Plenty of laser hair removal patients go into the hair removal facility with high, sometimes unrealistic expectations with regard to how quickly they will be hairless. To avoid disappointment, it is always a good idea to understand the facts about laser hair removal and the skin and laser centers you go to. Hair removal procedures require multiple sessions to achieve permanent results because only hairs in the growth (anagen) phase are killed during each treatment. After each session only the unaffected hairs, hairs that were in the dormant or shedding phase, will grow back. With each successive treatment, more and more of the growth hairs are killed eventually resulting in permanent hair removal of the hair in a given area. During a treatment regimen, patients can expect to experience periods of hairlessness between each treatment as all treated hair sheds out in between treatments. The majority of patients no longer need to shave by the 3rd treatment.
Post-laser Hair Removal Treatment
The treatments themselves are simple enough and do not take long to complete. However, just as pre-appointment care is important, how you treat your body in the days and weeks after body hair removal matters too. Please note that slight skin irritation is quite common but is not a major problem in most cases.
It is normal to experience redness and itchiness on your skin for up to 24 hours after the treatment. Minor irritation is not uncommon and will vary in intensity depending on a person’s particular sensitivity. This is often compared to razor burn in terms of appearance and feel. In addition to these sensations, you will also begin to notice what is referred to as shedding. This is when the hair follicles affected by the laser treatment stop growing, and those that were in the growth phase start to die off. Your skin will have the stubble look for one to three weeks, but simple exfoliation can significantly decrease the amount of time.
Not all hair follicles will be killed during the initial treatment session, particularly those that were dormant during the laser application. There is bound to be some growth, and this is why subsequent applications are required for most patients. While there is no harm in letting the effects of the procedure run their course, you have full control over how short (or long) the recovery period is.
We recommend shaving hair regrowth when in between laser treatments as well as wearing a protective sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF when exposed to sunlight. Avoid tanning, since this can cause increased skin irritation compounded by the effects of body hair removal. Each treatment will be spaced out roughly two months apart. Remember to follow your treatment provider’s instructions during this crucial period.