Ought to You Get Laser Hair Removing? Estheticians Weigh In

For individuals who select to take away their physique hair, it could actually 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 individuals, can result in pesky ingrown hairs that go away 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 could actually get rid of lots of the points related to conventional hair elimination and provides individuals the outcomes they’re in search of. On this publish, 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?

In line with Madalaina, there are just a few various kinds of lasers for hair elimination. The most typical are Alexandrite and Nd:YAG. 

Alexandrite lasers mainly work by selecting up the distinction between the pigment within the hair versus the pores and skin, that means they work greatest on individuals with truthful 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, then again, work by passing mild power immediately beneath 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 development. Since Nd:YAG lasers don’t depend on distinction, they’re a terrific possibility for these with darker pores and skin tones.

(Enjoyable Reality: 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 mild blonde, laser hair elimination might not be a very good possibility for you. Each Alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers are finally interested in 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 more durable 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 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, understand that laser hair elimination usually isn’t as efficient for mild hair as it’s for darker hair. You’ll want to 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 may range fairly drastically relying on the machine and the shopper. Extra basic machines normally 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 normally 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 development. In any other case, remedies aren’t as efficient.

Are Contact-Ups Required?

Madalaina notes that touch-ups will depend upon the shopper’s hair sort in addition to the machine used. It’s additionally a matter of choice and is determined by how fastidious somebody needs to be. Madalaina says most shoppers solely require one or two touchups per yr, however some choose to come back in additional usually. “The beauty of shaving versus waxing is you could shave in between and it received’t mess up the hair development cycle,” she says. “This implies you may keep easy between appointments and don’t should undergo the awkward development stage required with waxing.” 

Does Laser Take away ALL Hair? What Are Life like Expectations?

The brief reply isn’t any. I personally first tried laser hair elimination in 2005, and I distinctly bear in mind being informed, “You may throw away your razor, you’ll by no means should shave once more.” This was undoubtedly an over-exaggeration, however today, practitioners are much more upfront about setting real looking expectations. I attempted it once more three years in the past, and I might say it completely eliminated about 90% of my hair (which is fairly nice!). Now, it’s typically known as laser hair discount as a substitute.

Whereas laser hair elimination doesn’t take away 100% of hair, it may be life-changing. It considerably reduces hair development (that means a lot of the hair received’t develop again in any respect), and the hair that does stay is thinner and really sparse. This makes it much more manageable and implies 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 elimination fades outdated discoloration brought on by 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 strategy 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 perfect time of yr for laser hair elimination is fall or winter. I all the time inform my shoppers that that is the very best time of yr for skilled remedies generally, and the reason being that you just’re much less prone 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 normally that you just keep away from any solar publicity on handled areas two weeks earlier than AND after your appointment. 

Study why winter is the very best time of yr to do away with brown spots (and how one can 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 important each two weeks earlier than and after your appointment. You’ll additionally wish 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 may range relying on the machine). In case you’re utilizing Accutane for pimples, you’ll wish to wait at the very least a month after your final dose to get laser hair elimination. Once more, make sure you test along with your supplier for particular directions.

Madalaina provides that you just’ll wish to shave the areas which can be going to be handled the evening earlier than your appointment. “This ensures the simplest therapy since we wish the sunshine power to have easy accessibility to the follicle as a substitute of getting to waste power on floor hair development (which might 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 recuperate. Shaving too near your appointment time can typically lead to further 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 short, cool bathe can be utilized to appease post-treatment.

Relating to laser hair elimination aftercare, a very powerful factor is hydration. I all the time 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 received’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 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 can be detaching to shed by means of 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 therapy, ebook a session. The machines used for laser hair elimination are highly effective, and used incorrectly (or on the fallacious particular person) they will trigger harm. It’s essential to seek out somebody expert who takes the time to reply all of your questions.

“I might 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 all the time discover phrase of mouth to be probably the most dependable, so if you happen to can, ask these round you to gauge sincere 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 you must really feel that you’re getting a personalised expertise. Good suppliers will all the time exit of their strategy to achieve in-depth information 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 your whole questions! Having a specialised laser or superior certification is all the time a plus.” 

My Expertise With (and Sincere Overview 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 all the time hated about waxing (apart 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 undoubtedly be some awkward hair development between the primary few remedies of laser hair elimination, however as Madalaina identified, you may shave. Finally, that awkward re-growth stops nearly altogether. 

I had ten remedies in complete 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 light-weight now that I don’t even go for touch-ups, and I barely even should shave anymore.

I do wish to say that outcomes can nonetheless range 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 development naturally slows down with age. That stated, I’m actually proud of the outcomes and undoubtedly choose it to the waxing I used to be doing all these years. I’m ready to consider it quite a bit much less, and it’s another factor I don’t have to fret about!

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