Dr. Hootan Daneshmand
Med Spa California
Laser Hair Removal in Bakersfield, CA
Most of us can agree that shaving our unwanted hair is probably one of the biggest nuisances in life. Constantly buying razors, shaving creams, and even waxing kits can add up over the course of many years. And on top of that, the daily or weekly chore of shaving our legs, arms, armpits, etc. gets incredibly tiring. If you’re tired of wasting time and money on shaving or waxing and you’re looking for a confidence boost, laser hair removal may be the best option for you.
A board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon at the Med Spa at Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute can remove unwanted body hair for you. After a few treatments at our Orange County clinic, you’ll very rarely have to shave again. For more laser hair removal information, call 949-359-8397 today.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a minimally invasive procedure that can remove unwanted hair from various parts of the body. The body hair is removed with highly concentrated light, also known as laser treatment. While this medical procedure doesn’t typically result in permanent hair loss, most patients report slower hair growth in treated areas.
The best candidates for people with light skin and dark hair because people with these characteristics often see the most dramatic results. However, people of any skin color can benefit from removing hair with laser treatment. People with very light colored hair are generally discouraged from undergoing this treatment.
How Common is Laser Hair Removal in the U.S.?
Laser hair removal is an incredibly common medical procedure in the United States. In fact, the laser treatment ranked in the top 10 list of cosmetic, minimally invasive procedures in 2020 with nearly 758,000 procedures performed that year.
Target Areas for Laser Hair Removal
You can remove unwanted hair in almost any area of the body. But the most commonly treated areas include the:
- Upper lip
- Bikini line
- Lower back
- “Happy trail” on the lower stomach
The only part of the body that should never undergo laser hair removal is the area surrounding the eyes. Also, you should not remove hair on body parts that have tattoos.
Who is a Good Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
Anyone with any skin color and unwanted body hair can undergo this procedure. But laser hair removal may not be a good treatment option for people with a blonde, white, or red hair color because the laser targets dark hair the best. We will explain more on this later.
Other good candidates for laser hair removal include:
- Women who have hirsutism, which is a condition that characterizes coarse hair growth in a “male-like pattern” on the face, back, and chest.
- People with hypertrichosis which is a condition where men or women have excessive hair growth all over the body.
- Women who experience unwanted hair on certain parts of the body due to hormonal imbalances, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hormonal birth control, etc.
- People who feel very insecure about their dark body hair.
- People who don’t want to shave or wax their body hair on a regular basis.
You are not a good candidate for this procedure if you:
- Have extremely sensitive skin or skin disorders
- Frequently have cold sores (herpes simplex virus type 1)
- Have a medical history of skin cancer
- Are pregnant
- Have severe acne that’s being treated by an acne medication
- Have (or are prone to) keloid scars
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
The answer to this question depends on whether or not the light energy successfully destroys the hair follicle. Some hair follicles are completely destroyed during this procedure while some are just damaged. The damaged hair follicles will grow new hairs within a few weeks or months. It all depends on the hair growth phase.
The hair regrows after the first treatment, which means you will likely need repeated treatments to successfully destroy the hair follicles. Many laser hair removal patients experience little to no hair growth after three to seven sessions. After this, maintenance laser treatments are typically recommended on an annual basis.
How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal
If you’re about to undergo laser hair removal, this is what you should do to prepare.
- Avoid sun exposure a few days prior to the treatment. This means no laying in a tanning bed or laying out by the pool. Laser hair removal tends to be less effective on tanned skin.
- Don’t wax, pluck, or irritate the skin for at least six weeks before the treatment.
- Don’t take anti inflammatory drugs like aspirin before the treatment because it can increase your risk of bleeding.
- If you have super long hair in the treatment area, you should shave it a few days or a week before the treatment. That way when it starts to grow back, it will be shorter than a grain of rice, which is the ideal length for this treatment.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
This treatment works through a process called selective photothermolysis. The highly concentrated light from the laser is absorbed by the melanin in the hair. The light energy turns into heat which damages or destroys the hair follicle. After several treatments, there will be little to no hair growth in the treated area.
The reason why this procedure works best for people with dark hair is because dark hair has lots of melanin. Blonde, white, gray, or red hairs don’t have as much melanin so the laser treatment often isn’t very effective. The treatment is still effective for people with darker skin tones, although having a stark contrast between the hair and skin color (light skin, dark hair) produces the best results.
People with dark skin also have a higher chance of skin damage from the laser. This is because melanin absorbs light from the laser, and dark skin has lots of melanin. However, seeing a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon can ensure that you receive the best results, regardless of your skin type.
What to Expect During the Laser Hair Removal Procedure
Laser hair removal is a generally quick procedure. If you’re only treating a small area of the body, such as the upper lip, you could be done within a few minutes. This is what to expect.
Your dermatologist or plastic surgeon will start by cleaning the treatment area. If you have more sensitive skin or a lower pain tolerance, you can ask for numbing gel. This treatment is generally painless, though. Most people say it feels like a rubber band snapping on the skin as the laser removes hair.
Then, your health care provider will put on protective eyewear and ask you to do the same. Lastly, they will begin removing your hair with the laser.
Healing from Laser Hair Removal
Unlike other plastic or dermatologic surgery, the laser hair removal healing process is very quick and painless. Your skin may be a little red and sensitive, but you can get back to your normal life and activities immediately.
You should avoid sun exposure and tanning beds for a few weeks after your treatment. Be sure to wear sunscreen when you go outside to avoid more skin irritation and pain.
You will probably notice your hair growing back within 6 to 8 weeks following your first treatment. Most people go back for their next treatment around 6 weeks after their first one, but be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Risks and Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal
Just like any cosmetic treatment, laser medicine does come with its own set of risks and side effects. The most common side effects that people experience from laser hair removal include:
- Skin irritation and redness
- Skin burns
- Herpes outbreaks around the mouth or genital area
- Hyperpigmentation/hypopigmentation in the treatment area
- Skin infections
Most patients do not experience negative side effects after their treatment, but it’s always a possibility to consider before undergoing any cosmetic treatment. Seeing a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgeon will reduce your chances of experiencing severe side effects.
Laser Hair Removal Cost
The average cost of laser hair removal is approximately $389 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
It’s important to remember that the cost of all cosmetic treatments will vary depending on a wide variety of factors including your location, your health care provider’s experience, the number of sessions you need, and the size of your treatment area. The best way to know the exact cost of your laser hair removal treatments is to make an appointment with the Med Spa at Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute.