What is Laser Hair Removal?Published on February 9, 2017 by Raymond Lee
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a laser — an intense, pulsating beam of light — to remove unwanted hair.
During laser hair removal, a laser beam passes through the skin to an individual hair follicle. The intense heat of the laser damages the hair follicle, which inhibits future hair growth. Laser hair removal is most effective for people who have light skin and dark hair.
Although laser hair removal effectively slows hair growth, it doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. It typically takes multiple laser hair removal treatments to provide an extended hair-free period. Periodic maintenance treatments might be needed as well.
Laser hair removal is used to reduce unwanted hair. Common treatment locations include legs, underarms, upper lip, chin and bikini line. However, it’s possible to treat unwanted hair in nearly any area — except the eyelid or surrounding area.
Hair color and skin type influence the success of laser hair removal. For example, laser hair removal is most effective for people who have light skin and dark hair because the laser beam targets the pigment (melanin) in the hair. However, advances in technology have made laser hair removal an option for people who have darker skin.
Preparing for Laser Hair Removal
Stay out of the sun. A tan increases the risk of side effects, such as skin lightening. If you have a tan — either from sun exposure or sunless tanning products — wait until the tan fades completely before undergoing laser hair removal.
Avoid plucking, waxing and electrolysis. These hair removal methods can disturb the hair follicle and interfere with laser hair removal.
Shaving isn’t an issue since it preserves the hair shaft and follicle. In fact, shaving is recommended so that the laser doesn’t target hair above the skin, potentially causing burns.
What to Expect
Dr. Lee’s nurse will activate the laser, and the laser beam will pass through your skin to the tiny sacs (follicles) where hair growth originates. The intense heat from the laser beam damages the hair follicles, which inhibits hair growth. Some discomfort in the skin is possible, and you’ll likely feel a sensation of cold from the cooling device or gel.
Treating a small area, such as the upper lip, might take only a few minutes. Treating a larger area, such as the back, might take several hours.
After the procedure
You might notice redness and swelling for the first few hours after laser hair removal that’s similar to a mild sunburn.
To reduce any discomfort, apply ice to the treated area.
After laser hair removal, avoid sun exposure — both natural sunlight and tanning beds. When your skin has healed, use sunscreen whenever you’re in the sun.
Dr. Raymond Lee is an award winning, double board certified facial plastic surgeon with expertise in facial rejuvenation under local anesthesia. He has been practicing in Orange County for over 10 years and has performed 4000 facial rejuvenation procedures under light anesthesia.
Dr. Lee has been voted The #1 Cosmetic Surgeon in Orange County by the OC Register. Dr. Lee wants you to “Experience Beauty, the most natural way”. Dr. Lee’s does not believe in the old traditional facelift. Over the course of his career he has mastered the art and science of facial rejuvenation with natural results, minimal sedation, and easy recovery. His signature “FACEology LIFT” (face and neck lift alternative) is the embodiment of all these elements and is what he is widely sought out for.