Laser hair removal represents a remarkable advance in cosmetic treatment technology. A virtually painless method, lasers target the follicle of each hair, which then absorbs the light energy, warming to the point at which the follicle can no longer grow hair. When your treatment is complete, you’re free of the chore of routinely attending to regrowth -- no more shaving, waxing, or hair removal creams.
As exciting as laser technology is, it doesn’t produce instant results. So if you’re looking for smooth skin in time for the summer swimsuit season, you need to plan ahead to give lasers -- and Mother Nature -- time to do their work.
Understanding the hair growth cycle
Hair growth is an active process, with a follicle producing hair to a period of maturity, a so-called “full grown” hair, before the hair dies and falls out. Since most people never go through stages of periodic hairlessness, it’s obvious that your hair follicles aren’t synchronized on the same growth timetable.
In fact, at any one time, about one-third of your follicles are in each of the three stages of hair growth. This gives you a consistent, even coating of hair in most places on your body.
However, in many places, this hair is unwanted, and so laser treatment for permanent hair removal needs to strike when follicles are vulnerable. This vulnerability to the effects of laser light happens only during the growth phase, when light energy is readily absorbed by melatonin at the follicle’s base.
This means that only one-third of your unwanted hair can be treated in a single session. While you will see hair loss, it will result in thinning only, not complete hair removal.
Planning for summer
Because of the hair growth cycle, you’re looking at a minimum of three treatments for full coverage. These treatments must be spaced about six to eight weeks apart, depending on the target area of your body.
Also, while laser hair removal is very good at avoiding damage to surrounding skin tissue, it does make you more sensitive to the effects of ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, and for many, that’s an essential part of the swimsuit experience.
Individual results also vary, due to skin and hair color. For some people, the follicles absorb laser energy well, and three treatments may be enough. Others could require as many as eight treatments to reach their desired goals.
The best times for laser hair removal
To be hair-free the way you’d like to be, and without increased sensitivity to UV sunlight, autumn is the best time to start laser hair removal treatments. This gives you time to fit in the number of sessions that works for you, as well as allowing for healing time to regain your natural UV resistance.
However, if your target hair is suitable for six-week intervals, starting your first session in March could have you ready for July and August. This is enough time for three laser hair removal sessions plus a little time for losing UV sensitivity. Talk to your laser hair removal professional at Lansdowne Aesthetic Center for a realistic evaluation of what you can expect from treatments, as well as aftercare instructions to avoid excessive sun sensitivity. You’ll be on the beach rocking your hair-free body in time for the height of the season.