Laser hair removal 101

How does it work?

The short version: a concentrated light energy from the laser gets absorbed by the pigment in the hair, which damages the follicle. Doing this multiple times will result in damage to the follicle, and in turn slowing down hair growth, thinning out the hair, and eventually prohibiting growth.

Does it hurt?

Absolutely, but in all the years I've been performing this treatment, not one patient has ever not been able to finish a session. It feels like a light rubber band snap, a little easier then getting a wax. Some areas hurt more then others, but it's such a quick process, and it's totally worth it. Taking an advil 20 minutes before can help with this.

Is it for me?

This depends. The best candidates have light skin and dark hair, laser works quickest on this combination, but darker skin can be treated too. Unfortunately there are no lasers (yet!) to treat red hair, blonde hair, and grey hair. If you have very sensitive skin, or a history of hyperpigmentation, you can ask for a "patch test".

What areas can I laser?

Anywhere! Bikini area and underarms are the most popular areas to treat, as the hair tends to be thickest in those spots and responds really well. I've lasered everything from patients ears to butt cracks.

How many treatments will I need?

Results vary from person to person. I tell patients they are going to need at least six treatments. However you will see results after just two treatments. After those first few initial treatments, your hair will be lighter, and sparser. Treatments are done every 4 to 6 weeks to make sure we get hairs in their growth cycle. 

How much does it cost?

Most offices will charge by the area being treated. One bikini session can run between $250 to $400 per session. Larger areas like full legs can be between $800 to $1200 per session. Packages to save some money are almost always available. While I'm all for getting a great deal, do your research on local options. The most reliable option is to visit your dermatologist or medical doctors office, or a medspa as long as there is a doctor on site. 

Is there anything I have to do before?

Yes, but its easy! Shave the day before your treatment. The hair follicle has to be intact, so no waxing or plucking for weeks before a treatment, but shaving is always ok. Also, you can't have a real or even fake tan before the procedure, or you can run the risk of skin discoloration. 

What can I expect after?

Your skin will be a little pink, blotchy, and sometimes a little bumpy. This is normal and goes away in a few hours but could last up to two days. After about a week, the hair dislodges from the follicle and you will be hair free for one to two months. When it starts to grow back, just shave until your next treatment session. 

Will it last forever?

The results can be permanent, but there is no way to get every hair. After about six sessions, you can expect about 75-80% of the hair to be gone forever. Any hair that is left will be really thin, sparse and very manageable. There can be possible re-growth from pregnancy or certain types of hormone related issues.