Thinking about Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal. We’ve all considered it. The idea of never having to shave or wax the jungle that has become our legs, underarms, and facial hair is more than enticing. But what exactly is the procedure? And could it be something worth doing?
Dr. Debra Jaliman, a NY-based dermatologist, says that laser removal for a woman in her 20s is becoming more common these days. “Women get sick of constantly having to maintain with waxing and shaving so this is an easier, more permanent solution,” she says. The procedure doesn’t completely remove the hair follicle, but significantly reduces the appearance of the hair. There is about a 75-95% reduction after a series of six sessions. “They could need touchup treatments as time goes on but it will never return to the extent it was,” says Dr. Jaliman.
The process itself is simple. The laser emits energy that attracts to pigment in the follicle. This energy then destroys the root of the hair so it can no longer grow. Dr. Jaliman assures, however, that different types of lasers can be used to treat certain hair and skin types.
The pain is something that worries all of us, but she also explains that not all women experience the same feeling. “It’s not usually very painful but can be uncomfortable for some,” she says. Most feel what she describes as a “rubber band snap”. In situations where the patient does feel some pain, a topical numbing cream can be used.
Afraid of scars? Don’t be! Dr. Jaliman guarantees that, in the right hands, it shouldn’t leave any marks whatsoever. However, if poorly applied by someone who doesn’t specialize in laser hair removal, burns can be a result. “Make sure whoever is performing it has experience and is certified, otherwise, in the wrong hands, it can cause permanent damage,” she stresses.
Depending on your area and the type of place you go to (a dermatologist or medical spa), the prices for the procedure can vary. “[In New York City] the average cost for upper lip should be around $150 per treatment, arms $750 per treatment, legs $950 for each treatment,” says Dr. Jaliman.
One thing you should be aware of pre and post-treatment? Sun exposure. Laser hair removal should not be done on recently sun-exposed skin and patients should avoid the rays after treatment. And don’t forget to exfoliate! After three days post-treatment, Dr. Jaliman suggests exfoliating to help hair shed.
Dr. Debra Jaliam, MD is an expert in cosmetic and general dermatology. Her office is located 931 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10021. http://www.drjaliman.com/
Photo Credit: © Amy Seder