[Preface by Mantic59: I’m all about the pleasure of shaving. But even I get curious about other ways of doing things, including shaving. I have seen ads for laser hair removal–you probably have too–and out of curiosity I got to wondering just what is involved. So I asked Katherine Smith to look into it for Sharpologist.]
Shaving works in a lot of cases, except when it doesn’t. If you have stubborn hair in unsightly places that just won’t go away, it’s time to consider another alternative: laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal doesn’t replace shaving; it provides a safe, permanent assist where you need it. Take the eyebrow, for example: many men have bushy eyebrows or have stray hairs growing in between the eyebrows. A simple laser hair removal treatment solves the unibrow problem and removes the stray hairs, meaning you no longer need to use a razor between your eyebrows or attack your brows with tweezers.
Why Laser Hair Removal?
Some men also have dark hair growing on the bridge of their nose. These hairs are impossible to shave away, so laser hair removal is the only sure way to remove them permanently.
Many men also have more back, chest, or arm hair than they prefer. Waxing these areas is painful, and shaving does not get the job done. Laser hair removal solves the problem, removing the hair you don’t want while leaving the hair you do. You won’t have to worry about thick hair springing up out of your collar or poking through your t-shirt anymore; you’ll have a perfectly groomed body that’s ready to go without plucking, tweezing, or shaving.
If you haven’t considered laser hair removal before, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most frequently-asked questions about laser hair removal:
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
I’ll quote directly from the Americanlaser.com hair removal site. Laser hair removal works by “using laser technology to deliver a controlled amount of intense energy to the targeted area, safely and effectively destroying follicles without harming the skin around them.”
In short: you’re using lasers to incinerate your hair follicles. Think of Luke Skywalker taking out Wamp Rats. Once they get hit by lasers, those hairy beasts aren’t coming back.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?
Laser hair removal is perfectly safe and is a common cosmetic practice. There is a small risk of burning your skin if the process is performed incorrectly. Avoid this risk by choosing only licensed skin care professionals with training and experience in laser hair removal. Make sure the type of procedure used is certified by the FDA. You can search the FDA’s medical device database to confirm that the laser used has been cleared for hair removal.
How Many Laser Treatments Does It Take To Remove Hair Permanently?
You cannot remove all of your unwanted hair in one laser hair removal treatment. This is because hair grows in a three-phase cycle, but no two hairs grow at the same phase rate. You need multiple laser treatments to make sure you catch each unwanted hair in the right phase; it can only be fully destroyed during the active growth phase, not the transitional phase or the resting phase. Ideally, your skin care professional will plan a few treatment sessions within a six-to-eight week period; once these sessions are over, all of your unwanted hairs should be permanently removed.
How Much Does Laser Hair Treatment Cost?
The laser hair treatment cost varies from center to center, and it also varies depending on how much hair you want to remove. Expect to pay at least $1500 for a few sessions of laser hair removal treatment. Shop around for the best deal, but don’t agree to pay less for sub-par quality; never accept an unlicensed skin care professional.
Is laser hair Removal Truly Permanent?
Laser hair removal treatment is permanent in the sense that the hairs that are burned away never come back. However, new hairs do sometimes begin to grow over time. You will never have as many hairs as you did prior to laser hair removal treatment, but do not be surprised if you see a stray hair or two begin to grow. Better one hair than 100, though!
Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
Laser hair removal treatment feels similar to getting a tattoo — or, if you’ve never gotten inked, it feels like slapping your skin with a rubber band, repeatedly. Each individual sting is unlikely to hurt, but you’ll be experiencing one sting after another. Expect mild discomfort rather than true pain. Once your treatment is completed, your skin will be sensitive and tender. Avoid direct sunlight, and be very gentle to your skin immediately after treatment.
Laser hair treatment is a great way for men to solve the grooming problem and present their best selves to the world. If you’re tired of constantly worrying about your unwanted hair, and if you want a better solution than daily shaving or tweezing, consider laser hair treatment to remove your unwanted hair permanently.