Ought to You Get Laser Hair Removing? Estheticians Weigh In

For individuals who select to take away their physique hair, it may typically seem to be there’s no such factor as an ideal possibility. 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 specific amount of hair re-growth and, for some folks, can result in pesky ingrown hairs that depart discoloration behind.

For individuals who wrestle with each these choices, laser hair elimination can provide an answer. Whereas it’s not with out its personal drawbacks, it may get rid of lots of the points related to conventional hair elimination and provides folks the outcomes they’re on the lookout for. On this put up, I’ll reply all of your urgent questions on laser hair elimination with the assistance of Madalaina Conti, a New York-based, licensed esthetician specializing in laser hair elimination, inflammatory pores and skin circumstances, and built-in wellness. I’ll additionally share my very own expertise with laser hair elimination—let’s dive in!

How Does Laser Hair Removing Work?

Based on Madalaina, there are just a few several types of lasers for hair elimination. The commonest are Alexandrite and Nd:YAG. 

Alexandrite lasers mainly work by choosing up the distinction between the pigment within the hair versus the pores and skin, which means they work greatest on folks with truthful pores and skin and darkish hair (gentle brown to black). For a similar purpose, Alexandrite lasers aren’t appropriate for darker pores and skin tones (this is able to be Fitzpatrick skin types 4-6).

Nd:YAG lasers, then again, work by passing gentle power straight below the follicle. The sunshine power 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 a fantastic possibility for these with darker pores and skin tones.

(Enjoyable Truth: Dr. Fitzpatrick created his eponymous scale to assist dermatologists gauge a affected person’s danger for pores and skin most cancers, however he was additionally the one to get Tretinoin FDA-approved for wrinkles and anti-aging. After 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 gentle blonde, laser hair elimination will not be an excellent possibility for you. Each Alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers are in the end drawn to the pigment within the hair, and that is how the power 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 gentle hair. One is laser dyeing, which includes 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 elimination usually isn’t as efficient for gentle hair as it’s for darker hair. Make sure you seek the advice of along with your supplier earlier than committing, and ensure they’re being upfront about affordable expectations.

How Many Periods of Laser Hair Removing Are Wanted?

“In my expertise,” says Madalaina, “this will fluctuate fairly drastically relying on the gadget and the consumer. Extra basic machines often require eight or extra classes, 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 realm 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 kind in addition to the gadget used. It’s additionally a matter of desire and is dependent upon how fastidious somebody needs to be. Madalaina says most shoppers solely require one or two touchups per 12 months, however some choose to come back in additional usually. “The wonderful thing about shaving versus waxing is you can shave in between and it gained’t mess up the hair progress cycle,” she says. “This implies you’ll be able to keep easy between appointments and don’t need to undergo the awkward progress stage required with waxing.” 

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

The quick reply isn’t any. I personally first tried laser hair elimination in 2005, and I distinctly bear in mind being advised, “You’ll be able to throw away your razor, you’ll by no means need to shave once more.” This was positively an over-exaggeration, however lately, practitioners are much more upfront about setting lifelike 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 elimination 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 nearly stopping ingrown hairs of their tracks, laser hair elimination fades outdated discoloration attributable to ingrowns and irritation. The result’s a lot smoother, brighter pores and skin total, even after only one session. 

Based on Madalaina, the one option 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 elimination 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 just’re much less more likely to get solar publicity. Many remedies make the pores and skin quickly extra photosensitive, and laser hair elimination isn’t any exception. The advice is often that you just keep away from any solar publicity on handled areas two weeks earlier than AND after your appointment. 

Study why winter is one of the best time of 12 months to eliminate brown spots (and easy methods 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 test along with your supplier about discontinuing lively merchandise like exfoliating acids and retinol, and topical prescriptions like tretinoin or hydroquinone (Madalaina says this will fluctuate relying on the gadget). When you’re utilizing Accutane for pimples, you’ll need to wait at the least a month after your final dose to get laser hair elimination. Once more, you’ll want to test along with your supplier for particular directions.

Madalaina provides that you just’ll need to shave the areas which might be going to be handled the evening earlier than your appointment. “This ensures the best remedy since we wish the sunshine power to have easy accessibility to the follicle as an alternative of getting to waste power on floor hair progress (which may additionally burn),” she says. “I discover shaving the evening 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 better. Shaving too near your appointment time can typically end in further sensitivity or irritation on the pores and skin.”

After Your Appointment

After your remedy, 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. When you’re experiencing some discomfort, a short, cool bathe can be utilized to appease post-treatment.

With regards to laser hair elimination aftercare, an important factor is hydration. I at all times advocate that shoppers use one thing mild 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. Keep in mind, pores and skin is tremendous uncooked after being uncovered to the warmth of a laser, so it must be babied. You need to use 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’ll be able to add shaving or exfoliating to your routine to assist slough off lifeless pores and skin cells and permit hairs which might be detaching to shed by the floor. I discover bodily scrubs actually efficient for this, however be sure to 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 Remedy

Earlier than reserving a remedy, guide a session. The machines used for laser hair elimination are highly effective, and used incorrectly (or on the incorrect individual) they will trigger injury. 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 kind after which doing a little analysis on the laser your potential supplier carries,” says Madalaina. “I at all times discover phrase of mouth to be probably the most dependable, so should 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 all the pieces, and it’s best to really feel that you’re getting a customized expertise. Good suppliers will at all times exit of their option to acquire in-depth data of your routine and targets to maximise your expertise. They’ll stroll you thru expectations, guarantee you might be snug and shall be completely happy to reply all your questions! Having a specialised laser or superior certification is at all times a plus.” 

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

I bought laser hair elimination 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 all the pieces develop out for just a few 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 elimination, however as Madalaina identified, you’ll be able to shave. Ultimately, 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 have been handled, so the blonde didn’t actually get picked up by the laser. Nonetheless, this hair is so skinny and lightweight now that I don’t even go for touch-ups, and I barely even need to shave anymore.

I do need to say that outcomes can nonetheless fluctuate significantly person-to-person. There’s an opportunity I had a leg up since a few of my follicles have 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 pleased with the outcomes and positively choose it to the waxing I used to be doing all these years. I’m in a position to consider it quite a bit much less, and it’s yet one more factor I don’t have to fret about!

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