There are a few things to consider before getting laser hair removal treatments. One of the firsts is weather or not you are an idea candidate.
One of the most important requirements is that the hair to be removed must be darker than the surrounding skin. The process usually does not work on people with blond or red hair, or people with light hair and tanned skin. People who have dark hair, but have tans should wait until the tan has faded to get the best results. How the process works is the reason why the hair must be so much darker than the skin. Blonde, red, and light brown hair that has shades of blond or red usually contains a pigment called pheomelanin, which does not absorb laser energy as well as the pigment, called eumelanin, that is present in black or brown hair. Also, fair skin does not absorb the laser light very easily, so more of the light goes into the hair follicle, causing the treatment to work better, and quicker. Laser hair removal can be done on people with light hair, or dark skin, but the process is longer, more difficult, and the results are not guaranteed.
Another thing to consider is the cost. Laser hair removal takes many sessions to have successful long-term results. Usually four sessions are recommended to begin with, and may cost from $500-$1000 a session. The size of the area to be treated also affects the price. Large areas, like legs, cost more, while small areas, like upper lips, may be a bit less. Because the process of laser hair removal needs to be individualized for each patient, a consultation is the only way to know if you can afford it.
Knowing who to get treatments from is important too. An inexperienced or unqualified person could end up doing more harm than good.
Requirements for laser hair removal vary by state. Most states are very strict though, requiring that the process only be done by a medical doctor, registered nurse, or nurse practitioner. Remember that this is a medical procedure, and should be treated as such, so electrologists, spa staff, or even a medical assistant should not be performing this procedure on you.
Some places to steer clear of are those that offer discounts, guarantees, or do not seem professional, medical, or give you any uneasy feelings. There is no way to guarantee results with laser hair removal, so those establishments offering a guarantee are offering the impossible. Also, a good medical center should have a great reputation to sell themselves, not a discount to reel you in. Be weary, your skin is your most valuable, and important organ.
Once you have decided that you are a good candidate, can afford the treatments, and have found a good professional to administer your treatments, it is very important to know a few things about the process to help you understand your results. Understanding the process helps you to not get frustrated if permanent results are not achieved quickly enough for you.
One of the most important things to know is why it takes more than one treatment to get choice results. The laser hair removal process affects hair in the anagen phase the most. The growth cycle of hair is called the anagen phase. The hairs on your body grow in cycles, so not all hair will be in a growing cycle at the same time. By repeating the laser hair removal process, all the hairs can be caught by the light in their anagen phase eventually, causing better permanent results.
Another factor to consider is excess consumption of beta-carotene. This important nutrient is found in carrots, squash, and some dietary supplements, and is important for great eye and immune system health. Unfortunately, ingesting large amounts of beta-carotene can cause a yellow or orange temporary tint to the skin, absorbing the laser light. Since beta-carotene can stay in the skin for months after ingesting it, just like a tan, it will take quite a while to fade before you can get good laser hair removal results.
Another thing that might impede your results is the thickness of your hair. Coarse hair gets the best results, and fine hair is very difficult to remove. Even if the fine hair is dark, it may take longer to get optimum results.
When you have begun to get your laser hair removal treatments, it is important to look out for adverse reactions.
Temporary changes in the pigment of your skin, either light, or dark, are harmless, and will go away with time. People with darker or tanned skin are more prone to changes in pigment than fair skinned people.
People with dark or tanned skin may also get rare burns, or blisters. Remember not to receive treatments while the skin is burned or broken, and watch for infection. Although dark skinned and tanned people are more likely to burn or blister, everyone should check out for them. Any other unusually marks or reactions that may have come from laser hair removal should be looks at by a dermatologist or physician.
Knowing a few simple things before, during, and after your laser hair removal treatments is the key to great results.