Is permanent hair removal really possible?
Emphatically yes! There are two types of permanent hair removal we do at my practice: laser hair removal, and electrolysis. I will discuss them both today, including how they work, what areas can be treated, what the treatment feels like, and the cost.
Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal (LHR) is the most popular type of permanent hair removal. It can be done on most areas of the body, including the legs, arms, underarm, back, upper lip, and cheeks.
- LHR works by damaging the hair follicle. So the hair isn’t actually gone, but it’s so fine and thin you can’t really see it, like the hairs on your cheek.
- Hair growth can change with hormones, so you may see increased hair growth with puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. If that occurs, additional treatments may be needed
Laser hair removal is usually sold in a package of treatments. Hair rotates through a growth cycle, and only the actively growing hairs are affected by the laser. Depending on the body area, 6-12 treatments are needed to get a good result. Expect to pay $1500-2000 for a complete treatment package on the legs, or $750-1000 to treat the underarms.
Does laser hair removal hurt?
Yes, LHR is a little uncomfortable. It feels like a flash of heat or maybe a sting. But we apply numbing cream to sensitive areas, such as the upper lip, to help with discomfort. We also have a fan that blows super-cooled air during the treatment; this helps quite a bit as well.
Does laser hair removal work on any hair type?
- The laser targets the pigment in the hair follicle, so LHR works best on darker hair. It can be effective on lighter hair, but more treatments may be needed.
- LHR can be safely done on all skin types as well.
There are two instances when laser hair removal is not a good option:
- Gray hair. Gray hair has no pigment, so there isn’t anything for the laser to target.
- Eyebrows. Eyebrows take so many laser treatments, and the area is so small, that electrolysis is a more effective option.
What is electrolysis?
Electrolysis uses an electrical current to destroy the hair follicle. A very tiny needle is inserted into the base of the hair follicle to apply the current, then the hair is removed with tweezers. Electrolysis only removes one hair at a time, so it’s usually scheduled for specific length of time, such as a 30 minute visit. Treatments are repeated until the entire area has been treated.
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