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Laser Hair Removal » Information » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
about Laser Hair Removal

Have you wondered whether laser hair removal is right for you? Browse through our Frequently Asked Questions to help you determine whether you are an ideal candidate for laser hair removal. We'll tell you all you need to know — and more — about laser hair removal, enabling you to make the most educated choices.

Why laser treatment?

Though there are many ways to remove unwanted hair (such as shaving and plucking), lasers are the only permanent method of hair reduction. Also, a large area of the skin can be treated via laser at one time, making the procedure faster and even more cost-effective.

How does laser hair removal work?

Basically, the laser is guided by a beam of light that searches for a mass of hair follicles (not just one like electrolysis or tweezing) deep beneath the skin disabling or destroying the root. The laser beam targets only the hair follicles and not the surrounding skin. For comfort, the skin is usually cooled with a gel or cream during the process. The laser destroys hairs in its active growth phase and up to 85% of our hair is in that phase at any given time.

What kinds of lasers are used?

Currently there are several types of lasers that have been approved by the FDA. Each one has a specific set of advantages and disadvantages.

  • The Ruby Laser which is a very powerful pulse has been proven best for people with lighter skin can also be used on a lower setting for darker skin types.
  • The Alexandrite Laser is versatile and can customize its range and treatable spot size depending on the hairs coarseness. They are known for their effectiveness and speed especially on large areas of hair, like a man's back.
  • The ND Yag Laser is proven among the best in treating coarse hair and dark or tanned skin.
  • The Diode Laser is versatile because of its wavelike design and can treat a diverse range of skin types.

You should keep in mind that each of the lasers used has a specialty area but the most important thing is to trust your practitioner and clinic and discuss with them which laser is best for you.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

Everyone is unique and will react differently to the laser. The FDA has approved several types of lasers as permanent hair reduction devices. That does not mean 100% hair removal. What is does mean is that a significant percentage of hair that is treated with the laser will not grow back.

Each session should prove to be more successful at removing the remaining hairs than the previous.

How much does each session cost?

The costs of laser hair removal vary. A clinic or practitioner may charge based on time, number of laser pulses or a package fee. It is important to trust the practitioner and/or clinic so you feel confident in their fee schedule. You should also know that is some case, the fee is dependent on the amount of hair that needs to be removed. That means that as your hair is removed, future sessions will cost less. Bear in mind that cost will differ depending on the area of the country, as well as the clinic you choose.

Will my insurance cover laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is an out-of-pocket expense. Although unwanted hair may be more that just a physical condition – it may play on our emotional and social well-being as well – currently, it is not seen as a medical procedure.

How long does each session take?

Laser treatments can take from just a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the size of the area being treated. The area being treated determines the time of each session. A smaller area, such as the bikini or the under arm, can take as little as ten to fifteen minutes, as opposed to the back or leg which can take up to an hour.

How many sessions will I need?

On average, people need between three and five sessions to really see results, meaning about 80% hair reduction in the area treated.

How long should I wait in between sessions?

A person should wait four to six weeks between each session. However, you should know that even if you cannot see the hair, it can still be actively growing beneath the skin and the laser can find and remove the hair follicle successfully. Facial hair should be treated more often than other areas.

What kind of results will I expect on the first session?

With each session you should see significant changes in the amount of hair reduced in the treated area. Because most of the time our hair is in its active growth state, there should always be positive results. The results will vary for people with hormonal imbalance.

Am I a candidate for laser hair removal?

There is an ideal skin tone and hair color for laser hair removal, but that does not mean everyone else is excluded. The ideal candidate for laser hair removal is someone with fair skin, and darker, coarser, hair. You should avoid tanning or sunburn prior to the procedure. The most unsuccessful candidates for laser hair removal are those with red or blonde hair and darker skin tones. Fill out our on-line Free Instant Consultation questionnaire to find out if you are a candidate.

Is it safe?

The FDA has approved laser hair removal as a safe means of hair reduction. When you select a clinic and/or practitioner please make sure their equipment is sterile and the facility is clean. You can select a clinic here.

What are the side effects of laser hair removal?

Most people leave the session with a bit of a temporary rash or “sunburn-like” reaction. Most skin discoloring will go away quickly, leaving no side effects. However, some people have reported permanent skin discoloring and “blotchiness” in the treated area. It is important to listen to the practitioner carefully and apply the post- treatment creams and ointments as directed.

Are there any dangerous risks to laser hair removal?

The FDA has approved laser hair removal as a safe procedure. To-date, there have been no illnesses or diseases related to the laser. In fact, our everyday exposure to the sun has seen more significant risks than the use of the laser.

What areas can the laser treat?

Aside from the area close to the eye, almost any area of the body with excess hair can be treated with lasers. Most commonly, patients ask for treatments for their face, upper lip, neck, chest, breasts, underarms, back, abdomen, bikini line and legs. Many people have areas of unwanted hair and are embarrassed to discuss them with their doctors. Please review our website and ask your questions with confidence that we will answer them discreetly and honestly.

How important is the laser hair removal clinic or practitioner?

Very. To help you, Hairlasers.com has created a directory of hundreds of the approved and successful clinics worldwide. By filling out our questionnaire, you will be directed to the clinic nearest you. Just like any procedure or personal experience it is important to have a positive rapport with the practitioner and to feel confident in the service you are being given.

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