Laser hair removal is a popular non-invasive solution to unwanted hair from the face and body. Unfortunately, for many people, laser hair removal is permanent. Certain areas of the body have thicker hair, with fewer follicles, such as the under the arm, abdomen, lower legs and bikini area; these areas work well and are less likely to grow back. As a general rule, the darker and thicker the hair, the better it works with lasers. Many people are left with very fine and sparse hair after twelve sessions or may have regrowth many years later. This can be easily topped up with a few extra sessions.
However, permanent results are more challenging to achieve when it comes to the face. Believe it or not, there are upwards of 3,500 follicles on the face alone! With such a large quantity of follicles as well as fluctuating hormone levels, permanency is harder to achieve. Many people who are consistent are able to make the intervals longer, such as three months between sessions.
Preparing for laser
You begin by shaving, and this helps to prepare the hair for laser; it can make the hair stronger and thicker and, therefore, more suitable for laser sessions. The hair becomes more attractive to the laser when there is more pigment in the follicle. Finer hair is harder to treat.
Even after your first session, people notice the hair grows back finer and more manageable, with less chance of ingrown hairs and pigmentation. Shaving between sessions is recommended when needed.
Once sessions are complete
If any hair remains, it can take a long time for sparse regrowth; top up sessions are recommended to finish off and reach your end goal. However, many people find the hair much more manageable and may only need to shave once every three months to prevent the hair from becoming too long! Waxing is also beneficial or plucking; at this point, the hair is so fine and sparse, and it is good to keep it that way. Shaving even irregularly can cause the remaining hair to thicken up again.
Thicker hair regrowth from laser
Everyone starting laser is looking to achieve more manageable hair. Yet In rare circumstances, a laser can cause Paradoxical Hypertrichosis. This is where hair can grow thicker or darker from the laser in the area being treated or in an area adjacent to the treatment area. It can occur on the face or body, but it is more common on the neck, thighs, back and arms. The risk of this happening is extremely low. However, treating areas that are too fine for laser, using a weak laser/ weak energy, or hormonal imbalances such as PCOS can trigger terminal (thicker hairs) to grow.
There are ways of reducing the risk, such as intense and prolonged cooling, during and after each session to reduce heat transfer to neighbouring body areas and avoiding high-risk areas if your hair is extremely fine or light will also help.
With several years of research and development, Pulse Light Clinic has become a pioneer in handling Paradoxical Hypertrichosis. With various proven methods, they can successfully treat this condition once it occurs. Their in-depth training for practitioners also teaches them to recognise which patients are at higher risk of thicker hair growth from the laser during your consultation for hair removal. This allows patients to make an informed decision about their treatment areas and associated risks.
If you are worried about your suitability for laser hair removal, have hormonal imbalances (PCOS) or are just keen to rid yourself of unwanted hair, book a free consultation with a laser expert in our Clinic, with several London locations.
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