Getting rid of unwanted hair by shaving, waxing, threading or using a depilatory is a time-consuming ordeal and can be messy and painful. It doesn’t have to be. If you’ve got unwanted hair that’s embarrassing or a nuisance, there is a more permanent solution—laser hair removal. To get the best outcome, you need to enlist the expertise of a professional. Call Bentley Skincare & Wellness in Springfield, MO to discuss your options.
What Makes Hair Grow?
Whether or not you can see it, there is hair growing everywhere on our bodies except for our lips, the soles of our feet and the palms of our hands. It all grows the same way, starting at a root underneath our skin. Cells group together in the root to make the protein keratin. Keratin makes up our hair, fingernails, and toenails.
The roots are inside small tubes that are our hair follicles. As hair grows, it pushes through the follicle and out of the skin. The part of our hair that can be seen is the hair shaft. By the time our hair comes out of the skin, the cells in the hair are dead and the only living part of the hair that remains is the follicle.
It’s the root and the follicle that cause hair to grow back at lightning speed after we shave, although everybody’s rate of hair growth is different. While shaving is still the most popular way for men and women to temporarily remove unwanted hair, it does nothing to stop the hair from growing back.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Unlike other methods of hair removal that target only the hair you can see or yank out the root, laser hair removal works by destroying the hair follicle. A laser is directed to a targeted hair, and the light moves down the hair shaft and converts into heat when it reaches the follicle. Your skin pigment absorbs the light and prevents any future growth.
This is the most effective form of hair removal for those who want to eliminate time-consuming and repetitive methods of removing unwanted hair. It’s versatile and can be used by men and women wanting a permanent solution to hair removal from:
- Bikini line
- Toes and feet
This hair removal is most effective on dark hair so clients who are on the verge of turning gray will want to address removal before unwanted hair loses its color.
How Is Laser Hair Removal Different From Other Methods?
We’ve talked about shaving and how that only removes the hair we can see. But what about other methods and how they stack up to laser hair removal?
To wax hair away, you have to put warm wax on your skin, apply cloth over the top, wait for it to harden and yank it all away. It’s not a pleasant experience, but it is more effective in keeping hair from growing back than shaving. But it will grow back. It may come back finer and softer at first, but eventually, it will be just as thick and you’ll have to start the whole process again.
If you perform waxing at home, it’s not as effective as having it professionally done and you may end up irritating or damaging your skin. If you do make regular visits to a salon or spa, you know it’s costly and, over decades, that can be a significant amount of money with no end in sight.
This method is gaining popularity because it’s precise and is less painful than waxing and tweezing. Unlike laser hair removal, it’s only done on the face and is, again, temporary like waxing. People visit salons to have their eyebrows shaped this way, paying up to $35 per session.
This form of hair removal uses a strong chemical-based cream or lotion to process the hair into a jelly-like substance by breaking down its protein bonds. This process is very inexpensive, but it comes with other costs. First, it’s temporary, even more so than waxing. Because it only addresses hair at or just below the surface, it grows back just as quickly as shaving.
If you have dark hair, you’ll still be able to see a shadow of hair just underneath the surface because the depilatory hasn’t addressed the hair below your skin. The biggest downside to this form of hair removal is the harsh chemicals necessary to break down the hair. If you leave the product on too long, you can damage the skin causing:
- Skin peeling
It’s important to read and follow the directions carefully and, even then, there’s a high chance of some skin reaction.
What to Expect During Laser Hair Removal
You should generally not wax or tweeze for six weeks before treatment. The laser needs to locate the hair follicle, so it needs to be intact on the day of your session. Shaving is encouraged 24 hours before your session because removing the hair on the surface of the skin makes it easier for the laser to locate the follicle underneath. You will also be asked to stay out of the sun so there is as much contrast between your skin and the follicle as possible.
During your session, you may be given special goggles to wear just to limit your eyes’ exposure to the light of the laser. Your provider may apply a topical numbing agent to maximize your comfort, or the laser device itself may be equipped with a cooling device to provide comfort throughout the session. A handheld laser device will be placed on your skin and activated so the laser can target the hair follicles.
