Is all that shaving making you fall out of love with your legs? If you are tired of keeping up with shaving your legs, laser hair removal might be the perfect Valentine’s gift to give yourself! Smooth legs can be yours permanently. Find out more about how laser hair removal works and where you can get it below.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal works by utilizing, you guessed it, a laser. A concentrated beam of light is emitted that can pass through the skin without damaging it. Melanin, the pigment, within the hair follicle, absorbs this light and the intense energy turns into heat. This heat damages the hair follicle from within, disabling the production of hair. The damage to the hair follicle can be long-lasting or permanent, and hair won’t grow while follicles are damaged.
You can get laser hair removal on most parts of the body. Below are the areas approved for treatment:
- upper lip hair removal
- arm and underarm areas
- legs and knees
- bikini area with “Brazilian” options
- chin and face
- back and shoulders
How Many Sessions Do You Need?
You will need to schedule multiple laser hair removal sessions. Multiple sessions are needed because of the growth cycle that hair follows. There are three stages of hair growth.
- Anagen phase: This is the growth phase. The longer the hair stays in this cycle, the longer it will grow.
- Catagen phase: This is a transitional phase where the follicle cuts off supply to the hair and renews itself.
- Telogen phase: This is a resting period. The hair is no longer growing but is held in place until the follicle begins the anagen phase again. The old hair will break free, and the new hair will emerge.
The body does not put all hair on this same cycle. So, you don’t have to worry about it all falling out at once! And different parts of the body have different hair growth cycle timelines.
- Eyebrow Growth Phase: 3 months. Total Cycle: 10 months.
- Ear Growth Phase: 3 months. Total Cycle: 10 months.
- Chin Growth Phase: 10 weeks. Total Cycle: 14 months.
- Upper Lip Growth Phase: 6 weeks. Total Cycle: 5 months.
- Armpits Growth Phase: 16 weeks. Total Cycle: 5 months.
- Groin Growth Phase: 3 months. Total Cycle: 8 months.
- Arms Growth Phase: 16 weeks. Total Cycle: 10 months.
- Legs Growth Phase: 24 weeks. Total Cycle: 11-12 months.
This brings us to the next critical question:
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
Laser hair removal treatments are a long term way to move unwanted hair, that can be permanent. Many factors determine the effectiveness of laser treatment. Laser hair removal only works when the hair is in the anagen, growth phase. When the hair is growing, there is an abundance of melanin. This substance is what the laser targets to destroy the hair follicle. It also may take more than one treatment to cause significant damage to the follicle to prevent hair regrowth.
Since hair doesn’t all grow on the same cycle, repeat treatments are needed to catch hair follicles when they are active. To target every hair follicle, you could be getting regular treatments for around a year. If you are getting laser hair removal treatment in multiple areas, these parts of the body may have varying growth cycles, as well. There can be up to 2,500 follicles of hair per square inch of skin, with only 100 being in a visible phase.
Another reason it can be challenging to promise “permanent” removal is that the body can activate follicles that were previously dormant at any time. Hormonal changes, PCOS, menopause, and insulin resistance are bodily changes that may trigger hair growth. If you stay committed to scheduled treatments and touchups when necessary, you can enjoy extended periods of smooth skin to permanent hairlessness.
How To Prepare for Treatment
To prepare for laser hair removal treatment, there are some dos and don’ts to follow that will optimize your results.
- Stop taking any medications that are photosensitive. These could include antibiotics, retinoids, and alfa hydroxyl acids. Increased skin irritation and sun damage could occur.
- Attend every session. If you don’t complete treatments as scheduled, you may miss lasering away hair follicles that move into a dormant growth phase. Missing a follicle means you will most likely see a hair later, even up to a year later.
- Do shave the area that will be laser treated. Shaving helps the laser get all the way down to the root of the hair for maximum effect. Leaving hair on top of the skin will also leave you with the smell of burnt and singed hair during your treatment.
- Don’t wax the area. Not waxing is essential because the root needs to stay intact. If the root has been damaged or removed, the laser will not be able to destroy the hair.
- Don’t tweeze the hair out either. The reason is the same as above; the treatment will be ineffective with the hair root removed.
- Avoid bleaching hair for one month before. As the laser targets the colored melanin in the follicle, bleaching will lower the effectiveness of the laser or render it ineffective completely.
Can Everyone Get Laser Hair Removal Treatment?
Laser hair removal works best on thicker, darker hair. The more melanin, the better the laser will work. Skin type and thickness can also play a role in how effective the laser treatment works. Thin skin allows the laser to reach deeper into the hair follicle. Skin tones affect the way a laser targets the root, as well. Laser hair removal works best on people with light complexions and dark hair. If you have dark skin, laser treatment is still an option, but it may take more treatments and touchups to achieve the desired results.
Luckily, there are different types of lasers available that work to target different skin tones. These utilize light wavelengths ranging from visible light to near-infrared radiation.
- Ruby Laser: Pale skin
- Alexandrite: All skin types
- Pulsed diode array: Pale to medium skin
- Nd:YAG: Darker skin
- IPL: Pale to medium
If you are looking for smooth skin, schedule a consultation to remove unwanted hair with The Lett Center. Our offices in Mt. Juliet and Lebanon provide quality laser hair removal services with outstanding results. Treat yourself this Valentine’s Day to smooth legs by calling us at 615.443.0901.