Is laser hair removal permanent?

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    When you want to get rid of unwanted hair, quickly and efficiently, you opt for the option of laser hair removal. It’s a safer procedure that people prefer when they want to remove the hair on their underarms, backside or bikini area. Though laser hair removal is not a permanent solution, the results last longer than shaving or waxing. While it’s largely painless, it’s side effects could include inflammation, scars or permanent skin discoloration.

    To achieve the full effect of removing unwanted hair from your body through laser hair removal, it would take 6 sessions or more. Post this, you will have permanent loss of hair on most areas of your body, but do note that due to hormones, it may not be permanent on a woman's face. If the hair regrows, make sure the laser hair removal procedure is repeated.

    How does laser hair removal work?

    Laser hair removal works on the principle of ‘selective photothermolysis’, a process where photons are used to destroy the hair follicle without harming the surrounding tissue and area of skin around.

    How long does laser hair removal last?

    Your ‘hair matrix’ is only sensitive to laser treatment during the active phase of the hair growth cycle. Therefore, you would require multiple treatments to address every hair follicle when they are most sensitive to treatment.

    Here’s what you would require at every phase of your hair removal therapy for good results:

    • A minimum of 4 to 6 sessions about 4 to 6 weeks apart.
    • You may then need maintenance treatments once every 6 to 12 months, as small vellus hair may grow back.

    Why are follow-up sessions needed for laser hair removal?

    While laser hair removal is the closest procedure to getting rid of unwanted hair compared to conventional procedures, the degree of effectiveness also varies from patient to patient. To achieve the full effect over time, you would need to periodically undergo a series of sessions mostly once, between 4 to 6 weeks. Your dermatologist will advise you when it’s safe to undergo another treatment.

    Is laser hair removal painful?

    Knowledge and expertise are everything when it comes to expert treatment of laser hair removal without pain. If it’s a board-certified dermatologist who performs your session, you can be sure of less or zero discomfort compared to waxing or getting a tattoo. However it depends on which part of the body is being treated to determine the degree of pain, and a person’s individual tolerance of pain. You always have the option of choosing a topical anesthetic before the treatment, which feels like a light rubber band snapping against the skin.

    The flip side is in poor hands, your treatment can result in inflammation, skin color changes and scars. That’s why it’s always important to rely on a medical doctor who is extremely skilled with the use of lasers and in-depth knowledge of your skin.

    Does your hair grow back after laser hair removal?

    To answer the question as to whether ‘is hair removal permanent’, one must first understand that hair growth varies between every patient. Whether your hair will grow back, lessen, or go away permanently also depends on various factors such as:

    • The color and thickness of your hair.
    • The surface area to be treated.
    • The type of laser being used.
    • The color of your skin.

    Studies show that you can expect a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after the first treatment.

    Most patients would need anywhere between 2 to 6 laser treatments to remove the hair entirely. In most cases, patients do not see hair on the treated skin for several months or even years. When the hair does eventually regrow, you will notice there’s very less of it, or it’s thinner and faded in colour.

    How long will the results of laser hair removal last?

    Even though laser hair removal isn’t completely permanent, most patients remain hair free for months or even years. When some of the hair regrows, it will most likely be less visible. To keep the area free of hair, a patient may need maintenance laser treatments.

    Can I shave between laser hair removal sessions?

    It is recommended that you shave the area long enough before the procedure, instead of during it. This will allow a slight stubble to develop which in turn provides enough of the target for the laser without absorbing too much energy in the hair shaft itself.

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