If you are tired of spending hours shaving, waxing, or tweezing unwanted hair, laser hair removal is an excellent alternative. Laser hair removal is fast, efficient, and convenient to do. But one of the first questions you are likely to ask about the procedure is – How long does laser hair removal last.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal refers to the process of removing unwanted hair on the body using laser energy.
How does laser hair removal work
The laser emits a concentrated beam of light that targets the melanin (pigment) that sits at the base of the hair follicle. The melanin absorbs the light and this generates heat which damages the hair growth center, so the follicle is unable to grow hair in the future.
It takes about 2-3 weeks for the treated hair to shed after laser hair removal. Based on the hair growth cycle, follow-up sessions are scheduled 6-8 weeks apart. Hair grows in cycles – anagen (growth phase), catagen (transition phase), and telogen (resting phase). However, the laser energy can only treat hair when it is in the anagen or growth phase.
There is no downtime after laser hair removal, but the skin may be red for a few hours after treatment.
How Long Does Laser hair Removal Last?
Laser hair removal can provide a long-term reduction in hair growth, but follow-up sessions may be needed. Laser hair removal usually lasts about 6-12 months.
Since hair does not grow at the same rate, it typically takes several sessions to remove hair in one area. In most cases patients have to undergo 6-8 sessions to obtain long term hair reduction. Laser hair removal gets rid of approximately 80%-90% of hair, and some hair may grow back.
The rate at which hair grows back will depend on the patient’s hair growth cycle, so some patients will experience regrowth sooner than others. However, when the hair grows back it is usually lighter and finer than before.
How long laser hair removal lasts also depends on other factors such as the laser technology used, and the skill and expertise of the provider.
The importance of choosing the right type of laser
When treated with the right laser, patients should notice a significant reduction in hair after the required treatment sessions are complete. However, patients must be aware that not all lasers work on all skin types.
Earlier laser technologies worked best on patients with a light complexion and dark, coarse hair, as the laser energy can be easily absorbed by the hair follicles. When these lasers were used on darker skin types there was a high risk of hyperpigmentation or scarring. That’s because dark skin has a higher concentration of melanin, which is the same pigment in the hair follicle, and the laser was unable to detect any difference between skin and hair. As a result, some of the laser energy would also be absorbed by the skin, and this could lead to scarring and hyperpigmentation.
However, new generation laser technologies such as the ND: YAG lasers operate at a higher wavelength than earlier hair removal lasers, and are therefore more specific. This makes them safe for darker skin.
Why it’s important to choose an experienced provider
Getting the best results from laser hair removal also has a lot to do with selecting the right provider. A skilled, experienced provider can customize treatment to specific skin types and hair colors, so as to achieve long lasting results.
In order to ensure maximum results and minimize side-effects, patients with darker skin tones should be sure to visit a physician that has a lot of experience treating dark skin types. They should also get a patch test done before treating a large area, to ensure that there are no side-effects.
Would you like to learn more about laser hair removal?
Contact Skinatomy Laser Clinic with offices in Toronto and Mississauga, CA for a consultation. At Skinatomy they use the advanced Gentle YAG laser system by Candela, and the ClearScan YAG by Sciton for laser hair removal.
Call (647) 557-2730 today to schedule a consultation at the office in Toronto or (289) 809-5113 for the Mississauga location.