Ought to You Get Laser Hair Removing? Estheticians Weigh In

For many who select to take away their physique hair, it could actually typically look like there’s no such factor as an ideal choice. 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 depart discoloration behind.

For many who battle with each these choices, laser hair removing can supply an answer. Whereas it’s not with out its personal drawbacks, it could actually eradicate lots of the points related to conventional hair removing and provides folks the outcomes they’re in search of. On this put up, 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 Removing Work?

In line with Madalaina, there are a number of various kinds of lasers for hair removing. The commonest 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 honest pores and skin and darkish hair (mild brown to black). For a similar motive, Alexandrite lasers aren’t appropriate for darker pores and skin tones (this could be Fitzpatrick skin types 4-6).

Nd:YAG lasers, however, work by passing mild vitality instantly beneath 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 progress. Since Nd:YAG lasers don’t depend on distinction, they’re an excellent choice for these with darker pores and skin tones.

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

Does Laser Hair Removing Work on Blonde Hair?

In case your hair is white, gray, or very mild blonde, laser hair removing is probably not a very good choice for you. Each Alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers are in the end interested in the pigment within the hair, and that is how the vitality supply will get directed. If there’s little to no pigment within the hair, the lasers may have a a lot tougher 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 typically isn’t as efficient for mild hair as it’s for darker hair. Remember to seek the advice of together with your supplier earlier than committing, and ensure they’re being upfront about cheap expectations.

How Many Classes of Laser Hair Removing Are Wanted?

“In my expertise,” says Madalaina, “this may range 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 progress. 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 sort in addition to the machine used. It’s additionally a matter of choice and is determined by how fastidious somebody desires to be. Madalaina says most shoppers solely require one or two touchups per 12 months, however some favor to return in additional typically. “The wonderful thing about shaving versus waxing is you could shave in between and it gained’t mess up the hair progress cycle,” she says. “This implies you may keep easy between appointments and don’t should undergo the awkward progress stage required with waxing.” 

Does Laser Take away ALL Hair? What Are Sensible Expectations?

The quick reply isn’t any. I actually first tried laser hair removing in 2005, and I distinctly bear in mind being advised, “You possibly can throw away your razor, you’ll by no means should shave once more.” This was positively an over-exaggeration, however nowadays, practitioners are much more upfront about setting reasonable 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 typically 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 progress (which means a lot of the hair gained’t develop again in any respect), and the hair that does stay is thinner and really sparse. This makes it much more manageable and signifies that shaving is less complicated and far much less frequent. One other bonus? Apart from just about 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 general, even after only one session. 

In line with Madalaina, the one solution 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 Yr to Get Laser Hair Removing?

The very best time of 12 months for laser hair removing is fall or winter. I at all times inform my shoppers that that is one of the best time of 12 months for skilled remedies usually, and the reason being that you simply’re much less prone 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 simply 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 do away with brown spots (and find out how to do it).

What Are Prep and Aftercare for Laser Hair Removing Like?

Earlier than Your Appointment

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

Madalaina provides that you simply’ll need to shave the areas which might be going to be handled the night time earlier than your appointment. “This ensures the best therapy since we wish the sunshine vitality to have easy accessibility to the follicle as an alternative of getting to waste vitality on floor hair progress (which might additionally burn),” she says. “I discover shaving the night time earlier than to be the candy spot as a result of the shave remains to be contemporary, however the pores and skin’s had a while to get well. Shaving too near your appointment time can typically end in additional sensitivity or irritation on the pores and skin.”

After Your Appointment

After your therapy, 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. In case you’re experiencing some discomfort, a quick, cool bathe can be utilized to assuage post-treatment.

Relating to laser hair removing aftercare, a very powerful factor is hydration. I at all times advocate that shoppers 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 gained’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 utilize 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 should utilize 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 may 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 way 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. 

Find out how to Discover the Proper Supplier for Your Therapy

Earlier than reserving a therapy, e book a session. The machines used for laser hair removing are highly effective, and used incorrectly (or on the fallacious individual) they’ll trigger harm. It’s necessary to search 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 sort after which performing some analysis on the laser your potential supplier carries,” says Madalaina. “I at all times 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 thing, and it’s best to really feel that you’re getting a personalised expertise. Good suppliers will at all times exit of their solution to achieve in-depth information of your routine and targets to maximise your expertise. They’ll stroll you thru expectations, guarantee you’re comfy and can be completely satisfied to reply your entire questions! Having a specialised laser or superior certification is at all times a plus.” 

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

I obtained 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 at all times hated about waxing (aside from the ache) was the truth that I needed to let every thing develop out for a number of weeks between waxes. This meant I had about one week of easy pores and skin, after which I used to be caught with stubble for one more three or so. There can positively be some awkward hair progress between the primary few remedies of laser hair removing, however as Madalaina identified, you may shave. Finally, that awkward re-growth stops nearly altogether. 

I had ten remedies in whole and, as I discussed, it eliminated about 90% of my hair. I’ve a mixture of blonde and darkish hair within the areas that had 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 should shave anymore.

I do need to say that outcomes can nonetheless range enormously person-to-person. There’s an opportunity I had a leg up since a few of my follicles had been already shot from so a few years of waxing, plus I used to be 50, and hair progress naturally slows down with age. That stated, I’m actually proud of the outcomes and positively favor it to the waxing I used to be doing all these years. I’m ready to consider it so much much less, and it’s another factor I don’t have to fret about!

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