Keeping certain parts of our body hairless is a painstaking process. When considering the various hair removal options, we need to look into the associated costs, pain and discomfort, commitment required to maintain results, and the overall longevity of the procedure.
While shaving, waxing, and depilatory creams remain popular hair removal methods, these procedures provide temporary results. They can also cause unwanted side effects, such as ingrown hairs, skin discoloration, irritation, and redness.
Those looking for more permanent results should consider undergoing a laser hair removal procedure. Laser hair removal is a non-invasive medical procedure that utilizes laser technology to get rid of unwanted hair. Using a concentrated beam of light, laser hair removal can also improve the appearance of skin imperfections and minimize hair growth and hyperpigmentation.
How Effective is Laser Hair Removal Compared to Other Methods?
A simple way to remove hair is to shave it off with a razor. It’s inexpensive, painless, and quick to do. The downside is that the hair will grow back in a matter of days. Shaving may also cause the regrown hair to be blunt rather than tapered, making it appear thicker. This happens because the hair is merely depilated from the surface.
Professional waxing is a thorough method of depilation that works well for the underarms, legs, and bikini lines. Hair is depilated by applying and removing hot wax from the specific body part, pulling the hairs out from the roots. While it’s more thorough than shaving, waxing is still a temporary solution that lasts for about three to six weeks. The treatment can also cause ingrown hairs and itchiness. (Not to mention, the procedure can be extremely painful!)
Another quick way to eliminate unwanted body hair is to use depilatory creams. These are products that contain chemicals which can dissolve hair in a matter of minutes. Despite their speed, these creams can cause skin irritation and swelling, and hair grows back in a matter of days since these products merely depilate from the surface of the skin. What’s more, depilatory creams can only be applied on certain areas of the skin, which means you’ll still need to shave and wax.
What are the Benefits of Laser Hair Removal?
Prevents Ingrown Hair
Ingrown hair can be painful and unpleasant to look at. This is when hair grows sideways into the skin. Accompanying symptoms include rashes, itchiness, and infections. Shaving, waxing, and tweezing can all cause ingrown hairs to form. Fortunately, laser hair removal treatments can eliminate and prevent this unsightly condition.
No Hair Growth Needed
There are certain methods, specifically waxing, that require hair growth before the actual depilation. At least a quarter of an inch of hair is required in order for waxing to be effective. With laser hair removal treatments, you don’t have to wait for in-between sessions to regrow surface hair. Shaving before the treatment is, in fact, encouraged so that the surface hair won’t get scorched during the process.
In a few seconds—approximately a quarter of a second—the laser pulses can depilate sizable patches of hair. Although generally quick, the speed of each treatment will depend on the size of the area being treated. The back and the legs may take up to an hour, while smaller parts of the body (such as the upper lip area) may take less than a minute.
With laser technology, the hair follicles are directly hit. The procedure can be performed on any part of the body (such as the legs, underarms, back, bikini line, and face). Laser hair removal can target specific coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. What’s more, the speed and precision of the treatment means you’ll be able to see results more quickly.
While laser hair removal can cost a lot up front, once you undergo the initial and succeeding sessions, you won’t have to continually spend on depilatory creams, razors, or waxing treatments. Each succeeding session results in decreased hair thickness, as well as an overall decrease in hair growth, making it more cost-effective in the long run compared to other hair removal methods.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?
In the hands of an experienced doctor or other licensed practitioner, laser hair removal should be virtually pain-free. However, patients may experience some degree of discomfort, including burning and stinging.
Following the treatment, patients may notice some redness, dry patches, and some mild discomfort in the treated area. These side-effects should subside after a few days. What’s more, since the laser offers skin-enhancing effects, patients can expect the following laser hair removal results to manifest in the next few weeks:
- A smoother, firmer complexion
- More even skin tone
- Reduced hair growth
It’s vital that this procedure is performed by a licensed professional to ensure the safest and best possible outcome. A highly-skilled professional can accurately determine the number of sessions needed to achieve your goals. Dr. Jacob Sedgh is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon with years of experience in both surgical and non-invasive procedures, including laser hair removal. The initial consultation can be conducted either in-office or virtually via video conference call.