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How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

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Laser hair removal is one of the latest trends in cosmetic hair removal -- but make sure you know what you're getting into. Here's the facts on this hair-zapping procedure.
Question: "I'm interested in trying laser treatments for hair removal. How do they work?"

Answer: A concentrated beam of light is aimed at hair. The light is absorbed by the pigment, which damages the follicle enough to retard future growth. Lasers can remove hair for anywhere from several months to years, as the results differ widely from person to person.
Ouch Factor: Depending on a person's pain tolerance, lasers can feel like a gentle pinch or the snap of a hot rubber band.
The Price: Up to $1,000 or more per session for large areas, with three sessions needed to thoroughly zap hair -- it may really hurt your wallet.

Keep In Mind:

  • The procedure isn't permanent. "Hair grows in indeterminate cycles, and it needs to be caught in the growth phase for the procedure to be effective," says Sarnoff.
  • A post-zap breakout is common, because the treatment leaves hair follicles open for a few days. An OTC hydrocortisone cream or antibacterial lotion will prevent blemishes.
  • Tanning-from either the sun or a bottle-is a no-no before a laser treatment, since darker skin absorbs the light before it can reach the follicles.

What's New:

A concentrated beam of light is aimed at hair. The light is absorbed by the pigment, which damages the follicle enough to retard future growth. Lasers can remove hair for anywhere from several months to years, as the results differ widely from person to person. Ouch factor: Depending on a person's pain tolerance, lasers can feel like a gentle pinch or the snap of a hot rubber band. The price -- up to $1,000 or more per session for large areas, with three sessions needed to thoroughly zap hair -- really hurts your wallet.

There's exciting news for people with a serious abundance of hair: Vaniqa, the first growth inhibitor approved by the Food and Drug Administration, blocks action of a key enzyme involved in hair growth. In a study of 596 women who applied the prescription cream to shaved areas twice a day, researchers noted a significant slowdown in regrowth. Currently approved only for use on the face, around the lips, along the jawline and under the chin, Vaniqa costs about $47 for a two-month supply.

Skin-saving tips:

  • Stop using Renova, Retin-A and AHAs-which can make skin fragile and sensitive-several days prior to waxing, using a depilatory or laser hair removal. If taking Accutane, ask your physician about hair-removal options.
  • Avoid chlorine, saltwater and the sun for a day after shaving, waxing or using a depilatory and for a week after laser hair removal (to prevent irritation and burning.)
  • Don't subject sunburned skin to any hair removal; wait until the burn subsides.
  • Originally published in Fitness magazine.

 

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taratompson wrote:

I've been thinking of getting laser hair removal. Can you do it before you have laser surgery? I want to do it after wards too. Hopefully that's all safe. http://www.gdderm.com/services/hair-treatments/hair-restoration/

8/8/2014 03:49:47 PM Report Abuse
taratompson wrote:

I want to try laser hair removal. I think it might be more effective than waxing more me. I've been waxing for a while. Thanks for the great tips! Tara | http://www.walkindentalclinic.ca/en/

6/30/2014 10:22:13 PM Report Abuse
celinaedward223 wrote:

Laser treatment is one of the efficient treatment to get rid of unwanted hair but the above tips which is mentioned about the hair removal is an very good tips provided. http://hairrestorationlondon.co.uk/

6/24/2014 11:19:57 PM Report Abuse
tech.cutislaserclinics wrote:

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5/23/2014 05:30:32 AM Report Abuse
tech.cutislaserclinics wrote:

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives in depth information.

5/13/2014 02:54:40 AM Report Abuse

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