Skincare: Facts about Laser Hair Removal

Image : © Mqdee

Temporary methods of hair removal such as waxing, shaving and threading can be bothersome, time-consuming and come with their own side-effects such as rashes, boils and in-growths. Long-lasting reduction in hair can be achieved with laser hair removal.

Laser hair removal can target all areas of the body and is suitable for men and women who wish to treat unwanted hair. The laser safely removes hair from the targeted areas leaving your skin feeling smooth. Laser hair removal is also a treatment of choice for medical conditions such as ingrown hairs, pseudofolliculitisbarbae, hidradenitissuppurativa, pilonidal sinus and even excessive underarm sweating.

1. How does laser hair removal work?
The laser is attracted to the melanin, which gives hair its colour. The laser beam tracks this pigment to the root of each hair, thereby generating heat energy in this process, which damages the root and hair stem cells. This hinders further growth of the hair and may even result in permanent hair loss. As this hair treatment can only target the hair that is presently in a state of growth, a series of sessions is usually required to guarantee a long-lasting final outcome.

2. What laser systems are available for hair reduction? 
The lasers commonly used are alexandrite, diode and Nd-yag systems. All these lasers are safe and work well on Indian skins. The alexandrite laser gives the best results and requires a lesser number of sessions and it works well even on finer hair.

3. Does the treatment hurt?
Patients often say the discomfort is similar to the snap of a rubber band. However, newer laser systems have efficient cooling systems, which minimise any discomfort during treatment.
4. What is the aftercare following laser hair removal?
 The skin may be slightly red for a few hours after the treatment. It is best to avoid strong sunlight, avoid any steam, sauna or facial on the treated area for a day or two. Also, any rejuvenation cream should be avoided for a day after the treatment. Always use a sunblock (SPF 30 and above) on the area you are having treated.

5. How many treatments are needed?

Ideally, a minimum number of of six treatments are required. Intervals between treatments can range from 4-6 weeks as hair growth cycles vary on different areas of the body. Additional numbers of treatments may be required and may vary according to the skin tone, hair colour and any underlying cause for hair growth such as a hormonal imbalance.

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