Laser Hair Removal: Tips for Summertime Grooming

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Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa Director Jayme Bashian Answers Questions about laser hair removal.

Jayme Bashian

Laser treatments today provide a safe, painless, and effective solution for removing unwanted hair on the face, arms, legs, underarms, bikini line and more.

With the advent of spring, thoughts turn to shedding bulky layers of clothing and enjoying the feel of warm breezes on bare skin. And with those thoughts both men and women turn to strategies on how to look their best in shorts, tank tops and bikinis, particularly how to remove unwanted hair. “More and more people are turning to laser treatments for permanent hair removal,” says Jayme Bashian, director and lead medical aesthetician of Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa. “They're all veterans of shaving, waxing, tweezing, and depilatories, none of which prevent regrowth and some of which are painful. Many people have also tried electrolysis, which promises permanent hair removal but is expensive and time consuming. However, laser treatments today provide a safe, painless, and effective solution for removing unwanted hair on the face, arms, legs, underarms, bikini line and more.”

How does laser hair removal work?
A low-energy laser directs light to the target area. The heat from the laser is absorbed by the melanin (pigment) in the bulb of each hair follicle, damaging the follicle and preventing the hair from growing. The mechanism is based on the principle that light is absorbed by dark objects. Melanin, which gives hair and skin its color, absorbs light from the laser leaving the surrounding skin unaffected. Since brown or black hair absorbs light more effectively than red or blond hair, laser hair removal treatment works best on coarse, dark hair. Different laser devices are used for patients with light and dark skin.

Is laser hair removal permanent?
Some hair may grow back in the treated area, although it will most likely be lighter and finer than before. Between three and eight treatments several weeks apart may be needed to treat hair follicles in different phases of the growth and dormancy cycle. The number of treatments needed depends on each individual's skin tone and the darkness and density of the hair. Some people may require follow-up maintenance treatments as well.

What should I expect during and after treatment?
It is best to avoid plucking, waxing and electrolysis as well as sun exposure for several weeks before and after treatment. During treatment, the technician may protect your skin from the heat of the laser with a cold gel or a cooling tip on the laser device. When the hand-held instrument is pressed to the skin and the laser is activated, you will likely feel little or no discomfort aside from the cooling effect from the gel or device. Treatment lasts several minutes for a small area such as the upper lip and longer for larger areas. After treatment, there may be minor redness or swelling for a few hours, which can be soothed with a topical cream or lotion. About two to three weeks later, the treated hairs will fall out on their own.

“As laser hair removal has become more popular, it has become widely available and sometimes is offered by unqualified technicians,” says Ms. Bashian. “It is a medical procedure and under the supervision of a properly trained and experienced physician, it is a safe, proven procedure for removing unwanted hair.”

Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa offers personal care to address a wide array of skin care concerns including skin rejuvenation, body contouring, cellulite reduction therapy, anti-aging, and laser hair removal. Simply Posh is under the medical guidance of Advanced Dermatology’s board-certified dermatologists, cosmetic, laser, and plastic surgeons.,

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Melissa Chefec
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