Laser hair removal is a procedure that uses highly concentrated laser light to remove unwanted hair from the face, underarms, forearms, legs, and bikini line, and nearly any other area of the body except the area surrounding the eye.
Prior to the procedure, the hair to be treated will be trimmed, the skin will be sterilized, and a numbing gel may be applied. Pulses of light are directed at hair follicles in the treatment area, and the pigment (or coloring) in the follicles absorbs the light, destroying the hair. The length of a laser hair removal procedure depends on the size and location of the treatment area, but treatment times typically last from a few minutes to one hour.
Following the procedure, your skin may be red or irritated for short time. A topical cream may be to protect your skin as it heals. It is important to use sunscreen for a few weeks following the procedure. You should not use any products that may irritate your skin, and you should avoid plucking or waxing the treatment area.
Because the laser light is directed toward hair pigment, this procedure is most effective for people with dark hair and light skin. However, advances in laser technology have made laser hair removal an option for most people. As not all hairs are actively growing at the same time, a single procedure will not treat all of the hair follicles in the area. You may notice some hair growth in the region as follicles that were not actively growing during your procedure return to the growth phase. This is why multiple treatments are usually required to treat a single area completely. Although the number of treatments varies by individual, most individuals receive approximately six to eight treatments, spaced four to eight weeks apart. It is important to realize that laser hair removal likely will not prevent hair from growing completely, but this procedure can reduce hair growth significantly over time.