Natural factors that impact how long does laser hair removal last
Hair on our heads, faces and bodies grows in 3 different phases. In fact, there is actual growth only in the anagen phase, with a breakdown in the catagen, and a rest period in the telogen phase. The growth cycle does not unfold simultaneously for all hair, and this has a major impact when it comes to the success of hair removal methods, and is especially relevant for laser hair removal. Thus, the hair on our scalps grows at a different rate than the hair on the legs. So, the answer to the question how long does laser hair removal last must take into account these differences.
Hair that is not in the active phase will remain untouched by the laser energy, and will continue to grow after the session is over. That is why more than one treatments are needed for best results. But even when you to target the hair in its growth phase, some strings may grow back in the end.
Moreover, hair growth rate and structure vary not just with body location, but also from person to person. Factors like genetics, ethnicity, health, age, gender and hair color can greatly affect the structure and growth cycle of the hair. So, how long does laser hair removal last then?
Length of hair-free periods
Note that there is no such thing as permanent laser hair removal. However, the procedure is an effective way of permanently reducing the amount of unwanted hairs and altering their structure. So when they do grow back, these hairs will generally be finer and lighter. In other words, while hair removal is not permanent, hair reduction is.
- After your first treatment, you may notice you have 15% less hairs over the treated area.
- Hair reduction becomes truly visible after a course of 6 to 8 treatments over several months, and can be anywhere between 20% and 90%.
- Only electrolysis is known to be able to remove unwanted hair permanently, but the procedure is painful and expensive.
- After the first laser session, you will begin to shed dead hairs; these are the hairs that the laser targeted, so it’s absolutely normal.
- Pay attention to the length of this shedding period, so that you can have your next appointment 3 weeks later (that is, 3 weeks after the shedding has stopped). But this doesn’t mean that after the 8th session, hair starts to grow back right away; this will take place gradually.
- If you don’t want to get there and limit re-growth, you can schedule maintenance treatments spaced every 6 to 12 months.
Pay attention to the laser!
Does laser hair removal work?
So, does laser hair removal last?
A 90% unwanted hair reduction after just 8 treatments sounds good, but the results and their duration also depend on the type of laser used.
- Generally, lasers are better than IPL devices, and some lasers are better than others.
- It is vital that the physician uses a type of laser that is suitable for your skin and hair type (color, texture).
- Lasers target the pigment in the hair, therefore, people with dark hair and light skin make the best candidates for laser hair removal.
- Results are less significant on people with grey, white, blonde or red hair, because they have little pigment to absorb the light and thus destroy the hair follicle. Moreover, if you have dense, coarse hair or hair that grows back quickly after shaving it off, then you may need more laser hair removal treatments than other patients.
All lasers act by targeting each hair follicle. They absorb the laser energy and heat up, becoming damaged or even completely destroyed in the process. This helps prevent hair from growing again in those areas. Regardless of the type of laser used, the device should feature a cooling system that soothes the skin during treatment.
Getting the best results
For best results:
- you should trim or shave your hair before each appointment (but don’t wax or pluck).
- Don’t stay out in the sun for a couple of weeks before and after each session, and always apply sunscreen before going out. Also avoid tanning beds, as these, alongside sun exposure, will darken your skin and diminish the efficiency of the laser.
- Moreover, discontinue the use of vitamin C and retinol serums some time before the procedure, as these can make your skin more sensitive.
- Limit irritations after each treatment by avoiding the sun and swimming in salt or chlorinated water.
So, how long does laser hair removal last? The short answer is “several years”, but the final outcome is greatly influenced by a person’s age, health, type of skin and hair, and the type of laser and the settings used. Nonetheless, you will require a minimum of 6 to 8 treatments for a long lasting effect.