Laser Hair Removal FAQ
If you’ve been considering laser hair removal, you probably want to know more about what to expect. Here, Dr. Joseph J. Castellano answers the most commonly asked questions our patients have about laser hair removal. You can also request a consultation with Dr. Castellano, who has helped men and women from Tampa-St. Petersburg to Orlando feel and look their best through a variety of cosmetic procedures.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is the process of targeting the root area of unwanted hair growth with laser energy for permanent reduction or removal of hair in the treated area.
Am I a candidate?
The best candidates for laser hair removal have dark hair and light-colored skin, and have unwanted hair on their face, body or both. Patients may to completely remove unwanted hair, or simply to thin out the natural density of growth. Both men and women choose to pursue laser hair removal.
Will laser hair removal work on blonde hair?
The pigment in the hair itself is what absorbs the laser energy, which in turn destroys the hair at the root and prevents future regrowth. Since blonde, red or grey hair doesn’t have enough pigment for absorption, treatment isn’t effective on those with light-colored hair.
What should I expect during my treatment?
At your first appointment, we ask that you come unshaven so we can better gauge your natural hair density. Next, the area is prepped and treated with a special cream to promote effective hair reduction. You’ll be asked to wear special protective goggles to shield your eyes against the energy from the laser. A certified laser technician will use an FDA-approved laser to deliver pulses of concentrated light energy at the targeted hair during your session. Most appointments last about half an hour, although this time may vary depending on the size of the area you’d like treated.
Why do I need multiple sessions?
Permanent hair reduction can only occur during a hair’s growth phase. Since each hair has a different, staggered period of growth, several sessions are necessary in order to ensure that all individual hairs in the target area are treated. We find that 6 to 9 sessions are ideal for the best results.
Does laser hair removal hurt?
Most people describe the sensation of laser hair removal as similar to snapping a rubber band against the skin: more uncomfortable than painful. For more sensitive patients, we may recommend using a topical numbing agent prior to treatment.
Do I need to follow any special instructions during treatment?
There are a few tips you should follow between your appointments:
- Don’t wax or tweeze hairs in the area to be treated, although you can continue shaving as normal.
- Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds until all your treatment sessions are complete. Sunless tanning products are fine, as long as the effects are faded before your next appointment in order to ensure maximum contrast between the hair pigment and your skin tone.
- Check with us about any medications you may currently be taking to see if they should be discontinued during treatment.
How long until I see results?
Many patients notice an improvement in their hair density after their first treatment, while others notice a gradual change after two or three more sessions. After several appointments, you should see a clear difference in the treated area. In some cases, a few touch-up sessions may be needed for the best results.