How many sessions does laser hair removal take
How long does laser hair removal take?
Laser hair removal is the answer to all your constant struggles in maintaining smooth, hair-free skin.
It is a cosmetic medical procedure that uses an intense pulsating beam of light emitted by a laser to remove and rid you of unwanted hair.
- Laser hair removal works on the principle called as ‘selective photothermolysis’, whereby a specific wavelength of light and pulse duration is matched to that of the targeted tissue to obtain the maximal effect.
- Melanin is the colour pigment present in skin and hair that absorbs this radiation, acting as the target matter. The intense heat of the laser absorbed by melanin present in the hair follicle damages the hair follicle, inhibiting future hair growth.
- Melanin can be eumelanin, imparting black or brown colour to hair; or it can be pheomelanin, coloring the hair red or blonde. Because of selective photon absorption from the laser beam, only hair with colours such as black, brown, reddish-brown or dirty blonde can be removed.
- Laser hair removal works best with dark coarse hair and light skin. Different lasers are effective for different hair and skin types, so an option for a laser hair removal practice that offers a combination of lasers.
Speed and Efficacy
- Laser hair removal is so popular because of its speed and efficacy.
- Thanks to newer and more efficient laser machines, a laser hair removal session rarely take as long as an hour anymore. It's often described as a lunchtime procedure, conveying the speed and efficiency of it.
- It has been proven to achieve ‘permanent hair reduction’ in 90% of the cases, which is defined as the long-term, stable reduction in the number of hair regrowing after a treatment regime.
- Although you will begin to notice results after the first treatment session itself, it is recommended that you be patient and consistent with progressive treatment sessions as recommended by your physician in order to attain long-lasting results. Periodic maintenance treatments may be needed in some cases as well.
Multiple treatment sessions
The hair on any area of the body can be lasered for unwanted hair, except for the area around the eyes. Common areas are underarms, bikini line, legs, back, upper lip, chin, etc.
But for any area, a series of treatment sessions will be required to ensure permanent hair reduction. This is because hair grows in four stages: anagen (growing stage), telogen (transitional), catagen (resting stage), and early anagen (shedding). The laser can act only on the hair that is in the anagen stage because this is when the hair contains abundant melanin, which is essential to absorb the radiation from the laser that can disable the follicle.
So a series of laser hair removal treatments is crucial to attack each of the hair follicles present on the treatment area during their growing stage.
The time required for each session
The exact duration of each session varies in every case, depending on factors such as:
- Size of the treatment area
- How many areas are being treated during the same session
- Density of hair
- Thickness & coarseness of hair
- Height and weight of the patient
On an average, larger areas of the body such as the back, chest, shoulders or legs can take half an hour or longer, while smaller areas such as the bikini line, upper lip, chin or the underarms can take as little as five to ten minutes.
Number of treatment sessions and the interval in-between
The number of treatment sessions and the gap between them also depends on multiple factors which include:
- Skin type
- Hair color
- Coarseness of hair
- A depth of hair follicle
- Overall hair growth density
- Treatment area
- Hormone levels
In general, 80-90% of the individuals will need at least 4-6 sessions spaced 6-10 weeks apart to achieve 70-90% hair reduction.
Because the hair growth stages cycle in and out more rapidly for the hair growing on the face, the treatment sessions can be spaced 4-5 weeks apart; for underarms and bikini area, they are spaced apart 6-7 weeks since the cycles are slower; while for other body areas, an interval of 8-10 weeks is usually required.
With subsequent sessions, you will witness fewer and fewer hair cropping back until you start experiencing smooth, hairless skin all year round! Even in cases where few hairs keep growing back, these last survivors are barely noticeable.
As described, the duration and number of treatment sessions are subjective to many variable factors. So it's best when laser hair removal treatment is conducted in a personalized manner for each individual; observing the results after each session and determining how well your hair is adapting to treatment, further sessions are scheduled as recommended by your physician. Your physician will also guide you through the before and after care routine throughout the length of your treatment. Be sure to follow it.
Clearskin and HairMD Clinic provide laser hair removal treatment, customized to each individual, under the guidance and supervision of a board-certified dermatologist, using the latest technologies.