Most of us have been shaving since our tweens, but consider this: do you actually like shaving one to three times a week? Or, if you switched to waxing somewhere down the line, do you enjoy the wait-time between appointments where you have to let your hair grow out? If the answer to these questions is a resounding no, then you may want to consider a different cosmetic solution. Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD in Redlands, CA knows that laser hair removal is one of the best and most beneficial hair removal treatments available to patients.
How Permanent Is Laser Hair Removal?
The results of laser hair removal are designed to produce long-lasting results that can last for several months, even several years if the treatment is maintained correctly. However, as an important note, even if this treatment does slow down your rate of hair growth and significantly decrease the amount of hair that grows back, there’s only so much the treatment can do. It’s simply an immutable fact of life that hair will continue to grow, even if it does grow more sparsely and less quickly after this treatment.
The Short Term Results
In the short term, your results will usually last between two to eight weeks at a time. Most people enjoy an average of four weeks wonderfully hairless, which is generally the same space of time between initial treatment appointments.
Your short term results will typically last varying lengths of time due to your natural rate of hair growth and how well your hair follicles are responding to thermal energy exposure. Fortunately, your short term results will continue to improve with each subsequent treatment appointment.
The Long Term Results
In the long term, after your initial round of treatments, you can expect the results of your treatment to last for several months, sometimes as long as six months.
Laser hair removal will drastically slow your rate of hair growth over time, which is the most important long-term result.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
For your initial round of treatment, most people generally require at least six to eight treatment appointments spaced four to six weeks apart to achieve desired results. The number of initial treatments you will need will vary depending on certain factors, such as how thickly your hair grows. People who have thicker hair or hair follicles that are closer together may require additional treatments to be able to treat all follicles.
How Can You Maintain Your Results?
The best way to maintain your long-term results is to attend your regular maintenance appointments, which are usually scheduled once or twice a year. Your maintenance appointments will treat your hair follicles with laser energy again to continue stunting the function of the follicles.
Between appointments, you will be able to shave any hair that continues to grow. It’s important that you do not wax or tweeze any treated areas between appointments, particularly on areas of the body that have sensitive skin. We can advise you of other ways to maintain your results during your treatment appointments.
Is There a Best Time for This Treatment?
Yes. Although you can have this treatment at any age and during any time of the year, the fact of the matter is that it’s generally best to schedule laser treatments during times of the year when you are less likely to be exposed to direct sunlight.
Many patients opt to schedule this treatment during the fall and winter months for the sake of protecting their skin. This is also true for your maintenance appointments.
Where Can You Use This Treatment?
Laser hair removal is a treatment that can be used virtually anywhere on the body where hair grows, including small and sensitive areas.
Most often, we see patients who seek to remove hair from their legs and underarms, but many patients use this treatment on the forearms, stomach, back, and bikini area. We will build your treatment plan during your consultation appointment.
Why Is This Treatment Safe?
Many patients wonder if this treatment is safe, and the truth is that this treatment is usually a good option for most people – including those with medium to dark complexions who may not be eligible for other laser treatments. There are a few reasons for this, such as the fact that laser hair removal is a non-ablative laser treatment, which means it does not harm the skin from thermal energy and has a significantly lower risk of pigmentation.
This treatment is also considered safe because the laser technology used for laser hair removal only targets pigment that is darker than the skin tone. In other words, the laser energy is only active when the treatment system detects a hair follicle, which means that the surrounding skin is safe from thermal exposure.
How Should You Prepare for This Treatment?
There are some things you will need to do to prepare for laser treatments for hair removal. For example, some of your preparation will include instructions to avoid direct unprotected sun exposure, including tanning beds, for at least two weeks before your appointment. You will also need to avoid waxing or tweezing at least two weeks before your treatment.
You will be instructed to shave the intended treatment areas at least one to three days before your appointment, as this will make the treatment easier to complete. Please do not wear lotions, body oils, or perfume to your appointment. You may want to dress in loose, comfortable clothing, as well.
What Are the Benefits of Laser Hair Removal?
In addition to being a safe treatment that is an ideal choice for virtually all patients, there are other benefits to this laser treatment that you may want to consider. Some of these benefits include:
The biggest benefit of this laser treatment is the fact that it will simplify your beauty routine, both in terms of time and money. You will not need to shave as frequently, which means you will save money on razors and other shaving products, and even other hair removal treatments like waxing. You will be able to go weeks before having to think about your unwanted body hair again, which will make your daily hygiene routine that much quicker.
Along with a simpler routine, you will also benefit from more freedom. When you are enjoying the results of this treatment, you won’t have to think twice about the hair under your arms or around your bikini line, which will give you more freedom in choosing clothing to wear. And because you won’t be dealing with stubble anymore, wearing certain clothes may even be more comfortable.
Avoid Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs are caused by hair follicles that grow crookedly from the skin. One of the most undersold benefits of this laser treatment is the fact that successful treatments will help you avoid ingrown hairs in the future.
This is because the thermal energy used for this treatment gently corrects the alignment of the hair follicle and teaches the hair follicle how to grow hair straight. If you suffer from frequent ingrown hairs, then this may be one of the key reasons to consider this treatment.
This treatment is also not painful. Many patients assume that a laser treatment will be painful, but the truth is that this treatment is often less uncomfortable than waxing. Some people compare the sensation of this treatment to snapping rubber bands or steady heat not unlike a tanning bed.
Depending on your level of pain tolerance, you may want to ask for certain measures to be taken for your comfort, such as applying a topical numbing cream. But on the whole, most patients don’t find this treatment particularly uncomfortable.
Improve Skin Appearance
Another lesser-known benefit of this laser treatment is the fact that it can help improve the appearance of the skin. Although the laser will only be active when it detects darker pigments, the exposure of your skin to the thermal energy of this treatment helps restore the tone, texture, and tightness of your skin. Many patients experience minor to moderate improvements to the appearance of their skin after this treatment.
Who Are Good Candidates?
Adults who are interested in simplifying their body hair maintenance routine are generally good candidates for this treatment, including patients with medium and dark complexions. However, candidates who are currently pregnant may not be eligible.
Revel in Your Smooth Skin With Laser Hair Removal
If you aren’t a fan of shaving, tweezing, or waxing, but you still want to enjoy silky-smooth and hairless skin, then you may want to consider laser hair removal. This treatment is an ideal option for virtually everyone who wants to benefit from a simpler routine. If you think laser hair removal is a good treatment option for you, please contact Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD in Redlands, CA to schedule your first appointment today.