For those of us who spend sleepless nights fretting over unwanted facial hair, laser hair treatment promises to give us a stubble-free future with smoother, hair-free skin. Laser hair removal is considered to be the safest and permanent way get rid of unwanted hair. Laser hair removal treatment can get rid of coarse hair from your chin, upper lip, sideburns, cheeks, neck, underarms, and from the entire body. Laser hair treatment is a sure shot way to step out with confidence. It’s too good to be true right? But what keeps women away from opting for laser treatment to end their hairy woes – there are two reasons – one is thought that it’s a painful process and the second is the cost associated with it. In this post, we are going to tell you in detail everything you need to know about laser hair removal treatment and to dispel myths and controversies surrounding LHR. At the outset, we would like to make it clear that laser hair removal treatment is hair reduction treatment, not a permanent solution to all your hair woes. Still, it’s the best method to get smooth skin, free of all fuzz.
Types of Laser Treatment in India:
Indians have a lot variations in skin tone and hair texture, hence there is not a single common machine for everyone. These are the types of laser hair machines commonly used in India:
- Nd YAG laser hair removal: Nd Yag laser (Neodymium Yttrium Aluminium) uses pulsed laser and targets cells and hair follicles. This machine is FDA approved. It works on all skin types, both fair and dark. Most dermatologists and clinics use this kind of a laser. Suitable for dark and Indian skin tones. Covers large areas like chest, back, legs. This kind of a laser is a bit painful, so cooling agent is first applied to the area to be treated.
- Diode: The diode machine targets pigment in the hair and generates heat that destroys melanin in the hair follicles. Works for medium and dark skin types. Good to treat thick and coarse hair.
- Ruby Laser: Works for hair reduction on light skin with dark hair, relatively pain free. This laser works only for light skin tones. This laser does not have a lot of side effects of in-built cooling system. This laser specifically works on small areas of skin, like chin, upper lip, etc.
- Alexandrite laser treatment: Uses long wavelength to destroy hair follicles and reduce hair growth. Large areas can be covered with this laser. It works for fair to olive skin tones.
- IPL: IPL means intense pulsed light which destroys hair follicles where light energy is converted to heat energy when it comes in contact with melanin in hair. It’s a relatively painless treatment, works on light skin with dark hair.
- Soprano ICE: Painless, safe for all skin types, from fair to dark skin. Works on all types of hair. No major side effects.
Soprano ICE, ND-YAG, and diode lasers are the most commonly used laser machines in India.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Treatment Work?
As mentioned previously in the post, most laser machines convert light energy to heat and target hair follicles or melanin present in the hair. Laser attacks hair follicles with a concentrated beam of light. Depending upon the machine, laser of different wavelengths, are used to target hair follicle and pigment present in the hair. Since melanin is a dark pigment, it absorbs the light of a laser This is the basic idea behind laser hair removal; the laser is absorbed more easily by the pigment in growth-phase follicles causing the follicles to heat up and die.
What Happens When You Go for Laser Hair Removal?
Once you have decided to opt for laser hair removal treatment, do thorough research and pick only certified and reputed dermatologists/clinics to undergo the treatment. Do not fall for quacks when it comes to this treatment. Do not tweeze, pluck or wax the hair you want to get rid of, let the doctor examine the hair growth. Fix up an appointment with the doctor/clinic and bombard them with questions and any doubts that you may have. When you walk into the clinic/doctor’s office at the appointed time, you would be taken to see a doctor who would determine your skin type, hair type and texture and decide the type of laser that would be best for you and the number of sessions needed to clear out your hair. For facial hair removal, 6 to 8 sessions are usually recommended. The doctor will also conduct appropriate tests to rule out PCOD or other underlying hormonal disorders. After examining test results and prescribing appropriate treatment, the doctor would take you to the treatment room. The treatment room would typically have a bed for you to lie down and the laser machine. As mentioned earlier, laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment in the hair. The laser light converts to heat, which in turn damages hair follicle. This laser light is transmitted through a machine which works with electricity. The laser machine would be adjusted to a frequency or wavelength that the doctor/technician would feel is appropriate for you. Next, you will be given protective goggles to wear to protect your from the beams of laser. The doctor/technician would then cleanse the area to be treated thoroughly and mark and outline the area to be treated with a white marker sort of thing. Next, the area to be treated would be shaved gently without losing hair roots in the follicles. The specialist may also use a topical anaesthetic to reduce discomfort during the procedure. A cooling agent will then be generously applied to the area to be treated. The hand-operated laser device would then be pressed against your skin and pulsed wavelengths transmitted to your skin. The laser beam will be absorbed by the hair follicles. The heat emitted from the laser will damage the hair follicle and thus inhibit further hair growth.Small areas such as the upper lip, chin area are perfect only take a few minutes whereas leg, chest, and back hair removal will take longer. The feeling of the treatment has been compared to being snapped by a rubber band. You will only feel intense pain where the growth is thicker, for example underarms, on the upper lip. The whole treatment takes less than an hour if you are not taking whole body treatment. Periodic maintenance sessions are mandatory post completion of recommended sessions.
