Unlocking the Secrets of Laser Hair Removal: Your Comprehensive Guide from Pre- to Post-Treatment

Laser hair removal treatment is a procedure that aims to eliminate the hair follicle cells with concentrated light at specific wavelengths. As the cells are destroyed, the hair growth is reduced, and eventually the hair falls out. 

Even though this treatment isn’t permanent, it has long-term effects, making it among the top 5 nonsurgical procedures in the USA. Moreover, the procedure requires no downtime but does cause some immediate discomfort and swelling. 

However, with proper post-treatment care, these effects can be minimized. 

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal works by applying concentrated light beams to target areas like the upper lip, arms, back, chest, and bikini area. 

These beams break down the cells of pigmented hair follicles, resulting in the thinning of the hair. With repeated sessions, the follicles are damaged further until the hair falls out and growth stops completely.

According to Chetco Medical, two to six laser treatments are enough to see desirable results. Compared to electrolysis hair removal, which targets individual hair follicles one by one, laser hair removal is faster and can cover larger areas more efficiently.

Benefits of Laser Hair Removal Treatment

Let’s look at what makes laser treatment so popular among so many other hair removal methods.

Long Term Results

As Healthline states, after the treatment is complete, one may not see any hair growth for years. Its effects are considerably longer term than waxing or shaving. 

Moreover, other popular hair removal methods require more maintenance and products, which add up in cost, making laser treatment the cost-effective solution. 

Low Maintenance

Laser treatments can also be helpful if you’re dealing with conditions like Keratosis Pilaris. 

This benefit comes from the way the treatment encourages your hair to grow straight, rather than curling underneath your skin.

When hair curls under the skin, it causes bumps, often known as “strawberry legs,” which are common if you suffer from Keratosis Pilaris.

Precise & Quick

According to WebMD, treating your upper lip only takes 5-10 minutes, while larger areas like your back take up to an hour. 

Moreover, laser hair treatment is very precise, you can target a very small area without damaging the surrounding skin at all. 

Who Can Undergo Laser Hair Removal Treatment?

Laser hair removal treatment is safe for most people as it’s a non-invasive process. It also has a high success rate of 90% for repeated treatments, as found in a study published by the National Library of Medicine(NLM).

However, as per Cleveland Clinic, this treatment is ideal for people who grow thick, coarse hair due to underlying hormonal conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, hormone imbalances, etc.

Having said that, for some people, the treatment can be unsafe. If you’re pregnant or taking topical acne medications, you shouldn’t consider laser hair removal. Moreover, having the following conditions also makes this procedure unsafe.

  • Genital herpes or HSV-2
  • Keloid scars
  • Skin cancer

Preparing for Laser Hair Removal Treatment

You have to take a few precautions before undergoing hair removal treatment to ensure the success of this procedure. 

  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Diligently apply sunscreen. 
  • Avoid tanning beds or topical creams for tanning. 
  • No waxing, plucking, or epilation from 6 weeks before the procedure.
  • Shave the area to be treated before the procedure (usually 24 hours earlier) in a way that you will have time to grow slight stubble. 

What to Expect During The Treatment

The physician will likely start by cleaning to remove oil from the targeted skin. Depending on the sensitivity of the skin, a numbing cream may be applied 20-30 minutes before the procedure. 

You’ll be given protective eyewear before turning on the handheld laser device. Then, the physician will adjust the settings of the laser machine to make it suitable for the targeted hair’s thickness and texture. 

Once the laser beam is turned on, you’ll likely feel discomfort and pain like a rubberband repeatedly snapping on your skin. 

At this point, most devices have a cooling mechanism at the tip, which cools the area to minimize side effects. Sometimes, a topical cooling cream is also applied.

This whole process takes 5-10 minutes for small areas, and for larger areas like the back, arms, or legs, it takes close to an hour. 

However, spending time and money to get smooth skin may go astray with alcohol drinking as it leads to skin dehydration. Consequently, it may cause itchiness and irritation on the skin right after the laser treatment. Thus, going for an alcohol detox is recommended. 

Post-Treatment Maintenance And Care

According to another study published by NLM, doing the following things to care for yourself post-treatment will help your recovery.

  • You should apply ice pack or other cooling agents to relieve pain or swelling after the procedure.
  • Applying antibiotic creams to any injury caused to your skin during the procedure will help.
  •  Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Use sunscreen, hats, and umbrellas to protect yourself from exposure. 
  • If you have persistent swelling, ask your doctor to prescribe you a steroid cream for topical application. Natural anti-aging solutions are also recommended.


How long does laser hair removal last?

For most people, hair growth isn’t seen for years after taking 2-6 treatments. To prevent hair growth after the procedure, you can take follow-up sessions. 

Are there any potential side effects of laser hair removal?

The most common side effects are redness, swelling, and discomfort. In extreme cases, blistering, skin darkening or scarring, infection, etc. is seen. 

How long should I wait between laser hair treatments?

Usually, waiting 4-6 weeks is recommended.

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2-6 Laser hair removal treatments results in the reduction of hair growth up to 90%. Sun protection and topical creams help post-treatment. Click for more!

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