Laser hair removal is all the rage, and for good reason. After years of shaving, plucking, and pulling, who wouldn’t like to throw out all the tools and chemicals for nearly permanently silky skin, free of unwanted hair? But if you’re really serious about getting the look you want in time for spring break or summer vacation, then it’s time to start now. Here at Manhattan Dermatology in New York City, we can help you with laser hair removal to reduce hair on your:
While it may sound cruel, laser hair removal works best when it zaps your “baby” hairs while they’re still in an early growth phase. Because all of your hairs grow at different rates, you actually need about three to six sessions to hit all of those early-growth hairs. And to allow your skin and hair to adjust, plus give you time to evaluate your results, we recommend leaving about 1½-2 months between each session.
Counting backward from your spring break or summer beach rental til now, you start to see why beginning your laser hair removal now is the best move. With each hair removal session, you can expect up to 25% of your treated hairs to fall out over the following two weeks.
When your hair is in an early-growth phase, the root is firmly entrenched in the lower, bulbous part of its follicle (the shaft where hairs grow). Your Manhattan Dermatology expert chooses settings on the laser that target its energy toward the pigment in the hair root. By vaporizing the root, the laser also damages the follicle.
Once the follicle has been damaged by the laser’s heat, it won’t be able to grow a new hair. Or, if a hair does manage to grow back, the hair will be lighter and finer than the original hair.
By aiming energy at the hair pigment, the laser also bypasses your skin. Other than a little initial pinkness after your treatment — similar to that of a mild sunburn — your skin won’t be affected by laser hair removal.
Another reason to start your laser hair removal now is that you need to prepare your skin and hair for the removal process.
First, you need to let your hair grow out for about six weeks, which means refraining from methods that pull them out by the root, such as electrolysis, waxing, or tweezing. At the same time, if you’re visiting a sunny, warm locale, you’ll need to slather on the sunscreen to prevent your skin from tanning, which may make targeting the hair pigment more difficult.
Two days before your scheduled hair-removal session, shave the treatment areas. Don’t shave again, though! Your laser treatment works best when you have a little bit of stubble.
After all that prep, it’s nice to know that each session only takes about 10-20 minutes per area, depending on what you’re having treated. Of course, you can address multiple areas at once for a longer, but more efficient, treatment session.
While being zapped with a laser may sound like it could be painful, if you survived third grade and being snapped with rubber bands by classmates, your laser hair removal session should be a breeze. Your Manhattan Dermatology aesthetician applies a numbing cream before your session to keep you comfortable.
For six weeks after each laser hair removal treatment, you have to be extra careful about avoiding the sun and being diligent with using a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more. Not only is sun protection important for your skin’s health, it prevents you from developing patches of discoloration after your laser treatment.
By preparing for laser hair removal now, and knowing the steps you need to take to keep your skin healthy and safe before and after, you can stride the beaches with pride by spring. Call our office at Manhattan Dermatology to book your first laser hair removal treatment, or use the online form.