Laser Hair Removal – A Beginners Guide

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Last Updated on May 15, 2021 by Steal the Style

Laser Hair Removal – A Beginners Guide

Although zapping yourself with a laser sounds like a scary idea, it’s actually one of the best ways to achieve semi permanent hair removal. However, like all cosmetic procedures it should only be undertaken after proper research. Here we’ll give you the essential facts on laser hair removal so you can decide if it’s right for you.

The Basics

Laser hair removal involves targeting your hair follicles and damaging / destroying them so they stop producing hair. The science behind the process is all sound – it does work. It works best on people with light skin and dark hair (more on why below). You can have your hair removed in two ways:

  • At a salon using professional equipment.
  • Using a hand held device available to everyone.

Both approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages, so you should research which method is best for you.

How Does it Work

Laser hair removal works by targeting the dark pigments in your hair. The device then sends out a flash of light which is then absorbed (in the form of heat) by your hair. This damages the hair and hair follicle and stops it producing hair.

However, it gets more complicated than that when we understand that hair goes through different stages of growth. Hair growth has 3 stages:

  • Anagen – the active phase (like the hair currently on your body).
  • Catagen – the dying phase (when the hair gets disconnected from the follicle).
  • Telogen – the resting phase (where the hair regenerates and gets ready to grow again).

These cycles repeat indefinitely, however the only phase in which the hair can be removed, is the anagen phase. This is why several treatments are needed over a long period of time. Catagen and telogen phases simply don’t have hair to target.

How Much Does it Cost?

For professional treatment from a salon, cost depends on the part of the body you’re getting hair removed from. The bigger the area, the more it costs. A small area like hands, eyebrows and lips cost about $60 a session. Larger areas such as arms and legs can cost $150-300. However, you’ll usually require 3-4 sessions because of the different phases your hair goes through.

The hand held home devices can differ in price quite substantially. You can expect to pay in the range of $100-$500. Typically, the build quality, reliability, results and features get better the more you pay.

Is it Permanent?

The human body has a great ability to heal itself. So although the hair follicles are severely damaged, the body can repair them over time. This means you may need top up sessions once to twice a year. The only 100% permanent form of hair removal is electrolysis.

Is it Safe?

If used correctly laser hair removal is completely safe. The only issues arise when the individual getting the treatment has dark skin. Then the device may target the dark pigments in the skin. This can cause nasty burns. However, a reputable salon will know if your skin is suitable, and the home devices don’t work if your skin is too dark.

In terms of pain, the devices don’t hurt anywhere near as much as electrolysis. For the more powerful treatments, most people describe the pain as similar to an elastic band being flicked against your skin. Home based devices have virtually no pain while using them.