A woman getting laser hair removal in her armpits

Most adults devote time to grooming away unwanted hair. Laser hair removal can put an end not only to the time spent shaving, plucking, or waxing but also to the unpleasant side effects of those habits. We are proud to offer laser hair removal in our comfortable, Charlotte plastic surgery practice.


Laser Hair Removal
Q & A

A Caucasian woman with smooth legs

Laser hair removal is a professional treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light energy to disable hair follicles. Disabling hundreds of follicles in a single pass of a small handpiece, laser hair removal decreases future hair growth significantly enough to eliminate the need for shaving or other forms of hair removal.

Many adults are good candidates for laser hair removal thanks to the advances in technology we have seen in recent years. Due to the nature of this treatment, people with darker hair and lighter skin achieve optimal results more easily than those with very light hair or darker skin.

The primary benefit of laser hair removal is that hair growth is interrupted for several years. After treatment begins, patients may no longer need to engage in their old hair removal tasks. The effects of laser light begin to affect hair growth right away, resulting in fewer, thinner hairs growing in the treatment area.

Like all laser technology, laser hair removal works by harnessing the power of light in carefully controlled, concentrated beams. When the treatment laser pulses over the surface of your skin, the laser selectively targets the melanin in your hair.

That pigment absorbs the heat from the laser, damaging the follicle and impeding regrowth. You’ll notice a reduction in regrowth within weeks, but it takes multiple treatment sessions to achieve optimal results.

Our consultation for laser hair removal is performed to determine skin type and factors that may create photosensitivity. This is achieved in a brief medical history review and discussion of general health and medication use. Because some medications, supplements, and even essential oils may cause the skin to be more sensitive to light, it is important to alert your provider of any products you are taking or using. After our consultation, we may conduct a spot test to observe how your skin responds to laser light.

Laser hair removal treatments are conducted in a comfortable, private treatment room. Before beginning, the provider applies protective eye shields to prevent laser light from damaging the corneas or retinas. The provider also wears protective glasses.

Patients are advised to shave the treatment area a day or two before their appointment. If necessary, hair may be trimmed or shaved in the office. A cool gel may be applied to the skin to facilitate the penetration of laser energy into the hair follicles. This same gel may also provide a cooling effect to offset the heat of the laser.

The laser device is adjusted to each patient’s particular hair color and thickness. A test pulse may be applied initially to discern its effect on the skin and hair. Most devices use low-energy laser energy that passes through the skin and is easily absorbed by hair that is actively growing in hair follicles. Only active follicles are affected by laser treatment. A series of procedures is needed to address all follicles through their active phase. When treatment is complete, ice packs may be applied for a short time to reduce the heat absorbed by superficial tissue.

Laser hair removal typically takes from 15 to 30 minutes for small to moderate-sized areas. Larger areas or multiple areas increase the time in the office. The procedure is repeated about every 8 weeks for up to 12 sessions to fully inhibit future hair growth.

There is no downtime needed to recover from laser hair removal treatments. For most patients, the side effects of treatment are limited to temporary redness and a smile burning sensation. This is typically no more intense than a mild sunburn. If the skin feels uncomfortably hot after laser hair removal, a cold pack can be applied to the area to soothe the sensation.

When you consider the cost of other hair removal efforts, laser hair removal emerges as a clear value. High-quality razors, shaving cream, wax strips, depilatory creams, and professional waxing services aren’t free. Over time, those costs really add up.

Laser hair removal requires a higher initial investment, but the benefits last for a long time. There is also a great deal of value in the time you’ll regain when hair removal is no longer on your grooming schedule.

If you have questions about laser hair removal or want to give it a try, book a visit with Providence Plastic Surgery & Skin Center today, either online or by phone.

Laser hair removal should be conducted by a trained professional. In the right hands, risks are very low. Laser devices often feature built-in safety mechanisms that inhibit the delivery of too much heat in any one area. Treatment technique, as well, in which the applicator is moved across the skin, prevents heating that could cause damage to the epidermis. Although rare, complications such as blisters and hyperpigmentation are possible.


Book Your Visit

Providence Plastic Surgery

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery located in Charlotte, NC

If you’re tired of the constant cycle of shaving, plucking, waxing, and depilatory creams, laser hair removal might be something to consider. At Providence Plastic Surgery & Skin Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, laser hair removal is one of many laser services performed under the direction of Dr. Andrew Gear. This treatment can drastically reduce unwanted hair, giving you not only smooth, sleek skin, but also leaving you with more time to enjoy the things that matter most. Book your visit today, either online or by phone.

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