Laser hair removal is designed to safely remove hair on the face and body. It is especially suitable for those who have pimples, cuts, ingrown hair after depilation with wax or a razor. As a rule, for the desired result you need from two to six sessions.
But the result of laser hair removal is not permanent – the hair will grow back (but, most likely, will become thinner and brighter). The effect lasts from two weeks to several months, after which the procedure will have to be repeated.
If you decide on hair removal, preparation should begin in advance: four to six weeks before the procedure.
- A month before the procedure. Do not remove hair with wax, do not pluck it, do not bleach or use creams to remove hair. All this will reduce the effectiveness of hair removal. Avoid direct sunlight. If inevitable, use protective equipment – SPF 30 minimum.
- 1-2 weeks before the procedure. Cancel the tan and all its “derivatives,” such as creams and tanning sprays.
- The day before the procedure. Since hair removal is performed on smooth skin, the hair needs to be shaved on the eve of the procedure.
- On the day of the procedure. Cleanse your skin – remove all lotions, creams and deodorants. Wear loose clothing. Since the skin becomes sensitive after the procedure, tight and coarse clothing will cause discomfort.
Laser hair removal machines are suitable for hair removal in almost all parts of the body:
- bikini area, buttocks;
- torso, chest;
- upper lip and chin;
The only limitation is the area around the eyes (the skin in this place is thin, plus there is a great risk of injury to the eyes).
Doctors do not recommend laser hair removal for pregnant women: there are few studies and the possible consequences are unknown. And yes, if you are suddenly worried, laser radiation does not cause cancer.
Find out if laser hair removal is right for you
As a rule, laser hair removal is most effective for people with fair skin and dark hair and, accordingly, less effective for people with dark skin. And the point here is the very principle of hair removal. The light from the device is absorbed by melanin, the pigment of the hair, and then converted into heat, which destroys the hair follicles. That is, the laser should damage the follicle without damaging the skin itself. Thus, the contrast between the color of hair and skin (dark hair and fair skin) leads to an optimal result. Nevertheless, for people with dark skin there is already an alternative, the main thing is to choose the right laser.
Three types of lasers are used on modern devices : alexandrite, diode, and neodymium. They differ in the length of the light wave – the longer it is, the wider the possibility of use. So, an alexandrite laser (length 755 nm) is only suitable for dark hair and fair skin (in other cases, there is a high probability of burns). Neodymium (1,064 nm) and diode (810 nm) lasers can be used on tanned and dark skin.
Find out how the procedure will go
First, the specialist applies a cool gel or spray to the skin (the client is lying on the cosmetology table or couch), then presses a portable device on it and turns on the laser. To protect the eyes during the procedure, the client is asked to wear special glasses.
Yes, the procedure is considered to be painless, but here it all depends on the individual pain threshold. Some people compare sensations with the click of an elastic band. Before hair removal, you may be asked to apply an anesthetic gel (usually paid separately).
Count your time. Epilation of a small area, such as the upper lip, can take only a few minutes, while epilation of a large area, such as the back, can take an hour or more.
Find out about possible side effects.
The likelihood of adverse reactions depends on many factors: skin type, hair color, treatment plan and compliance with all recommendations.
Here are the most common side effects:
- Skin irritation. Temporary discomfort, redness and swelling – all this is possible, but, as a rule, unpleasant symptoms disappear within two hours after the procedure.
- Pigment changes. Due to laser exposure, the treated area of the skin may become darker or lighter. Usually this effect is temporary. Most often, skin lightening occurs in people with dark skin and those who, contrary to warnings, sunbathe before or after the procedure.
In rare cases, laser hair removal leads to the formation of blisters, crusts, scars and other changes in the skin (restoration can take about ten days). Strong swelling and bruising are still possible: the first pass within seven days, the second within fifteen. Livedo reticularis (reticular asphyxia) may develop – a symptom in which a purple vascular network appears on the skin. And yes, do not forget: with inept hands, the procedure can result in a burn.
Calculate how much the course of treatments will cost
The cost of the procedures is very different – in many respects it depends on the pricing policy of the salon or medical center, its location, as well as on the scale of work. So, laser hair removal of a bikini zone in Moscow will cost 4-5 thousand rubles (in some salons there are offers for 2 thousand rubles, but the quality is much more important than the cost, so do not save on yourself). Here, by the way, it would be nice to clarify what exactly the salon means by the bikini zone and what this procedure includes (often, for example, only removing hair from the pubic area along the line of the laundry).
Before recording, check with the administrator which consumables are included in the price, and what needs to be paid separately. If you decide on an anesthetic gel, then keep in mind: it is paid separately (from a thousand to one and a half thousand rubles) and applied 30 minutes (or even an hour) before the procedure. Warn the administrator about this and correctly calculate the time – so that the gel has time to act, you have to arrive early.
Find a good salon and make sure it has a license
Since laser hair removal, according to the law, is classified as a medical service, the institution that provides it must have a medical license (this information is usually located in the “about us” section of the website). In addition, specialists performing hair removal must have a medical education no lower than secondary. The chances of experiencing side effects are lower when the doctor performs the epilation (dermatologist or dermatologist-cosmetologist). When choosing a salon or a medical center, verify that the specialist was really trained to work on the laser device (he must have the appropriate certificate).
Before the procedure, the doctor who will do the hair removal should examine the client, discuss with him the possible risks and contraindications.
Here’s what a meeting with a doctor includes:
- Questions about past and chronic diseases (including the medicines you took and take, the doctor will pay special attention to drugs with isotretinoin), skin diseases, scars, herpes, and how the past hair removal procedures went.
- Risks, benefits and expectations. The doctor should tell you what results should be expected from the procedure.
- Treatment plan and associated costs.
- Preparation for the procedure (what to do and what not).
The doctor may suggest taking photographs – they are needed to assess the condition of the skin before the procedure and after and for long-term reviews. If this does not happen, a good option is to make them yourself and track the result on them.
At the end, you will be asked to sign a contract for the provision of medical services and informed consent.
Feel free to ask questions.
If for some reason a meeting with a doctor is not provided, you will most likely be asked to fill out a questionnaire – you need to honestly answer all questions. To avoid unpleasant surprises, you yourself need to ask questions to administrators and staff.
Here is a list of required questions:
- Will the doctor perform hair removal? Did he go through special training? Does he have a certificate?
- How many laser hair removal did this doctor have for people with my hair and skin color?
- How many procedures will I need?
- What results can I expect?
- What do I need to do before hair removal?
- What are the potential side effects? Do I have higher risks of any unwanted reactions?
- Can I see photos before and after the procedure or talk with clients who have had hair removal on you?
- How much will it all cost?
To avoid side effects, follow the doctor’s recommendations after the procedure.
You may notice redness and swelling within a few hours after laser hair removal. If irritation occurs immediately after the procedure, the doctor may apply a special cream. Inflammation can persist up to 24 hours. Already at home, if there is pain, apply something cold to the skin (a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel is suitable). After hair removal, the skin will become more sensitive to the sun – do not sunbathe and do not visit the solarium for at least a week, use sunscreen.
The interval between procedures depends on the location of the hair. In areas where hair grows quickly (upper lip), the procedure can be repeated after four to eight weeks. In areas with slow hair growth (back), it makes sense to carry out the procedure every 12-16 weeks.
In case of any complications requiring medical intervention, it is best to consult the doctor who performed the hair removal. If this is not possible, immediately contact your GP.