Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
The question “is laser hair removal really permanent?” is one of the most asked questions on hair removal methods due to speculations over its true ability to properly remove unwanted hair from the body. But while there may be questions about the permanence of the treatment, there is no question that this treatment for the removal of unwanted body hair is effective.
How does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal uses a laser beam to target the pigmentation found in individual hairs and removes it. However, this laser is unlike how it is typically portrayed in pop culture where a single beam can cut you open in half. While the authenticity of that type of laser is still up for debate, the effectiveness of laser hair removal isn’t.
In reality, the laser used in laser hair removal is a beam of high energy that focuses high amounts of heat that travel down the shaft of the hair and into the hair follicle. As the heat is absorbed by the hair follicle, it begins to degrade and is then destroyed, which also affects its ability to grow new hair.
However, all of this doesn’t happen in a single session. Hair follows a growth cycle that involves periods of resting, shedding, and growing. But not all the hair in the body goes through the stages at the same time, which means every single piece of hair can be at different stages of growth at any given time. And once hair is removed, it immediately goes through a resting phase. At this stage, it may not be able to absorb enough energy to completely destroy the growth center. That is why laser hair removal treatment usually takes up to 6 sessions, spaced at 4-6 weeks each, to complete the entire treatment.
Is Laser Hair Removal Really Permanent?
One of the most effective methods in removing unwanted body hair is laser hair removal. Is it permanent? It’s actually much more complicated than that.
When a hair follicle is destroyed, hair doesn’t grow back permanently. However, not all people who undergo laser hair removal can have their hair follicles destroyed enough to eliminate all hair. That is because hair removal depends on a variety of factors, including the type of hair being removed and the skill of the technician.
Complete hair removal is still a large probability. But in some cases, hair still grows back after damage has been caused. In such cases, hair growth is lighter and is less noticeable than before due to the damage dealt to the hair follicle.
But in cases where enough damage has been done to hair follicles to destroy it, laser hair removal becomes permanent. However, multiple sessions will be required to make sure all other hair is removed.
How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?
As stated earlier, laser hair removal is permanent when enough damage has been dealt and the hair follicle is destroyed. But in cases where hair follicles have only been damaged, the hair stays in the resting phase for a while but eventually grows back. But in such cases, hair becomes slightly less noticeable until a point where you appear to be hair-free.
The amount of time required for hair to grow back will vary for each person. This is because each person has varying hair characteristics, which can affect the hair growth cycle. That is why some people have their hair grow more quickly than others. For some, hair can grow back within a couple of days while others expect some hair regrowth within a few months.
What are the Side Effects and Risks?
During the course of the treatment, your professional medical aesthetician will do everything to make sure you feel comfortable and keep the pain to a minimum. Some technicians apply ice before and after treatment while others use numbing cream on the area they are treating. That is because over the course of the treatment, burning, stinging, or minor discomforts can be felt.
Some other side effects that you can expect include:
- Temporary skin discoloration, which occurs particularly in people with darker skin
- Redness accompanied by minor tenderness of the skin
- Skin blistering or crusting when laser is set too high
- Skin irritation that can lead to scarring
- Damage to the skin, which can get infected due to improper handling of equipment.
In some rare cases, skin infections can spread to other parts of the body and may become life-threatening if not handled properly. However, the chances of getting an infection from laser hair removal is close to zero.
Before beginning your first session, make sure you provide a detailed medical history and report any tenderness or sensitivity you may have so that your technician can plan the right course of action, determine the right treatment, and reduce the risk of any serious side effects.
To eliminate any unnecessary risk, it is also important that you follow the directions given to you after treatment. As a general rule, any person that has just completed laser treatment should avoid sun exposure for a few weeks as it may cause skin irritation, which can increase the risk of blistering and scarring.
If you ever find yourself experiencing some intense pain, a fever, unusual blistering, or any sign of skin damage, it is important that you seek immediate medical attention.
How Much Does Permanent Laser Hair Removal Cost?
For the entire cost of treatment, the price of having a permanent laser hair removal treatment ranges from $500 to $3,000, depending on the specific part of the body from which hair is removed. These prices cover the cost of the entire treatment, not just each session, and may differ depending on the gender. That is because in general, men typically have more hair over the entire body than women. For this reason, a facial laser hair removal session will cost less for women than for men.