It’s beach day. A friend has a wedding and short dresses are expected. What does that mean? That it is time to shave your legs. If you’re like most women, you shave your legs regularly and not just for special occasions. That can be time-consuming.
Many women would love the opportunity to have silky, smooth legs without all the hassle and headache of having to shave –or the cost and time of paying for a full leg wax job. With laser hair removal, there is another option.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
A laser is an intense beam of light that pulsates and heats the areas it targets. In laser hair removal, this beam of light is focused on the skin, generally on the legs. It’s intense light and heat shines through the skin to the hair follicles. Each hair follicle is damaged by the light and, as a result, ceases to produce hair.
Since the hair consequently stops growing wherever laser hair removal is performed, there is no longer a need to shave. The skin remains smooth and soft without the hair growing. Most women who choose laser hair removal focus on their legs, but some also have hair on other parts of their body treated with a laser as well.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
The very idea of never having to shave because the hair doesn’t grow anymore is an appealing benefit to many women, but there are also many other benefits to consider:
- No shaving means less time spent on personal grooming
- No stubble gets left behind
- Considered a permanent solution, laser hair removal lasts
- There is less risk of accidentally cutting oneself and bleeding
- People who have trouble reaching their legs or using a razor don’t have to
- Reducing* common hair problems, like ingrown hairs
- The procedure targets specific areas and can easily be tailored to individual needs
What to Expect During Laser Hair Removal
When going in for a laser hair removal procedure, there are a few things to expect. Laser hair removal is a medical procedure, after all, even though it is non-invasive. Before having this medical procedure, it is helpful to know that:
- Laser hair removal is not painful but can be uncomfortable and create a slight burning sensation
- Most people require several sessions of hair removal before it fully takes effect
- There is no guarantee that the hair follicles will not eventually heal and begin to grow hair again
- The procedure works best for those with fair skin and darker hair
- Thorough protection from the sunlight is necessary after the procedure
People who have had laser hair removal report generally that it is a convenient procedure that makes a huge difference. However, keep in mind that laser hair removal isn’t for everyone and that people with certain medical histories or medication needs may not be able to have the procedure performed safely.
How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal
Before heading into your hair removal appointment, there are several ways that you can prepare so that the experience is a smooth one:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing or bring shorts to change into so that the hair removal area is easily accessible
- Plan to spend time indoors after the procedure as your skin will be sensitive to light
- Purchase lotions and other skin-soothing products ahead of time
- Schedule appointments for the procedure ahead of time, as you will need to have multiple
- Hydrate as instructed
- Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully
Believe it or not, versions of laser hair removal have been around for decades. However, the procedure has only become popular in recent years. FDA-approved as effective and safe, laser hair removal is a legitimate practice performed by many doctors and trained medical professionals.
Of course, the procedure does still have risks, like:
Beyond these side effects, it is known that laser hair removal can be risky if the procedure is performed by inexperienced or unqualified individuals or by using low-grade technologies. It is just as important to research the professional performing the procedure as it is to follow all instructions and know about which technologies are best.
Comparing the cost of hair removal methods can be complicated. Razors can range from inexpensive to quite costly. How often the razor and/or razor blades must be replaced is also relevant in determining the cost. Add in the price of soaps, shaving creams, and water while shaving and the process may not be that cheap after all. However, the upfront costs of shaving are low.
Laser hair removal, on the other hand, can be considered expensive by many. Generally the charges for laser hair removal vary by person, the region one lives in, and where on the body the hair is. Remember that multiple sessions may be required as well. A typical session costs anything from $150 to $500.
Once additional charges are added in, like the cost of creams and lotions as well as the number of sessions needed, laser removal can be unaffordable for many. However, the cost might pay off in the long term if hair removal via a razor or a wax is costly, too.
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If laser hair removal is seen as an investment, it can be worthwhile. In terms of time and money, the costs are expensive upfront but minimal over time. Other hair removal methods are just the opposite as they are affordable, but really add up as time passes.
The health risks of traditional hair removal versus the laser method are comparable as well. With razors, there is a risk of cutting, bleeding, and scarring. Lasers can burn, discolor, and scar. Both have benefits, like resulting in smooth skin.
When it comes down to it, laser hair removal is a great option, but it’s not for everyone. Some people find their skin is too dark for it to be effective, others find the costs are too steep upfront. If you are a good candidate for laser hair removal and can afford it though, you may want to discuss the option with your doctor.