We review some of the top misconceptions about laser hair removal to dig up the facts.
Myth #1: Laser hair removal is painful.
The truth is laser hair removal may sting a bit—at most, it may feel like your annoying younger cousin snapped you with a rubber band. Some lasers use cooling or suction to dramatically reduce the pain. However, if you’re particularly wimpy when it comes to pain, you may want to take an ibuprofen before your appointment or ask your practitioner if she may use a numbing cream.
Myth #2: Laser hair removal doesn’t give lasting results.
While there’s no guarantee you can toss your razor for good after laser hair removal, most women can stop shaving for years and some may even stop forever. If your hair does grow back, it will be finer and lighter in color. Either way, it sure beats shaving on a daily basis! For optimum results, maintenance laser treatments every six months or year will help keep the hair gone and your skin smooth.
Myth #3: I can’t get laser hair removal on my bikini line. WRONG!
Nearly any part of your body that has hair—your legs, underarm, back, and yes, bikini line—can be treated. In fact, any area, except near the eyes, can be treated with laser hair removal.
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Myth #4: Laser hair removal takes hours.
Depending on the size of the area being treated, you should schedule 20 minutes to 30 minutes—quicker than for your favorite spin class. Laser hair removal is much less time consuming than electrolysis and is a massive time saver when you consider how much time you’ll save when you don’t have to shave or wax down the line.
Myth #5: I have to let my hair grow for a week before my appointment.
For the best results, shave before your treatment session. If you do not shave beforehand, the treatment provider may do it for you. The reason the hair should be shaved is that it allows more of the laser energy to target the hair follicle below the skin, not the hair shaft above it. Don’t wax, pluck or bleach prior to an appointment because they can make the laser ineffective.
Myth #6: I will immediately be smooth and hairless after a treatment.
While that would certainly be ideal, because laser hair removal works at the follicle it is not instant. Your hair will continue to shed up to three weeks after the treatment; wash with a loofah or wash cloth to help speed the process along. In the meantime, if you have a hot date, shave it off. Typically you will need a series of several treatments to fully reduce the hair as hair grows in cycles.
Myth #7: I have dark skin so laser hair removal won’t work for me.
While laser technology has dramatically improved, it is true that those with darker skin may see slower results and need more sessions, but in the hands of an experienced technician, you will see results. It is critical for those with darker skin that you see a provider who is familiar with using the appropriate laser technology for your skin type.