How Exactly Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Bloomfield Hills, MI – Laser hair removal is a popular procedure, but how exactly does it work?

With summer in full swing, more people are turning to the non-invasive cosmetic procedure to be pool or vacation ready. Let’s take a closer look at how the procedure works to remove the hair, without painful waxing or annoying shaving every day.

Laser hair removal uses light wavelengths and pulses to target the melanin, destroying the hair follicle to stop hair from growing in the targeted area. The combination of pulse and light is adjusted for your hair type and skin tone to properly target the hair follicle, without damaging the skin and tissue that surrounds it.

There are two types of melanin. Those with blonde or red hair have pheomelanin, while those with brown or black hair have eumelanin. Your hair color and skin color and type will determine which laser will be used to remove your hair.

“It is important to note that laser hair removal is a medical procedure and to avoid potential risks, you should seek out only a well-trained and qualified doctor or technician,” says Dr. Ali, a plastic surgeon in Michigan whose clinic offers the procedure. “Using the wrong combination of laser and pulse can permanently damage your skin.

Before undergoing laser hair removal, it is important to limit plucking, waxing or electrolysis for six weeks prior to treatment. The laser will need to target the hair at its root, and plucking and waxing will remove this.

You should also take care to avoid sun exposure both before and after treatment. Sun can make complications after the procedure more likely.

Before the procedure, the hair that will be targeted will be trimmed very short. Then, the specially trained technician will adjust the laser to account for your specific color, thickness and location of your hair, as well as your skin tone.

“Each pulse of the laser takes less than a fraction of second,” says Dr. Ali. “A special cooling gel will be applied to protect the outer layers of your skin and help the laser penetrate the skin to target the hair follicle.”

It will take multiple treatment to fully remove the hair. The underarms, for example, can take about six sessions to ensure the hair follicles were all properly targeted. The procedure only takes a few minutes.

Pain will be minimal, but your technician can apply a numbing cream prior to treatment to relieve any burning, itching or pain that may occur.

For a few days following the procedure, you may feel as if you have a sunburn. You can use cool compresses and moisturizers to help with any irritation. Over the course of the following month, your hair will begin to fall out.

Be careful to avoid sun exposure for about six weeks following the procedure, and wear sunscreen to prevent changes in the color of the treated skin. People with darker skin may be more prone to blisters. Some patients may also experience swelling or redness, but this should subside in a few days.

If you are tired of having to shave every day, or no longer want to go through the hassle of waxing, laser hair removal is your answer. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ali and his team today.

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