“Will I regret my laser hair removal?” Many women, myself included, know that keeping our skin smooth and hair-free requires a lot of patience, tolerance, care, time, and energy.
Different hair removal methods have their own set of pros and cons. For instance, shaving is the fastest, most convenient, and cheapest way to remove unwanted hair, but it also comes with the risks of razor bumps, nicks, cuts, and burns. Not to mention that hair grows back fast, thus the need to shave multiple times a week.
Waxing, threading, and epilating let you have hair-free skin for weeks or months, but the procedure is painful, even unbearable, for women. These methods also have side effects like skin redness, swelling, or irritation.
Hearing about laser hair removal, which promises a pain-free experience with long-term to permanent hair growth reduction, sounds like a dream come true. Given its high costs, it is common to wonder and ask, “Is laser hair removal worth it?” or “Will I regret my laser hair removal?”
If you want to know the answer, you have come to the right place! But before that, let me first discuss the basics of laser hair removal.
Overview Of Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a laser or concentrated light beam to retard hair regrowth. I say medical because health and skin care professionals administer this procedure.
Unlike shaving, epilating, and waxing, laser light does not remove or uproot hair on the skin’s surface. Instead, the laser light targets the hair structure underneath the visible layer of the skin.
The upper lips, chin, armpits, legs, and bikini line are the most common body areas treated with laser light to reduce unwanted hair growth permanently.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
An FDA-approved device emits laser light directed toward the area of the skin where you want to remove hair. This light penetrates the melanin or the pigment of the hair. The light turns into heat energy and produces a damaging effect on the hair follicles. This damage results in the inhibition of hair growth.
How Long Does It Take For The Laser Hair Removal To Work?
Laser hair removal is a progressive treatment. For this method to work, you need to undergo more or less two to six treatments. The number of treatment sessions and intervals will vary depending on which area of the body and the corresponding rate of hair growth.
The treatment plan usually consists of initial treatment procedures and follow-up treatments for maintenance.
What Results Can I Expect From Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal can result in hair thinning and delay hair growth for extended periods. While results vary from person to person, the average time can last from months to years. In some cases, it can even result in permanent no hair regrowth.
Who Can Do Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal works best with people with high-contrasting skin and hair colors. People with fair to medium skin tones and darker hair shades will benefit most from this hair removal procedure. Consequently, people with light skin tone or dark skin tone and hair color may not suit this method.
That said, recent technological advancements allow those with dark skin tone and hair color to reap the same benefits from laser hair removal. But the case is different for those with fair skin and light hair shades.
Who Should Avoid Laser Hair Removal?
Dermatologists and healthcare professionals do not recommend laser hair removal treatment for the following:
- Pregnant women
- People under medications
- People undergoing other skin treatments
- People with pre-existing severe or chronic skin conditions or diseases
If you are any of the above, consult your dermatologist for advice.
Does Laser Hair Removal Have Side Effects?
Aside from the costs, the risks and side effects are the other reasons why a person asks, “Will I regret my laser hair removal?”
It is crucial to know that no cosmetic procedure is ever risk-free. Laser hair removal is generally safe but may cause unwanted effects when performed incorrectly. Here are some of the possible side effects:
Discomfort, redness, and swelling are possible after laser hair removal. While these side effects may occur, they also disappear after several hours.
Laser hair removal may lighten or darken the treated area. Skin discoloration can also be influenced by the amount of sun exposure before or after the treatment.
Uneven Hair Regrowth
Weeks after the treatment, some parts may grow more or less hair than other areas, resulting in hair patches.
In rare cases, laser hair removal may cause blisters, skin infections, scarring, and permanent discoloration when conditions are not properly met.
The best way to avoid the side effects is to undergo laser hair removal with a competent dermatologist. This way, you are under professional care before, during, and after the process.
Now that we know the basics of laser hair removal, it is time to answer our initial question.
Will I Regret My Laser Hair Removal?
If you ask, “Will I regret my laser hair removal?” chances are you might have heard not-so-good stories about this method. If this is the case, your fear is understandable. Researching and learning more about laser hair removal is the right approach.
To simply answer, I would say that there is a high chance that you will not regret your laser hair removal, especially if you availed the procedure under the supervision of a dermatologist.
That said, I want to list down the possible reasons why you may regret getting a laser hair removal to help you avoid the most common mistakes.
Possible Reasons Why You May Regret Your Laser Hair Removal
The most common reason why people say “I regret my laser hair removal” is unmanaged expectations. Like I said earlier, laser hair removal does not instantly remove unwanted hair on the skin’s surface like shaving, epilating, and waxing. It is a progressive treatment procedure that takes time before you notice results. Do not expect to have hairless skin after the first session. Prepare yourself for several months of continuous treatment.
Wrong Choice Of Laser Device
There are different types of laser devices for removing unwanted hair. The Ruby and Alexandrite Laser are best for light skin tones. While Diode and Nd: YAG Laser work better for darker skin tones. Skin care professionals assess which device delivers the best results for the clients. Using the wrong laser device may lead to unsatisfying results.
Low Quality IPL Hair Removal Device
Nowadays, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair removal devices are also marketed for home use. This type of light technology is more diffuse than laser light, making it cheaper and safer for personal use.
Some people settle with low-quality devices, which make them regret their laser or IPL hair removal treatment. For best results, choose professional-grade devices like the Braun Laser Hair Removal.
Improper Skin and Hair Evaluation
Failure to conduct proper skin and hair assessment can lead to the wrong choice of laser hair removal device, thus affecting the quality of the results.
Skipping Scheduled Treatment
Laser and IPL hair removal requires commitment. Make sure to appear to your appointment religiously. If you are using an IPL device at home, administer the procedure according to the manufacturer’s prescribed schedule.
DO’s and DON’Ts Of Laser Hair Removal Procedure
- Wash, shave, and dry the area before the laser hair removal treatment
- Moisturize regularly to keep the skin healthy and hydrated
- Apply cooling packs or creams to reduce pain and swelling after each laser hair removal treatment
- Apply sunscreen to minimize possible skin damage in-between treatments
- Avoid tanning beds during the duration of the laser hair removal treatment
- Refrain from waxing, tweezing, plucking, epilating, and threading unwanted hair before and in-between laser hair removal treatments
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?
Laser hair removal is approved by the Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA). You can perform it without the assistance of any skin health professional, given that you follow the instructions carefully.
Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?
Laser hair removal may hurt and sting a little in some areas. However, the pain is tolerable and not as painful as waxing. The procedure can be painless with the use of numbing and cooling creams.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
The average range of laser hair removal is $100 to $800 per treatment. The price varies depending on the body area, hair quality, and growth.
Again, if you ask, “Will I regret my hair laser removal?” The answer is it is highly unlikely. Laser hair removal is considered safe and effective. If you have the budget, it is worth giving it a try.
That said, remember that laser hair removal is not entirely painless. It can sting a little. But the sensation is far more tolerable than waxing.
Laser hair removal can also have mild side effects like skin redness, swelling, and uneven hair growth. No need to worry because these are all typical; eventually, they will subside. However, consult your dermatologists and discontinue the treatment if you notice severe skin reactions.
Diana used to work as an Assistant Salon Manager in Los Angeles, CA before she started writing for Union of Barbers. With over 10 years of experience, she has tried hundreds of hair care products and has seen, styled, and treated all types of hair. Now, she shares all of the things she has learned in the hair industry and gives advice on everything about hair. When she’s not writing, you can find Diana at the beach on her yoga mat!