have to fret about!

Subsequent up, when you get common waxes, learn my fail-proof information to stopping ingrown hairs.