What Happens Immediately After Laser Hair Removal Treatment?
There may be redness or swelling after the procedure, which would last for a couple of hours. The technician/doctor would apply a post-treatment cream or ointment to reduce and take care of skin inflammation. You would also be advised to apply ice packs to the treated area. After the treatment, you must avoid sun exposure. You must wear sunscreen whenever exposed to sunlight in any event. Do not pluck or tweeze hair. No chemical peel, acne ointments or retinoids for at least one week.
Why Opt for Laser Hair Removal Treatment?
Laser hair removal is the most efficient way to get rid of unwanted hair. It decreases hair growth by at least 70% and hair that grows back is fine and thin in comparison to pre-treatment hair.
Alternatives of Laser treatment/Other Hair Removal Methods:
Plucking, tweezing, threading, waxing, electrolysis are other alternatives to laser hair removal.
When Will You See Results After Laser Hair Treatment?
Laser hair treatment does not show immediate results. Hair will grow back on the area where you have undergone laser after the first, second and third sessions, but the hair would be thinner in texture and sparse. After 6 to 8 sessions, you would see a big difference. Laser hair removal treatment is basically a reduction process, it’s not a permanent solution to get rid of all hair.
Cost of Laser Removal Treatment in India:
The cost of laser hair removal treatment in India is primarily lower compared to other countries. Promotional offers bring the cost further down. Some clinics even offer EMI facility on the treatment. Coming to the total cost, at least 6 sessions are recommended to reduce hair. It would be better to opt for a package deal rather than cost per session as far as laser treatment is concerned. Usually, for chin and upper lip area hair removal, the average cost per session would be around 4000 INR plus taxes. If you opt for a package with 6 sessions or 8 sessions, the clinic or doctor may offer you a better price. The type of laser machine used matters a lot when it comes to the price of the treatment. Soprano, Nd-Yag and diode cost a bit more. This is the average pricing of laser hair removal in India:
Upper lip: 2000 INR approximately per session
Upper lip and chin: 2500 to 3000 approximately per session.
Full face: 5000 INR
Full body: Around 1 lakh (package deal).
How To Care for Skin After Laser Hair Removal Treatment:
- Do not touch the laser-treated area with hands.
- Do not use soap or harsh cleanser on the skin for the first 12 or 24 hours.
- Avoid AHAs and BHas on the skin or any acne ointment treatment for one week. No chemical peels for at least two weeks.
- Do not expose the treatment area to sun. Wear protective clothing, hat or scarf while venturing outside. Ask your doctor whether you can wear sunscreen.
- Applying ice cubes or soothing aloe vera gel at regular intervals right after the treatment procedure.
- Avoid scrubbing the treated area.
- Do not pluck or tweeze hair. It’s alright to shave hair between laser sessions.
Side Effects of Laser Hair Treatment:
- There might be slight tingling sensation during the treatment.
- Immediately afterwards, your skin might be a little inflamed, apply cooling gel or ice to soothe your skin.
- There might be some burn marks if your hair has been targeted with a higher frequency laser beam.
Tips to Follow Before Going in for Laser treatment:
1. Stop plucking, tweezing, waxing, at leat two weeks before the laser session.
2. If you are any using any retinoid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, kojic acid, acne cream, stop it one week before going in for the treatment.
3. Avoid sun exposure and tanning.
4. Avoid chemical peels.
Can you do Laser Hair Removal Treatment at Home?
Yes, there are certain laser devices with which you can do the hair removal treatment at home, but the results would not be as effective and quick. Some laser devices to check out are – Tria Hair Removal Laser Precision, Philips Prestige Lumea IPL Hair Removal Device.
We hope that all your doubts regarding laser hair removal have been cleared now 🙂