Removing body hair has always been a preoccupation for both men and women. For men it’s facial hair, hairy necks, chests, backs and, yes, those other areas. For women it’s the bikini line (and often below it), legs, arms, above the lip, and anywhere else that they see hair even trying to grow!
Shaving is okay, but as most people would attest to, it’s irritating to have to do it every day (to say the least), and also quite hard to shave your back and other hard-to-reach places. Many claim that the hairs grow back more ferocious and stubborn than ever before, and before you know it, you’ve moved on to waxing.
But boy does that hurt! Many women vow, after relatively few laser hair removal treatments, never to go back to it. And men? Well, men don’t seem to have much of a pain threshold to begin with when it comes to hot wax and ripping up the turf manually.
What to do?
Enter laser hair removal, which goes under a variety of interesting acronyms. There’s LHR, of course, but also IPL, TAG, and even ALHR (that’s Advanced LHR.) Not to mention six or so major technologies that claim to be different but largely do the same thing.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Here are the headline facts:
- laser light is fired at the target area;
- the follicles absorb the light;
- the surrounding skin is left unharmed;
- the hair follicles in the active growth phase fail to produce more hair.
By the time the same area has been treated by a few bursts of laser light, the follicles no longer allow hair to grow and, ideally, the hair remains absent for some time.
Does LHR Work?
For the follicles that get hit by the laser (actually, it’s the hair that gets hit, and damages the follicle), LHR certainly stops hair growth. But here’s the rub.
If you look closely at where hair grows, it grows from a number of areas. And these areas don’t always produce hair; it’s cyclical. So, one treatment will only damage those follicles that are ion the active growth phase at the time of the treatment.
The others remain untouched, and will still produce hair – at which point you simply go back over the area with the laser and get them, too. After a few treatments, spaced several weeks or months apart, all the follicles will be damaged and not producing hair.
Does the Treatment Hurt?
You might think that firing a laser at your skin is going to hurt it – after all movie makers have spent a lot of money convincing us that lasers can blow things up – and it isn’t completely devoid of pain.
However, your treatment will include the application of a local anesthetic cream, and many of the laser devices also have a cooling function for the skin, so it will be nothing more than a mild pinch. Certainly nothing to scream and shout about, unlike waxing.
Are There Any Side Effects?
The effect on the skin is like a mild sunburn. It can be treated in the same way with cold compresses and regular skin nourishing moisturizers, which Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery can provide you with.
The darker the skin, the less mild the effect – laser light is attracted to darker pigments which makes it unsuitable for treating very fair hair – so people with a darker complexion will need more after-care.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?
Yes. It is completely safe, provided that the correct precautions are taken. You wouldn’t want to try home laser hair removal with these kinds of permanent laser treatments. Your eyes, and those of the licensed registered professional performing the treatment, must be protected against the laser light, for example.
If the IPL device has no built-in cooling of its own a cooling gel must be used. Luckily, Dr. Vitenas and his team use only the most modern CoolGlide technology which helps soothe the skin.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
Surprisingly, LHR doesn’t cost that much, considering the hair removal is more or less permanent. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) the average surgeon / physician fee for laser hair removal in 2012 was $329. Keep in mind, however, that multiple treatments are usually needed for the best results.
Compared to other treatments on the market, and for the excellent results, LHR is the best option for hair removal for both men and women – in fact, you could even make a romantic event out of the experience and come as a couple!
For advice on all aspects of cosmetic surgery including laser hair removal, and a variety of non-invasive cosmetic surgery procedures, Houston, Texas based Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery can be reached at (281) 484-0088.