Are you sick and tired of shaving and waxing all the time so you can wear whatever you want with confidence? Do you wish there was a better way to enjoy smooth skin? With laser hair removal at Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY, you can make shaving a thing of the past.
Does Hair Grow Back After Laser Hair Removal?
After a few laser hair removal sessions, you can enjoy hair-free skin for years. During treatment, hair follicles are damaged and they are unable to grow any more hair. However, it is possible that some follicles survive treatment and will be capable of growing new hair in the future.
If you find an area of your body is experiencing noticeable hair growth a couple of years after your treatments, you can safely receive a follow-up session. Several factors, such as hormone levels and prescription medications, can lead to hair growth. There’s no way to predict the future and say with complete confidence that your follicles will never grow hair again. However, there is also a chance you will enjoy permanent results.
Why Does Hair Continue to Grow After Laser Treatments?
As mentioned previously, several factors affect whether hair will grow back after laser removal. The type of hair treated is another factor that affects the possibility of future hair growth. After your laser session, the growth of new hair will be less noticeable. However, even though laser treatments damage hair follicles, they’re not destroyed completely. Over time, the treated follicles may recover from the initial damage and grow hair again.
It’s a tall order to eliminate every hair follicle in a given area. Therefore, you may notice a tiny amount of hair regrowth. Your hair goes through several phases of a growth cycle. During the anagen phase, there is extra melanin in the follicle from the hair being grown. The laser hones in on this melanin. It does not burn surrounding skin tissue or hair follicles in any of the other phases of the hair growth cycle.
Is it Possible to Enjoy Permanent Results?
It is possible to enjoy semi-permanent results. You can expect the results of your treatments to last for a couple of years. However, it is not very realistic to believe your follicles will never recover from the heat damage they received. Also, please note that when your hair grows back after laser treatments, it will grow back smoother than ever before.
It is also important to note that the location of the treatment affects the longevity of the results. If you’re eliminating unwanted hair from your arms, lower legs or pubic region, the results will last longer than if you were removing thinner unwanted hair from your face, neck or chest. Your skin health also affects the longevity of the treatment results.
How Does This Method of Removing Unwanted Hair Work?
Laser treatments for removing unwanted hair work by emitting lightwaves that emit heat. These lightwaves are attracted only to the follicles in the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle and destroy them. Your follicles are responsible for growing new strands of hair. They can’t grow new hair strands when they are damaged. Shaving, waxing and tweezing are ineffective for the long-term removal of unwanted hair because they only remove the hair from the skin’s surface.
The follicle remains undamaged to grow new hair another day. Laser therapy is incredibly convenient. If you’re looking to treat a smaller area, like the underarms, you can be done in just a few minutes. It is only if you are trying to treat larger areas, like your chest or back, that you should expect your treatment to last at least an hour.
An Important Reminder
It is possible that your hair follicles recover from the burning. You should be prepared to receive several sessions for the ideal results.
Why Do I Need Multiple Treatment Sessions?
You need to receive several laser therapy sessions to enjoy all of the benefits offered by laser therapy. Exactly how many treatments you need depends on how quickly your follicles cycle through the hair growth process. The average person needs no more than six treatment sessions.
For the best results, these need to be spaced out several weeks apart. It can take up to 12 months to finish your treatment course. However, it’s important to understand that you will enjoy better results after every session. If hair grows back, it will be thinner and lighter.
How Can I Prevent Hair Regeneration?
You can mitigate the risk of future hair regeneration by scheduling regular follow-up treatments. You may need one or two treatments annually once you have finished your laser therapy course.
Exactly how often you will need maintenance sessions depends on the area targeted for treatment. Note, your laser therapy sessions won’t take as long when you come in for preventative maintenance, especially if you only have a couple of small areas with slight hair growth.
Is it Possible to Wait Too Long Between Treatments?
Yes, it is possible to wait too long between laser therapy sessions. If you wait a couple of months between sessions, it is possible the follicles will not be damaged enough to stop growing hair. Although you could still enjoy the initial benefits of treatment three to five days after the first session, it is possible to lose the progress made.
