Laser Hair Removal – 5 Mistakes to Avoid

by | Nov 29, 2021

  1. You didn’t shave first
  2. You didn’t have an experienced practitioner
  3. You didn’t check the laser
  4. You didn’t follow your treatment plan
  5. You didn’t have reasonable expectations

Laser hair removal can be a trial of commitment. Every month or so, you made appointment with your favorite laser practitioner. They spread chilling goo over your body and cook it with a laser. You continued this routine for another five rounds. By the end, you are satisfied when your underarms looked smooth and vibrant. Your hair looked finer and lighter. It was like a dream came true – until it regrew, and it did.

A few months later, everything returned to what it was. It was as if you never went through a full-course hair removal service. You underarms looked horrible, so you decided to start it all over again. But this time, you are going to consult an expert first. Then you realized that you made these mistakes in the past.

woman legs after laser hair reomval

You didn’t shave first

Laser hair removal destroys the hair root with heat. The laser targets on the dark pigment in hair and burns its stem cells. But if you didn’t shave first, the laser can damage your skin. You shave first for your own safety. That is because long hairs misguide the laser to heat the hair above your skin. You do want that. Instead, the laser should only heat the hair in follicles, not above the skin. Moreover, let your hair grow in for a few days before a laser session. It is also okay to shave between sessions, because it will take a few months before you see some result.

You didn’t have an experienced practitioner

This might sound like a disrespectful speculation. But how could you tell whether a person is competent if the laws don’t specify qualifications? No kidding, not all states require professional training for performing laser hair removal. That is right – there is almost no way to tell how versed your practitioner is with a laser unless you ask. For your convenience, we compiled all laws and regulations on the use of lasers in an article. Being a medical professional doesn’t make the person a laser hair removal expert. All that matters is how many times a person has done it before. Then, the real question becomes: why don’t you do it yourself?

Continue reading: Laser Hair Removal At Home – The Ultimate Guide

woman shoulder laser hair removal

You didn’t check the laser

You got what you paid for: cool gel, protective glasses, flashing laser. But it turn out your guy used intense pulsed light (IPL) instead of laser. Sure, both IPL and laser devices can remove hair, but a light is weaker than laser. That is because laser, aka. light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, is a focused beam of light. Whereas, IPL projects scattered light and thus is less powerful. Which means, it will take longer to remove hair with a IPL than laser. People with darker skin tone should avoid IPL due to higher risk of skin burn. You should ask for a doctor’s opinion before signing up for your first laser treatment. In general, the practitioner should calibrate the settings according to your skin characteristics.

You didn’t follow your treatment plan

Usually, you take 4-6 week breaks between laser sessions. That is because your hairs cycle between growing and resting phases. And laser treatment is the most effective when your hairs are growing. It takes at least 5 sessions to remove all your hair. On some areas where the hair is thick, you need more sessions before you can see some results. Other important factors include skin color, skin thickness, and hormonal levels. Moreover, your medical prescription also affects hair removal efficacy. The ingredients in your medicine may disturb your hormonal balance.

hair free arms at pool

You didn’t have reasonable expectations

Laser hair removal doesn’t remove your hair permanently. But it can reduce hair growth in long term. At the moment, electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal method approved by the FDA. With that said, you should expect to see a 85-90 percent hair reduction after laser treatment. Your hairs will grow back a year later. But they will look finer and lighter when they do. You will need touch-up treatment once in a while to stay hair-free. So it might be a better idea to own a laser device at home. That way, you can prevent recurring cost on the annual maintenance.

How laser hair removal works?

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that utilizes various types of lasers. The lasers are capable of targeting and damaging hair follicle to permanently reduce hair growth. The popular laser hair treatment in America was developed in mid-90’s. Years later, a progression of articles about medical lasers were published by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, demonstrating its authenticity and flexibility.

From that point forward, the treatment has been comprehensively given to patients with unusual hair growth and fashion enthusiasts, too. These days, with further improved laser technology, laser hair removal has become trending in dermatologist offices as well as at home.

Many people might not realize that laser hair removal has been out there for quite some time – for example, lasers for cosmetic surgery had been researched on and peer-reviewed in the 70’s. Also, you may definitely know this – laser hair removal or long-term hair reduction has gained an increasing popularity at many dermatology offices.

Tips for effective laser hair removal at home

In general, at-home laser devices cost around a few hundred dollars. Whereas, a laser session at beauty clinic charges a hundred dollar, more or less. Here’s the caveat: most people need 4 or more sessions to complete the treatment. Besides, waxing the suggested once every a few weeks can cost up to half a grand a year. Moreover, razor blades and shaving cream build up to thousands in long term. So the takeaway here is that at-home lasers cost more up front but save you money over time.

Maureen Parker

Maureen Parker

Staff Writer

Maureen loves sweets! A medical science graduate of Johns Hopkins. Co-author of the book Magical Deserts in Foreign Lands. Free-lance photographer for the New York Times.

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