Session times depend on the thickness and amount of hair plus the size of the area to be treated. Afterward, there is no downtime and you can resume your normal routine immediately. Many clients have this done on their lunch breaks and go right back to work.
Hair doesn’t fall out immediately but sheds away over the coming days and weeks. Because your hair grows in cycles, meaning some of your hair will be in an active growing phase while other hairs have fallen out and are yet to be rebuilt, you’ll likely need repeat treatments.
Some clients will experience the hair removal results they want after just one treatment. Others, depending on the hair being removed and the part of the body being treated, may need several treatments to maximize their results. Treatments are generally done 4-6 weeks apart if repeat visits are necessary.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Your skincare expert will know if this is the right treatment for you. Ideal candidates have a lighter skin tone and darker hair, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a candidate if you have lighter hair or darker skin. Your provider will discuss options and success statistics for your combination of hair and skin color.
Areas close to the eyes aren’t typically treated by lasers because of the proximity of the light from the laser to the sensitive eye. This is a great treatment for groupings of hair as opposed to the one-off, stray hair. Large areas like the legs and back and smaller areas like the upper lip and bikini area are all effectively treated by this technology.
Once your unwanted hair is gone, you may want to consider other treatments that may complement your newly smooth aesthetic, particularly on your face. A great additional treatment is dermaplaning.
Once you’ve gotten rid of unwanted facial hair, why not refresh your whole face? Dermaplaning is an innovative way to resurface your skin, leaving it smooth and vibrant. During a session, your skincare expert will use a 10-gauge scalpel held at a 45-degree angle to shave away the top layer of dull and dead skin cells, debris and peach fuzz. What’s revealed is a glowing and smooth complexion.
Peach fuzz is natural and we all have it, though it may be more noticeable for some people. Those fine hairs protect your skin from the sun, but they also cling to debris and excess oil and can make completely cleaning and nourishing your skin difficult. This process removes those hairs leaving your skin not only smooth and clear but ready to absorb your skincare products more efficiently.
When a new layer of skin is revealed, it lacks the layer of dead cells that prevent your products from doing their job. Ask your skincare specialist what they would recommend you use for your specific skin type—you may be able to extend the brightening and glowing results by choosing the right products. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to apply and remove makeup. Dermaplaning can be repeated every month or so to maintain results.
If you’re disheartened by signs of aging or other skin imperfections and would like a more vibrant and youthful-looking appearance, talk to your skincare provider about deeper skin resurfacing treatments.
There are different methods used to remove the top layers of skin during resurfacing, and each works a little differently to garner slightly different results. Whatever method you choose, the process works in the same way—layers of skin are removed so your body will boost its production of collagen. When new collagen is produced, skin cells regenerate with more structure and without the imperfections of the cells they’re replacing. Resurfacing can address:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Acne and acne scarring
- Sun damage
- Age spots
- Uneven tone and texture
- Large pores and blackheads
- Overall dull complexion
- Minor skin laxity
Types of Skin Resurfacing
The kind of resurfacing you get will depend on the results you want. Some methods can resurface on deeper levels than others and may be better suited for people with deeper lines and scars or more prevalent sun damage and pigmentation issues.
Your doctor or skincare specialist will examine your skin and get a good picture of your areas of concern and the ideal results you’d like. These treatments are minimally or non-invasive and will require no downtime while still getting you the results you’re looking for. The different methods of skin resurfacing your skincare specialist may recommend include:
- Radiofrequency treatment
- Microneedling or collagen induction therapy
- Chemical peels
- Retinol treatments
Make an Appointment
Smooth and hair-free skin doesn’t have to consume a lot of your time. When you’ve had enough of waxing, tweezing and shaving, it’s time for a more permanent solution.
If you’re ready to make unwanted hair a thing of the past and be more confident in smooth and silky soft skin, call the skincare experts at Bentley Skincare & Wellness in Springfield, MO. Our expertly trained and caring staff can help you achieve your skincare and aesthetic goals.