The Ultimate Laser Hair Removal Guide

Posted on: July 10, 2024
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Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure that is an effective method for reducing unwanted hair. Laser removes hair by using concentrated light energy to target and destroy hair follicles, preventing future hair growth. 

Unlike temporary hair removal solutions like shaving, waxing, or plucking hair, laser hair removal treatments offer a more permanent hair reduction solution by addressing the hair follicle directly. 

The Ultimate Laser Hair Removal Guide

Long-Term Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

Many people opt for laser hair removal to save on the long-term costs of shaving or waxing, while also enjoying the benefits of not having to deal with ingrown hairs or the pain of waxing. There are many benefits to laser hair removal, from time savings to long-term cost savings and less discomfort of other hair removal methods. 

What is Laser Hair Removal? How it Works

Laser hair removal is done by emitting laser pulses of highly concentrated light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair shaft. The laser beam is converted into heat, which damages the hair follicle without harming the surrounding skin surface. The damaged follicle is then unable to produce new hair, resulting in hair reduction in the treated skin. 

How to Choose Which Laser is Best for You

Choosing the right laser for your hair and skin type is key to achieving the best results and minimizing side effects. The Nd:YAG laser is a popular choice for laser hair removal due to its versatility and safety across different skin tones. 

How to Choose Which Laser is Best for You

What Makes Nd:YAG Technology Different?

The Nd:YAG laser operates at a wavelength of 1064 nm, making it suitable for dark hair removal on darker skin tones, as well as lighter ones. It penetrates deeply into the skin, allowing it to effectively target hair follicles in both dark and light skin tones, while minimizing the risk of pigmentation issues. 

This laser is particularly effective for dark skin tones with dark hair, providing a safer hair removal option compared to other types of lasers. Its ability to treat a wide range of skin types makes it a preferred choice for those seeking a method of laser hair removal safe for darker skin. 

To learn more about Nd:YAG laser hair removal technology and its versatility on both darker skin and light skin, read our blog post here.

Common Laser Hair Removal Treatment Areas

Laser hair removal can be performed on almost any part of the body where unwanted hair grows. Some of the most common laser hair removal treatment areas include the face, such as the upper lip, chin, and sideburns, which helps reduce the need for frequent waxing or threading. 

Body areas like the underarms, bikini line, legs, back, and chest are also popular, as laser hair removal treatment offers long-lasting smoothness and eliminates the hassle of shaving. Smaller areas such as fingers, toes, and the navel can also be treated effectively with laser hair removal.

Prepping for Your First Laser Hair Removal Treatment

Proper preparation is key to ensuring a safe and effective laser hair removal session. Avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks before laser hair removal treatment to reduce the risk of side effects like burns and pigmentation issues. 

Stop other hair removal methods like waxing, plucking, and electrolysis about four to six weeks prior, as these methods remove the hair follicle that the laser needs to target. Shave the treatment area 24 to 48 hours before your laser hair removal session to remove the hair above the skin while leaving the follicle intact for the laser. 

What to Consider on the Day of Treatment

On the day of your laser hair removal treatment, avoid applying lotions, creams, or deodorants to the treatment area, as these products can interfere with the laser. Make sure to discuss any medications you are taking with your laser technician before your first treatment, as some can make your skin more sensitive to the laser.

Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

Laser hair removal can cause varying levels of discomfort depending on individual pain tolerance and the area being treated. Many people describe the sensation of the laser light as similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin. 

To minimize the temporary discomfort, numbing cream can be applied to the area before the session. This helps to dull the sensation and make these cosmetic procedures more tolerable. 

The intensity of the discomfort generally decreases with each subsequent session as the hair becomes finer and less dense. You’ll be given protective eyewear to wear for the duration of the treatment to help protect your eyes from the laser during this medical procedure. We make sure to help our patients feel as comfortable as possible for every treatment at our Ottawa laser clinic. 

How Many Laser Hair Removal Sessions are Needed

Laser hair removal typically requires multiple treatments to achieve optimal results. The number of sessions needed to remove unwanted hair varies based on several factors, including the cycle of hair growth. 

The Hair Growth Cycle

Hair grows in cycles, and laser hair removal is most effective during the active growth phase (anagen phase). Since not all the hair is in the same phase at the same time, multiple laser hair removal sessions are necessary to target all the treated hair follicles as the hair regrows. 

How Many Treatments Are Typically Needed Per Area

On average, body areas may require six to eight laser treatments, while facial areas might need eight to twelve laser hair removal sessions. The number of laser hair removal sessions also depends on hair colour and thickness, skin tone, and the treatment area. 

How are Treatments Spaced Out?

Laser hair removal sessions are usually spaced four to six weeks apart to allow time for the hair to cycle through its growth phases. We can recommend a specific laser hair removal schedule based on your individual needs and hair density to help remove unwanted hair.

Post-Treatment Care & Yearly Touch-Ups

Proper post-treatment care is essential for minimizing side effects and ensuring the best results from your laser hair removal sessions. Immediately after laser hair removal treatment, applying cool compresses can help reduce redness and swelling. 

What to Avoid After a Treatment

It’s important to avoid sun exposure and avoid direct sunlight, and use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to protect treated areas after a laser treatment. Make sure to avoid heat sources such as hot showers, saunas, and steam rooms for 24 to 48 hours after your laser hair removal treatment. In the long term, keep the treated area moisturized to prevent dryness and irritation.

How Many Yearly Touch-Ups Are Needed?

While laser hair removal significantly reduces hair growth, it does not provide permanent hair removal as some hair may eventually grow back. Yearly laser hair removal touch-up sessions can help maintain smooth, hair-free skin. 

The frequency of maintenance laser treatments depends on individual hair growth patterns and the effectiveness of the initial laser hair removal treatments. 

Many people come back for several maintenance treatments each year, and in some cases even fewer treatments. Consistent use of sunscreen and maintaining a regular skincare routine will also help keep the treated areas healthy and avoid skin irritation.

Reduce Unwanted Hair With Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal offers a convenient and long-lasting solution for removing hair. By understanding how laser hair removal works, choosing the right laser for your skin and hair type, and following proper preparation and post-treatment care, you can achieve smooth, hair-free skin. 

Multiple laser hair removal sessions and yearly touch-ups may be necessary to maintain the results, but the benefits of reduced hair growth and smoother skin make laser hair removal a worthwhile investment. 

Get Smooth, Hair-Free Skin with Laser Hair Removal Treatments at You Derma

Whether you’re looking to treat common areas like the legs and underarms or smaller, more delicate areas like the upper lip, laser hair removal can help you achieve your desired results with minimal effort and long-lasting effects. 

No matter if you have dark hair or light hair, or what skin type you have, we perform laser hair removal with Nd:YAG technology to ensure a safe and effective method for reducing unwanted hair. 

Book a laser hair removal treatment at You Derma’s Ottawa laser clinic and get started on the path to smooth, hair-free skin!

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You Derma is a Medical Aesthetics Clinic offering laser hair removal, facial treatments, laser treatments, and cosmetic injectables in Ottawa.

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435 St. Laurent Blvd Suite 204
Ottawa, ON K1K 2Z8

(613) 741-0073

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