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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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carolinamilsap wrote:

Your way to make clear to the whole thing on this blog is in reality enjoyable. Thanks for it!! http://physicianslasercenter.net/laserhairremovalannapolis.php

10/23/2013 01:20:30 AM Report Abuse
cathy41863 wrote:

Laser works but it isn't as permanent as some make it out to be. Sometimes the hair follicle is stunned rather than killed which means it will grow back, usual after 4 to 6 months. Some people will produce replacement hair follicles and so should have top up treatments around the 6 month mark. There is more about this in my article. http://www.evolutionsclinic.co.uk/how-permanent-is-laser-hair-removal/

8/29/2013 05:27:15 AM Report Abuse
echo154584 wrote:

I have tried diode laser hair removal, it can do permanent hair removal with painless, much efficient than Ipl. If you are interested in this technology or machine, welcome to visit www.hornseamedical.com. My name is Echo

1/9/2013 09:07:12 PM Report Abuse
casperboost wrote:

Thanks for writing this. I stumbled upon it on accident, but it answered a lot of questions I have had for a while now. Does laser hair removal only last a few years? I thought the whole point of it was that it was permanent. http://www.rejuvenationwa.com/elos-laser-hair-removal-technology-permanent-hair-removal-treatment/

7/6/2012 04:46:28 PM Report Abuse

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