5 Common Misconceptions About Laser Hair Removal
Hair is a natural physiological phenomenon with plenty of benefits to the skin and body. But for many patients, the unwanted cosmetic effects of having too much hair for their liking or overly apparent hair lead them to desire semi-permanent removal with laser technology.
The advantages of the procedure are that it can be done almost anywhere on the body, and after a series of three treatments done four weeks apart, the hair is typically gone for anywhere from 6 to 18 months. Despite the benefits and popularity of laser hair removal, a few myths and misconceptions exist from bygone eras when cosmetic lasers were less advanced.
Here we address some of the most common misconceptions. If you have any other questions or would like a personal consultation, please feel free to reach out.
1. Myth: Laser hair removal doesn’t work on certain skin tones
Since earlier laser hair removal devices (some of which are still in use in many practices) depending solely on the contrast between the skin color and the color of the hair, it is true that before advances in laser hair removal technology that not everybody was a candidate.
The best candidates for laser hair removal remain those patients, contrasting their skin and hair color. Still, even patients with only a mild contrast can benefit from laser hair removal. In contrast, patients whose hair is absent of color are usually unlikely to desire laser hair removal since the hair is so hard to see in the first place.
2. Myth: Laser hair removal is painful
You’ve probably heard that laser hair removal feels like rubber bands snapping against your skin. And at one time, it did. Our laser hair removal is virtually painless. Depending on the body being treated, some discomfort can be experienced, but this is usually quite tolerable.
We can apply a topical numbing cream before doing the procedure for patients susceptible to pain or discomfort. The cream doesn’t affect the treatment results but is best used in moderation since the skin absorbs it.
3. Myth: Laser hair removal damages the skin
The lasers we use are FDA-approved and remove only the skin while leaving the surrounding skin tissue unaffected. Laser hair removal can improve the skin texture in treated areas, though that’s not its primary use.
4. Myth: Laser hair removal has heavy side effects
The laser used emits a gentle but powerful beam of light absorbed by the hair follicle and converted into heat. The most common side effects of laser hair removal are redness and mild irritation in the treatment areas. Laser hair removal isn’t linked to or associated with any long-term side effects when done correctly.
According to a 2018 Healthline article medically reviewed by DNP and APRN Cynthia Cobb, “any claims about links to your long-term health are unfounded.” Having administered laser hair removal for many years and hundreds of satisfied patients, we have yet to see either severe or long-term side effects.
5. Myth: Your hair grows back after laser hair removal
There is some truth in this in that, at least according to one peer-reviewed study that states in fact that there is “no evidence for a complete and persistent hair removal” method of any kind—not shaving, not waxing, not lasers, and not other ways. However, most patients will do away with razors and shaving for 6 to 12 months or longer, depending on how many treatments are done.
This same study found that efficacy with laser hair removal is improved when repeated treatments are given (as is routine at our own and other practices) and that the “efficacy is superior to conventional treatments” that include shaving, waxing, and electrolysis, which is a means of removing individual hairs from the face and body with either chemicals or heat.
To learn more about laser hair removal and how it can help you reach your beauty and body goals, please contact us at 508.593.1999 or through our online contact form.