At some point, your follicles may go back to growing hair at the rate they used to. In contrast, you should enjoy virtually permanent results if you complete a course of sessions in a timely manner and come in for maintenance once per year.
How Many Sessions May I Need?
As we’ve mentioned previously, the average person needs no more than six sessions in a course to achieve the desired effects. Furthermore, you should wait several weeks between treatment sessions. Most people get the best results when they schedule their sessions between four and eight weeks apart. We will discuss a tailored treatment plan during your initial consultation.
There are many factors we must consider when determining the most effective treatment plan for you. Among these factors are the areas you are targeting for treatment, your skin tone, your hair color and how quickly your hair follicles cycle through the hair growth process.
What Can I Expect Before My Treatment Session?
Before your treatment session, you need to come in for an initial consultation. During this consultation, we will tailor a treatment plan for you based on your skin tone, hair color and the parts of your body you want to remove hair from. We will also discuss your medical history and the drugs and supplements you are currently taking. We may advise you to stop taking certain drugs and supplements temporarily and take other steps to prepare for your laser therapy.
Preparing Your Skin for Laser Therapy
We urge you to shave before your laser therapy session. You may find it hard to reach certain areas you may be targeting for treatment but you should do your best. However, please note, it is more important to not wax or tweeze your hair than it is to shave. Waxing and tweezing will make your laser therapy less effective because the hair is removed from the follicle. There won’t be pigments in the treatment area for the laser to hone in on and burn if there is no hair.
Don’t wax or tweeze during the 72 hours leading up to your laser therapy. If you can’t go three days without smooth skin, you may shave. Again, shaving is encouraged. Just make sure you mitigate your risk of irritated skin by using a clean, sharp razor and shaving cream. Furthermore, you should moisturize your skin diligently but avoid any cosmetics in the treatment area with fragrances. Finally, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen diligently and don’t tan your skin.
What Can I Expect During My Treatment Session?
During your treatment session, you will be provided with eye protection designed specifically to protect your eyes from laser light. Even if your eyes are closed completely during treatment, you will be able to tell when the light is being emitted. Don’t worry. Your eyes will not be damaged. We also advise you to protect areas not being targeted for treatment with comfortable clothing. You should only expose the treatment area.
For additional protection, we will cover areas near the treatment site with comfortable towels. Our top priorities are your safety and comfort. If you have any concerns about what to expect during treatment, we are more than happy to discuss them with you during your initial consultation.
What Can I Expect After My Treatment Session?
After your treatment session, the treated skin will feel warm if you did not opt for a topical anesthetic. If you opted for a topical anesthetic, your treated areas will feel numb for a while after treatment. Regardless of whether your treatment areas were numbed, you will not feel any pain. You are free to continue with your daily routine as long as that includes protecting your skin from UV damage.
Roughly three to five days after your laser therapy session, you will notice the hairs in the treated area falling out. This process may take up to 14 days. However, it is okay to shave after your treatment session if you feel the need to. It’s also worth noting that your skin won’t be discolored after laser therapy. This is in stark contrast to shaving or waxing which often leads to hyperpigmentation.
A Crucial Note About the Manual Removal of Unwanted Hair After Laser Therapy
By now, you know it is important to not wax, tweeze or pluck your hair in the three days leading up to your laser hair removal treatment session. If possible, refrain from using these methods for removing unwanted hair between your scheduled sessions. It takes roughly six weeks for your follicles to grow hair that can be targeted effectively by lasers. Remember, you need the shaft of the hair intact so the laser light can target large amounts of melanin.
What Else Should I Avoid After Treatment?
After your laser therapy, you should also avoid activities that cause excessive sweating, such as steam rooms, dry saunas, hot showers, and vigorous exercise. You should also make a concerted effort to not tan until you have received your last laser session. The more contrast there is between your skin tone and the color of your hair, the more effective your laser session will be.
Enjoy the Smooth Skin You Deserve
Hair may grow back after laser hair removal but it’s still worth the initial time investment. You deserve an effective, comfortable method of removing unwanted hair that offers results that last for years. Contact us now at Metro Dermatology in Elmhurst, NY to book an appointment and learn more about this innovative method of removing unwanted hair.