Laser hair reduction: what you need to know and common myths
Are you tired of waxing, shaving, and plucking unwanted hair? In the midst of your busy schedule, it can feel like a daily hassle—not to mention painful! Laser hair reduction is a great option to get rid of unwanted hair, take one more to-do off your plate, and even save money in the long run. You may have a few questions before you decide to take the leap: What exactly is laser hair reduction? Is it safe? Is it expensive?
In this article, we’ll discuss the following topics:
- What is laser hair reduction?
- Is laser hair treatment safe?
- What are the main benefits of treatment?
- How does the treatment process work?
- Who can get laser hair removal?
- How long does the procedure take?
- How much does it cost?
- What do I need to do to prepare for the procedure?
As a bonus, we’ll also debunk common myths you may have heard about treatment for laser hair reduction. So, let’s dive right in.
What is laser hair reduction?
Laser hair reduction is a non-invasive procedure that aims to remove unwanted hair from your face, arms, legs, underarm, bikini line, and many other areas. It is particularly effective at removing pesky, coarse hairs while leaving your skin unharmed and unblemished.
Are laser hair reduction and laser hair removal the same thing?
By nature of the treatment, laser reduction and removal are the same: the procedure involves precision work, targeting each follicle individually. Some clinicians may argue that using the term ‘laser hair reduction’ is more accurate because it is almost impossible to eradicate every single hair follicle. In this article, we’ll use the terms interchangeably.
Is laser hair reduction safe?
Central Wellness’ laser hair reduction machines are safe and approved by the FDA. Laser hair removal is backed by both scientific research and positive results from numerous clinical trials.
〖Common myth debunked: If you’ve avoided laser hair reduction treatment because you’ve heard it can cause cancer, we’re here to assure you that the light emitted from the laser does not cause cancer! It is a safe treatment with FDA approval.〗
Are there any side effects to the treatment?
There are little to no side effects following a procedure. You may notice some redness around the targeted area, but any redness should subside within a few hours.
The main consideration following a procedure is to avoid hot saunas and baths for the first few days after treatment. Hot steam and hot water can lead to unwanted irritation. Heat, including intense heat from showers, dries out the skin, which can provoke skin redness.
〖Common myth debunked: The laser used during treatment does not penetrate into the skin far enough to damage muscles, bones, and organs.〗
What are the main benefits of laser hair reduction?
Laser hair reduction permanently removes unwanted hairs, so you can finally ditch those pesky razors, tweezers, and waxing appointments. Many find it to be an ideal solution for those with sensitive skin and who experience irritation from shaving. And even with the initial cost of treatment, over time, participants of laser hair reduction save money on the cost of razors and waxing expenses.
Additionally, the FDA has termed laser hair removal to be a viable treatment for permanent hair removal. It is currently the best and only treatment available to prevent painful ingrown hairs.
In clinics that use a versatile laser machine—like the one at Central Wellness—you can benefit from choosing to remove hair from anywhere on the body. Men and women alike benefit from laser hair removal (men, in particular, get a reprieve from the amount of bodily hair on the chest and back!) The laser selectively targets each individual hair, and it destroys the follicle without damaging the surrounding skin.
How does it work?
Our professionals at Central Wellness use a device called the Elite MPX. GENTLEMAX PRO This machine is the most versatile platform in use for modern laser hair removal. Simply put, it fires different laser wavelengths through a handpiece. The laser passes through the skin and into individual hair follicles using heat to damage the hair follicle.
More specifically, the Elite MPX GENTLEMAX PRO machine emits laser light at the base of the unwanted hair follicles. The most effective treatment targets hairs that are in the active phase of hair growth (the anagen phase.) The melanin pigments absorb the laser’s energy, which results in heat that denatures and changes the proteins responsible for hair growth. The hair will also absorb the light and blast off as the less dense hair absorbs the intense laser light.
〖Common myth debunked: You may have heard that laser hair reduction is painful because of the heat during laser treatment. While it can feel uncomfortable, it’s never overly painful because our Elite MPX GENTLEMAX PRO machine emits cool blasts of cryo while the laser is in progress.〗
Who can get laser hair removal?
Any adult is a candidate for the procedure. Traditionally, women are likely to participate; although, men are beginning to see the benefits of back and chest hair removal.
The treatment is entirely capable of reducing the amount of all unwanted body hair as long as the hair is colored. White and grey hairs are not treatable by laser. This is because they lack pigment, making it difficult for the laser treatment to be effective.
〖Common myth debunked: The first laser hair removal machines used technology that was not recommended for people of darker skin tones, particularly those with Black or Asian skin. Now, with advances in technology, Central Wellness’ Elite MPX machine is safe for all skin tones.〗
How long does the laser removal procedure take?
When you come into Central Wellness for your initial treatment, expect the treatment to last at a minimum of between five to ten minutes for the chin, upper lip, and underarm. It can take a little longer to treat larger areas like the legs and back—sometimes up to 35 minutes.
How long does the entire treatment process take?
Treatments typically are space four to eight weeks apart depending on which area of body hair you want to remove. For a treatment to be successful at permanent hair removal, it will take at least six to eight treatments with the laser.
Multiple treatments are needed to ensure every hair in the selected area is reached during the optimal stage of its growth cycle. This is because it is highly unlikely that every hair treated will be in an active phase of growth.
Hair growth cycles vary for different people and on different parts of the body. The optimal number of laser hair removal treatments for you may be different than someone else. You will want to choose a clinic with a specialist who can devise a treatment protocol tailored just for you.
How much does laser hair reduction cost?
The cost of treatment varies based on the area size and number of treatments required. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that the average cost for laser hair removal was $389 per session in 2020. Laser hair removal is not covered by medical insurance since it is an elective cosmetic procedure.
〖Common myth debunked: Going to the most expensive clinic in your area does not always guarantee the best results. When choosing a laser hair clinic, consider all areas of their professionalism. For instance, medical knowledge of the medical provider, the customer service experience, and past client testimonials.〗
How do I prepare for a laser hair reduction treatment?
Laser hair removal will require a couple of minor preparations in the weeks leading up to your appointment. For instance, you will want to avoid temporary hair removal methods such as waxing, plucking, or other depilatories for at least six weeks. This is to help ensure the laser can identify the melanin in the hair follicle. You will also need to shave your desired treatment area 24 hours before your appointment.
Additionally, tanning and the use of self-tanners can increase the risk of pigment changes after the laser treatment and must be avoided two weeks prior the treatment area.
Is laser hair removal something you’ve been considering? Schedule a free phone consultation today with one of our Central Wellness professionals to see if it’s a great fit for you!
Central Wellness is a laser hair reduction medical and aesthetic clinic in Billings, Montana, whose mission is to empower your confidence.
Was this article helpful for you? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Write a comment below to tell us what you think and ask any follow-up questions! Feel free to call our office if you’d prefer to talk to one of our professional clinicians: (406) 869-1066.
Additional resources: you can visit our website to learn more about our laser hair reduction services at Central Wellness.