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What You Need to Know About Laser Hair Removal

By Caryn Bailey

People often compliment me on my thick, dark, curly hair. It is one of the unique features attributed to my ethnicity. The trade off is that I also have dark hair on my legs and under the arms that requires shaving at least 3-4 times per week. In my younger days, I sought to reduce the amount of hair on my legs with Laser Hair Removal. Technology has advanced since then, and what was once a very painful, lengthy, expensive procedure has been streamlined. Thanks to our partners at CosmetiCare, I am four weeks post Laser Hair Removal and can already see a significant reduction in the amount of hair under my arms and on my legs.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal works by targeting the hair root with laser energy that is selectively absorbed by the melanin (pigment) within the hair follicles. The laser energy is converted to heat energy which destroys the stem cells within the bulb of the hair follicle. The hair follicle is damaged, thereby reducing or preventing hair regrowth. Laser hair removal can be used anywhere on the body, including the face, body, legs, bikini area, and underarms.

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

The ideal candidate for laser hair removal has darker hair with a light skin tone. Modern lasers, like the ones used at CosmetiCare, can successfully treat a wide range of skin and hair types. Before I initiated my first laser hair removal treatment, I teleconferenced with another provider who cleared me for the procedure. The provider asks a series of questions to ensure that there are no contraindications to laser treatments. I am planning to treat my tummy tuck scar with ClearLift, and this quick consultation also cleared me for all future laser treatments at CosmetiCare.

Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

Fifteen years ago, when I first began laser hair removal treatments, I found the procedure to be painful. Advancements in laser technology have significantly reduced both the amount of time treatments take and the discomfort associated with those treatments. At present, I have had laser treatment for hair reduction on my face, underarms, legs, and bikini area. The discomfort was minimal for all of the treatment areas except for the bikini area. This area is highly sensitive, and each individual’s pain tolerance varies. While the bikini area was uncomfortable, it was not intolerable. The pain is also brief and subsides almost immediately after treatment. If desired, you can inquire about a topical numbing cream that can be used before laser hair removal.

How Do I Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?

Once you have been cleared by a provider for laser hair removal, avoid waxing, bleaching, tweezing, or plucking hair for 4-6 weeks prior to your first treatment. Hair grows in cycles, and laser hair removal is only effective during the growth phase. Avoid sun exposure prior to your treatment and prepare the area being treated with a clean shave. Just prior to your first treatment, a gel will be applied to the area that will be treated which is used to protect the skin from the laser. You will also be required to wear protective eyewear during each laser hair removal treatment.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The number of laser hair removal treatments vary from person to person. Additionally, the areas treated will vary, with some areas requiring more or less treatments. According to Dr. Niccole from CosmetiCare, the average person will require 5 sessions per treatment area. Because individual hairs have variable growth and rest phases, not all of the hair will be removed in a single laser session. After a series of laser hair removal treatments, most hair will be permanently removed. Any hair that does grow back will often be lighter and thinner in appearance.

After Laser Hair Removal

Immediately after a laser treatment, the skin may appear red. Cool compresses can be applied post-treatment. Avoid sun exposure and apply sunscreen to protect the skin that has been treated. In the days following laser hair removal, it will appear that hairs are continuing to grow. This is the body’s way of shedding the hairs from the damaged hair follicle. Avoid tweezing, waxing, bleaching, or plucking while undergoing laser hair removal.

At present, I am at 4 weeks post laser hair removal and I can already see a significant reduction in the areas being treated. The most dramatic reduction has been under my arms. Because of the dark pigment of my hair, I have always been self-conscious of my underarms. With one treatment, I am already noticing a lightening of the skin in that area.

One of my other concerns has been ingrown hairs, particularly at the bikini line. While the hair in this area has only been treated once, I can see it getting lighter and thinner without any redness, bumps, or irritation that has been so common after I shave. I am looking forward to sharing my results after completing the required treatments.

What is the Cost of Laser Hair Removal?

Right now, CosmetiCare has a Smooth Skin Package that includes unlimited laser hair removal for one year. The cost is $3450 which is a savings of $1300. If you are interested in laser hair removal, you can save 10%  at CosmetiCare by using the code Caryn100. Remember that you can also receive a free consultation at CosmetiCare by visiting their website. (Discount cannot be combined with any other offer)


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