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Hair Removal by Laser:
Guide to Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is simply the process of using an intense beam of light to permanently remove unwanted hair. It has become increasingly popular in recent years and at present it seems that in future it could become a consistently used form of plastic surgery. Although not without risk, laser hair removal is one of the safest methods of plastic surgery. This guide will give a walk-through of everything one could possibly wish to know about this desirable process.

As mentioned previously, laser hair removal involves the permanent removal of hair in the targeted areas. For this reason alone, it is obvious why the procedure has become so incredibly popular. Hair, especially in certain regions, is one of the most hated products on the human body. Not only do people dislike it for various reasons, but managing it can be tedious, time consuming, and even painful. Although various methods can be followed to keep it in check, such as shaving, waxing, and plucking, each of these methods is only a short-term answer to the problem. Hair grows back, and quickly at that. Laser hair removal offers a desirable solution: permanent removal of hair. It eliminates the hair in almost any desired area and in most cases makes it so that the hair will never return and never has to be worried about again.

Different lasers are used for removing different types of hair. For darker hairs, which are usually much easier to remove, a ruby laser is generally used which is most effective at targeting dark hair on light skin. A ruby laser targets melanin, the darkening pigment in both skin and hair, and the laser can target the hairs individually while completely bypassing the light skin underneath. However, this method can create complications with dark skin, which is why a different laser is used in these cases. A neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser has been found to be suitable for almost any skin type. In order to remove light or gray hairs an alternative method known as intense pulsed light, which involves the use of non-laser light, is used to remove the undesirable hair.

If one wishes to go through with the laser hair removal process, the first step is to visit a dermatologist to find out whether he is a suitable candidate to perform the operation. Various factors such as certain skin conditions and medical history are taken into consideration when deciding whether or not a person should use laser hair removal so as not to risk any complications. If it is decided that laser hair removal is an acceptable option, then steps need to be taken prior to actually going in for the surgery.

In the case where a dark tan has resulted from a tanning salon or excessive exposure to the sun, it is necessary to wait until that tanning has completely faded from the skin so that the melanin in the skin will not be targeted inadvertently by the laser. In addition, the targeted areas must be shaved completely a couple of days beforehand and allowed to grow a short length since short, dark hairs are the easiest to remove through this process. It is also advised to avoid the consumption of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or dietary supplements in the days prior to the laser removal surgery.

When undergoing the process itself, it is important to know that the laser removal process is almost always fairly quick and painless. Depending on the area being targeted, each surgery can take mere minutes to a few hours and usually requires more than one visit. For instance, small areas such as around the lips are usually completed in just a few minutes and generally only requires a couple of visits, but larger areas such as the chest or back can take hours to complete and almost always involve repeating the process several times over the course of weeks or months to achieve the desired results.

Once all of the surgeries have been completed, up to 95% of the hair at the targeted area should have been removed after around 6 months. However, it should be realized that even multiple treatments may not remove all of the hair and there may be some regrowth of hair in the targeted areas. With the advancement of technology in the near future, hopefully the complete removal will be guaranteed, quicker, and cheaper.

Although regarded as one of the safest forms of plastic surgery, laser hair removal still has the potential for certain risks. Although quite rare, side effects such as swelling, blistering, redness, and scarring may occur in the targeted areas. In addition, if improper lasers are used, such as a ruby laser being used on dark or tanned skin, permanent complications may occur and the likeliness of scarring and other side effects are drastically increased, not to mention that the procedure will be much less successful at removing the hair.

Hopefully this guide has helped to enlighten a few out there. It is always important to know the facts on what exactly is going on and what are the potential side effects when undergoing any kind of surgery. Be sure to consult a dermatologist and follow all of the recommendations from that dermatologist prior to undergoing the surgery.

Copyright: Brandon Whitworth

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