Laser hair removal is one of the most effective methods of hair removal available. Laser hair removal (also referred to as IPL laser hair removal, which stands for Intense Pulsed Light) works by directing an intense stream of light onto the surface of the hair. Once the light reaches the hair follicle, the high degree of heat kills the follicle instantly at the root, leading to a marked reduction in the instance of hair growth over time.
Laser hair treatments can be performed on nearly any part of the body, including the legs, bikini line, underarms, upper lip, and chin. They are most effective when performed on dark hair, because the IPL works by targeting the melatonin or dark pigmenting in the hair. Hair may not grow back for months or even years after a treatment, and repeated sessions can lead to nearly permanent hair removal.
IPL treatments are more expensive than other forms of hair removal, but have much longer-lasting effects. The cost of hair removal varies according to how large of an area you need done, and how much time the treatment takes. Before scheduling a consultation at a laser hair removal clinic consider contacting your insurance company to see if the cost of your procedure may be partially covered.
At a consultation, a licensed medical professional will be able to design a personalized treatment for your particular hair and skin type. Never get a laser procedure done at a spa or salon where medical procedures are unsupervised by licensed personnel. Ask if your physician will be doing the procedure him or herself, or be present if the task is delegated to a nurse or assistant. At your consultation, also be sure to provide your physician with accurate information regarding your medical history and skin condition, and inform him or her of any medications you are currently taking.
During the laser treatment, you will be required to wear goggles to protect your eyes from harmful beams of intense light. You may feel a slight stinging sensation on the area being treated, but notify your doctor if you feel excessive pain or discomfort. The risks of IPL laser hair removal include permanent changes in skin color, blistering, scarring, and scabbing, but these complications are unlikely to occur if you are quick to communicate any discomfort to your practitioner during the course of the session.
After your procedure is complete, a slight stinging sensation may continue up to 24 hours after treatment. Refrain from any heavy physical activity during this time, and avoid exposing your skin to the sun to reduce the risk of skin damage. Do not do anything that could irritate the surface of the treatment area, including scrubbing, waxing, and picking at it. The results of laser hair removal vary from person to person, but you can expect anywhere from a 20 to 90 percent in hair reduction. To achieve maximum results, schedule regular laser sessions every six to eight weeks until hair is permanently removed.