Laser is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the U.S. Laser hair reduction is used to remove unwanted hair from the face, leg, arm, underarm, bikini line, and other areas. Each pulse of the laser takes a fraction of a second. Small areas such as the upper lip can be treated in less than a minute and large areas, such as the back and legs may take up to an hour. During the procedure, a handheld instrument is directed at the skin where the hair is being removed. The instrument fires a light through your skin to damage the hair follicles, preventing hair from growing again. Most patients need a series of 6-8 treatments to see the full effects. Further touch up sessions may be needed in the future.
Treatment works best on hair that is very dark and coarse. It typically does not work on fine, light hair, which means blondes, redheads, or those with gray hair will not get optimal results. Laser hair removal is effective in most areas of the body for both men and women of all skin types. A series of six is recommended to achieve optimal results.
You should avoid plucking, waxing, and electrolysis for 6 weeks before you begin treatment. These hair removal methods extract hair from the root, which can affect the effectiveness of laser hair removal. It is also important to avoid sun exposure for at least 6 weeks before and after treatment. A suntan or burn affects the melanin in the skin which can also make laser hair removal less effective and can result in complications like skin discoloration. You can shave a day or so before treatment, but avoid hair removal on the day of laser hair removal.
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