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Laser Hair Treatment for Unwanted Hair:
Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Hair Removal
Why should you use a laser to remove hair?
Lasers can target pigmented hair while leaving the skin around the laser-treated area unaffected. With each pulse of the laser, you can treat many hairs. Each pulse only takes a fraction of a second. Compare this with electrolysis and you will see that laser hair removal is much more precise and faster.
Does laser hair removal really work?
The results are quite predictable. Ninety percent of patients usually have permanent hair loss. For 10 percent of patients, no matter what you do, hair loss just does not happen.
Usually, after each session, most of the laser-treated hairs fall out. After about six weeks, the hair follicles that have survived gradually start growing back. But on the average, with each session, approximately one third of the hairs treated never return back and, therefore, are permanently removed.
The remaining hairs tend to be lighter in color and also smaller in size. On the average, patients are satisfied with three to five treatments separated by two months apart. Patients who have darker colored skin may need more sessions, as their skin may require lower energy levels in order to be a safe treatment.
Will it work for me individually?
A consultation is required to determine if you really are a suitable candidate for a laser hair removal procedure. Dark, coarse hairs on any part of the body usually respond well. As a rule, very fine or very lightly colored hair — whether it's white, gray, or red — do not respond well to treatment.
Patients with dark complexions really need to be treated cautiously because the dark skin interferes with the laser light even before reaching the hair. With the latest technology available, there is some flexibility to treat a wide variety of patients effectively and safely.
What should I do before treatments?
Prior to treatments some protection from the sun is recommended; usually for at least a month in advance. A tanned skin increases the pigmentation and this can compete with the laser light. This can result in less effective sessions with a higher chance of side effects.
The hairs in the areas that you want treated must be short but visible. It is very important not to pluck or wax the hair for a month prior to treatments.
How long does each session usually last?
The treatment is relatively quick but also depends on the amount of hair to be treated. The area of hairs that the laser can treat every second is about the size of a quarter. A small area like the upper lip can be treated in less than a minute, while large areas like the back or the legs may need up to an hour.
Will it hurt?
An anesthetic cream is usually recommended to numb the skin before treatments. This you will need to discuss with the doctor. The procedure is usually tolerated well with a mild sensation of heat, tingling or stinging.
What should I expect after the treatment?
The laser hair treated area looks and feels much like a sunburn that usually lasts one to two days. You can use a cool compress and moisturizers. The area treated is usually pain-free the day after. Makeup can usually be used after the treatment unless there are blisters. Blisters, though not common, are more likely to happen in patients with darker skin.
The lasered hair falls out over a period of a month and should not frighten you. Also, you should use sun protection for a month afterwards so it won’t change the pigment in your skin. Though rare, changes that sometimes may occur, which are permanent undesirable side effects, are scarring or skin color changes.
Again, you really need to speak with a doctor before you even consider having laser hair removal. This is only general information and not to be taken as the only answers to these questions.
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10 Things You Must Know About Getting a Good Laser Hair Removal Service
Laser hair removal is supposed to be a safe process, yet dubious claims and inappropriate equipment still lead to scams and injuries. Consumers themselves must know the ins and outs of laser hair removal to prevent themselves from getting cheated. The following points will aid you in making a proper decision to get yourself ready at the clinic.
1) The sensitivity of your skin. A skin can be too delicate to be damaged instead of getting treated. A technology called CoolGlide can treat all known skin types. Consult a professional to examine and discuss over your skin and infection issues prior to treatment.
2) The degree of discomfort. Do not believe in a “no-pain” process. All treatment are bound to make you uncomfortable. However, it's not anywhere near the whiplash pain of waxing.
3) The possibility of regrowth. Laser hair removal cannot possibly stop hair growth, though it can reduce growth rate permanently after hair cells are killed. If a practitioner claims to eradicate hair growth completely, you should ask for testimonials and get their proof upfront; it's in their benefit to tell you their achievement.
4) The cost. Depending on the area size treated, it could amount from US$25 to US$250. You may compare the price ranges of several services to get a good gauge. Ask for outstanding reasons that could factor into the overall cost, particular the overheads for their equipment.
5) Aging equipment. Ask for the type of laser used, whether it is effective, how long the practitioners have used the equipment and if there are newer models. You have a right to know.
6) Multiple treatment plans. It's quite likely to return for several treatments within 2 weeks, and then another separate session if necessary within a year to eliminate regrowth, but asking you to come back regularly without the fullest and sincere explanation on your case is simply an indication of ineffectiveness. Beware of such tactics that forces you to pay a lump sum in full. You deserve a good laser treatment as it is.
7) Safety measures. Laser, if abused, can cause damaging effects. Check what precautions are taken, like applying a layer of protective cream over the skin or wearing eye goggles.
8) The practitioner. Who is actually doing the treatment? The experienced doctor or some ‘assistant’? Check that the practitioner is trained, qualified and certified to carry out treatments.
9) Ask for a test treatment. This is a simple request which practitioners have no difficulties to fulfill. Cost will still be incurred, but your initial experience with laser hair removal gets you in the know of how a typical treatment works and in tune with the clinical environment.
10) Get written information. Get a written agreement on all obligations, commitment and breakdown of cost from the practitioner to ensure that he stays true to the standard of service provided.
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