Laser hair removal is a minimally invasive procedure with a number of benefits. With just a few sessions, you can be hair-free on almost any area of the body you desire—virtually permanently. What re-growth you do experience will be very light and barely noticeable.
If the idea of never having to shave, wax, thread, tweeze, or slather smelly chemicals on delicate body parts ever again sounds appealing to you, you are probably wondering where you can sign up for such a miracle. Before you get ahead of yourself, though, you should find out if you’d make a good candidate for the procedure.
You might be a good candidate for laser hair removal if:
- You have light skin. While evolving technology has made it possible for people with darker skin tones to undergo laser hair removal successfully, the procedure still works best on skin that is not heavily pigmented.
- You have dark hair. Again, you are not necessarily excluded as a candidate for laser hair removal if you have light hair. However, the laser that is responsible for removing the hair focuses more easily on hair with darker pigmentation. What this means is that you will likely see quicker, more thorough, and longer lasting results if you have dark hair than you will with lighter hair.
- You have coarse hair. The hair follicles of thick or coarse hair are more readily and easily destroyed than the follicles of thin or fine hair. You will still see results from laser hair removal if you have fine hair, but they won’t be as striking as the results a person with coarser hair would experience.
- You are not currently tanned. Tanned skin is damaged skin. This requirement has more to do with the integrity of the skin and its ability to heal properly than it does with pigmentation. If you are tanned and you want laser hair removal, wait until your tan fades and then discuss your options with a dermatologist.
- You are committed to permanent hair removal. While this may seem like an obvious point, some laser hair removal patients don’t seem to fully grasp this notion. If you think, for any reason at all, that you might want to re-grow hair in any area at any point in the future, you should take some time to weigh out the benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.
- You have realistic expectations. Very, very few laser hair removal patients will see complete, permanent hair removal after only one session. Most patients will require a series of sessions before the desired results are obtained. Even after many sessions, there may still be a few stubborn follicles that just won’t disappear. You must understand and accept this possibility in order to be happy with your results.
- You can follow directions. Your laser hair removal provider will give you a list of instructions for both before and after your procedure. Following these instructions will help to ensure that you have optimal results with minimal side effects.
- You understand that there may be risks. Laser hair removal is one of the lowest risk cosmetic procedures offered today, but it is not risk-free. Most people have no serious side effects, but you may experience skin irritation, redness, itching, changes in skin pigmentation, crusting, or even scarring of the skin. Discuss these risks with your provider and be sure you understand them before having the procedure.
If you think you make a good candidate for laser hair removal, then now is the time to schedule a consultation with your dermatologist or cosmetic procedure provider. It truly is a cost-effective, low-risk, amazing solution to hair removal. Most people who have had laser hair removal are exceedingly happy with their decision.
Michelle is a freelancer who currently works for a medical practice that offers laser hair removal. She’s often promoting the safety importance of using a Surgimedics laparscopic smoke filter in operating rooms, and educating people on the laser hair removal process.