What does Laser Hair Removal Involve?
Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) systems use powerful light sources to offer a long-term solution to unwanted body hair. There are a wide variety of different laser/IPL machines which all work in different ways, however the principle is the same: delivering a strong burst of light into the hair follicle to damage it and prevent future hair growth. Lasers and IPL can be used to treat unwanted hair on most areas of the face and body in men and women. Some skin types (such as very dark or tanned skin), and certain hair types (including red and grey hair), may not be suitable for this treatment. Treatment will cost anywhere between £50 and £500 per session, depending on the size of the area being treated.
Am I a Candidate? Ideal candidates for laser hair removal are those who wish to permanently remove hair on a specific area of the body.
Before Treatment – Your first discussion with a practitioner should clearly set out your expectations of the treatment so that you can find out whether the results you desire are achievable using this method of hair removal. You should also find out if an at-home hair removal treatment might be a viable alternative for you.
During Treatment – During laser hair removal treatment, safety eyewear must be worn to protect your eyes and a cooling product may be sprayed on the skin before treatment to minimise any potential discomfort. The practitioner will then use a small handpiece to administer flashes of light to your skin. Most patients describe the procedure as a little uncomfortable, with a tingling or stinging sensation. Several treatments are required for laser hair removal due to the natural growth cycle of hair. It is best to catch the hair follicle early in the growing phase to maximise results. The procedure can from 10-60 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated. Treatments can be repeated at monthly intervals for 2-7 treatments until the desired results are achieved.
Recovery – Laser hair removal is minimally invasive so most people find that they can return to work immediately after treatment.
Benefits – Laser hair removal is effective in reducing the ability of the hair follicles to produce new hairs, resulting in lessened or lighter hair growth over time.
Risks and Complications – Side effects after laser hair removal vary according to your skin type and the type of hair removal machine used. Immediately after treatment, your skin may be a little swollen or red, with a feeling akin to mild sunburn for a day or so. The skin pigment may also be altered, leaving dark or light patches which will gradually fade over time.
Cost – Prices for laser hair removal can vary from £40 to £400 per treatment depending on the size of the area. The number of treatment sessions that you will require depends on your hair colour and skin type as well as the type of machine used. In general, you will need a minimum of three sessions to achieve a good initial result.