05 . August . 2019 BY Dr. Sharmishtha Deshpande

Laser Hair Reduction. Lot of buzz around it. Lot of questions. And unfortunately, a lot of misconceptions as well. Many of you have reached out to us across our platforms enquiring about the process and effectiveness of Laser Hair Reduction. We have addressed some of these questions in our earlier blogs as well. Today, we have put together the top 5 questions that have been frequently coming our way and we will answer them to help you gain clarity.

Laser Hair Reduction – A simple overview

Laser hair reduction is a cosmetic procedure that helps reduce the growth of unwanted hair. The procedure is performed by a trained specialist, using a long pulse/ motion speed laser that is set according to your hair and skin type.

Basically laser hair reduction is selective photothermolysis. It targets the pigment melanin in the hair bulb and burns the papilla arresting the hair growth. This leads to permanent hair reduction. For more information on Laser Hair Reduction, do follow our blogs on the topic.

What’s the science behind the process?

As mentioned above, the laser beam focuses on the pigment in the hair follicles. The difference between your skin colour and the colour of the pigment in the hair follicle is what allows the laser to pick out the target quickly. Once it picks the target, the laser burns the hair follicles, terminating the hair growth.

The laser damages the follicle, permanently, preventing it from growing back. A person generally needs about 6-8 sittings at intervals of 8-12 weeks to permanently damage most of the hair follicles in a particular area.

Why so many sittings? Do read our blog on why multiple sittings are needed for laser hair reduction. You need multiple sittings due to the different phases of the hair growth cycle. Not all hair is at the same point of the life cycle.

Since the laser targets the pigment melanin in hair follicle, those follicles in the telogen phase do not get affected (hair in this phase lack the pigment melanin). Hence, some hair follicles do not get damaged by the laser during the particular sitting and will continue to grow. So, you need a series of laser sessions for permanent hair reduction to target individual hairs at different growth cycles. With each passing session/sitting, you are in fact permanently attacking & reducing the number of hair-producing follicles.

Now, this above, is the basics of laser hair reduction that one SHOULD know. Let us now get to some frequently asked questions.

Here are the top 5 questions, most googled and most discussed on online forums.
  1. Is laser hair reduction safe?

    It is absolutely safe. The Trichologist then examines the hair using a Capilloscope to understand the density of hair growth and decide specific parameters for the session so as to have optimum results without jeopardising safety.

    The trouble however is, with the growing popularity, a number of salons, stand-alone technicians and self-styled clinics & ‘experts’ have started offering laser hair reduction as a service. Most of them do not have the necessary technical and medical know-how to guide you right. And unfortunately, there is little information available to an interested party that is not misleading. All this puts a test on safety and security.

    Go to a reputed clinic, where you have a hair doctor to guide you on the way forward, and there is suitable technology available. When you nail the right place to have your laser hair reduction done, there is nothing to worry. It is THE most safest way to get rid of unwanted hair.

  2. Is laser hair reduction painful?

    Laser hair reduction treatment is the most painless and hassle-free method. It gives long lasting results and one can do away with the pains of waxing, plucking, threading, shaving or using depilatory creams.

    How and where you get your treatment done is the key point here. Some of the old laser tech in use can cause skin burns. These days you have very advanced laser technology available for use in this background, such as the Cool Brush Technology does the job with minimal discomfort, giving excellent results. Choose the right clinic with professional, trained technicians to handle the process.

  3. Does laser hair reduction permanently get rid of unwanted hair 100%?

    Laser treatment reduces hair growth over a period of time, up to 90%. Hair becomes thinner in diameter with each cycle and eventually, growth stops.

    There’s no technology (still) that works with 100% accuracy and efficiency as regards hair removal, and Laser Hair Removal technology is no different. No one offers ‘hair removal’ but only ‘hair reduction’. It doesn’t guarantee 100% removal, but out of all the options available, this works the best by providing the maximum hair removal in minimum time. The result depends upon on individual hair and skin type. However, you can expect smoothness and shine of your skin along with permanent hair reduction. Hair might re-grow finer and lighter than before and would require multiple sittings for clean results.

  4. Does laser hair reduction have side effects?

    Lasers used for hair reduction are the safest! They do not cause any side effects when used under medical supervision. These days you have salons and street-corner beauty shops offering laser hair reduction. This is not something we would advise you to try!

    It is a misconception that this is just a cosmetic procedure and there is no need to consult a doctor for the same! This is a myth. Laser hair reduction is safest, and without side effects, when it is guided by a medical professional. Medical history is very important to be looked into! Some disorders & medications have relative contraindications to Laser.

    Consultation with a Trichologist would be most advisable and getting the treatment done under their supervision would be the best way forward. This would ensure the process is smooth, that the desired results are achieved with no compromise on safety and with no side effects. They will further guide you on dos and donts during the course of your treatment. For instance, you will need to protect your skin for a few weeks with sunscreen once you get the laser treatment done.

  5. How expensive is laser hair reduction? Is it worth it?

    Laser hair reduction is the safest and most cost-effective method for getting rid of unwanted hair.

    The cost of laser hair removal differs depending on the complexity, size, and the area treated. The cost also differs from clinic to clinic; hence it is always a good idea to get quotes from multiple clinics to compare prices and other important factors such as hygiene. Some clinics offer discounts if you pay for a package of multiple treatments. A skilled laser specialist is crucial to achieving positive results. Go to a reputed clinic for getting desired results at a reasonable price, while not compromising on your safety!

    Is it worth it? Absolutely! It is an investment that you make to get rid of unwanted hair long-term and do away with temporary maintenance-fixes such as waxing, threading, plucking, etc. Let’s break this down.

    It provides a long-term solution for hair removal – Traditional methods of hair removal like waxing, plucking or shaving do not remove hair permanently. You need to visit the salon frequently- never mind all those bumps, nicks and ingrown hairs!

    It is cost-effective in the long run – You may have heard – conventional hair removal methods cost less than laser treatments. WRONG! Laser hair removal looks like a bigger spend as compared to the salon. But it is not. If you add the money spent on razors, shaving cream, electrolysis treatment that remove one hair at a time or lifelong waxing…you do the math!

    It will save you time – We want to live a balanced life and do everything, but our beauty regimes take away most of our time. Laser hair reduction is a HUGE save on time. You get the picture from all that you have read above, haven’t you?

    A laser hair reduction treatment is a one-time investment that pays off along with other benefits in the long run! It is ‘investment in yourself, for yourself’.

Do read our blogs on the topic for detailed discussions of these points.
Once you have made up your mind, do go to a reputed Clinic, that has trained & certified hair doctors to consult, the best & latest of technologies handled by professional technicians and the right environment to carry out the treatment sessions in a safe manner. This would be most efficient, result-oriented and will deliver on every occasion.

With that we sign off! Remember for all things ‘Hair’, do follow our blogs on hair loss, hair care, laser hair reduction, treatments and solutions and such other interesting hair trivia!
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