How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Take?

Do you want to get rid of your unwanted hair for good? If so, then you’re likely at least considering laser hair removal. This method of removing hair offers the most permanent results because it does not just target the hair you can see. It actually goes down to the root of the problem and disables your hair follicles themselves. This long-term solution is available at Radiant Divine Medical Spa in Avon, OH.


FAQ About Laser Hair Removal 

How Long Does It Take?

The amount of time it takes to remove your hair will depend on your unique situation, but in general, this is a fast treatment. We can typically treat a small area like the upper lip or the chin in five minutes or less. If you’re having a larger area done, such as the legs or back, it may take up to 30 minutes.


The larger question is how many sessions will be needed to completely remove your hair. This question can only be answered after a consultation to determine your unique needs. Most people get good results with anywhere from four to eight treatments, but some people need more to get their final results.


Understanding why multiple treatments are needed involves learning about the removal process and what lasers do.


How Do Laser Hair Treatments Work?

The lasers work to remove hair by sending light down the hair shaft to damage the follicle. This light is emitted in very brief but intense pulses, and the light generates heat that disables the follicle.
Follicles can only be effectively damaged when they are in the active growing stage because in this stage the hair is still tightly connected to the follicle, so the heat is effectively delivered.


Our hair is always going through cycles, including dormant, shedding, and growing. Not all of our hair is in the same stage at the same time, so a laser treatment will only be able to target the hairs that are actively growing. The hairs that are in other stages will need to be treated later. This is the first reason it requires multiple sessions to get rid of your unwanted hair.


How Sessions Work

At any given treatment session, you can expect the laser to effectively target somewhere between 25% and 70% of your hair. The exact percentage will depend on how much of your hair is in the act of growing stage at the time. After your session, these hairs will shed, and the damaged follicles will be unable to grow hair as thickly and quickly as before.


Imagine that you have 1,000 hairs in your target area and that your first treatment gets 35% of them. After treatment, you will only have 650 hairs. At your next treatment, if the laser gets another 35%, you will only have 423 hairs. After just two sessions, the hair in your target area will be half as thick as before!


After three treatments at this rate, you would have fewer than 150 hairs left in the target area. You would be seeing a dramatic difference; but it is also clear that it will take multiple treatments to reach your final goal.

Do Any Other Factors Help Determine How Long It Will Take? 

Other than the growing stage of your hair, the other most important factor is the difference in color between your hair and your skin. Because this method of removing hair works by targeting the color in your hair, the greater the contrast between hair and skin color, the more efficiently it will work.


It’s important to note that the laser we use can effectively target hair of almost any color and even skin that is quite dark. The different wavelengths our laser uses are effective for almost everyone. However, it will take a few more treatments to destroy the follicle if there is not a strong contrast between your hair and skin color.


Are the Follicles Damaged or Are They Destroyed?

The terminology surrounding laser treatments can sometimes be confusing. The follicles will definitely be damaged by the heat energy generated by the laser. Some of these follicles will be destroyed and never grow hair again, but those that are simply damaged will eventually grow hair again.


The new hair will be thinner than what you remember and will not grow nearly as quickly. The more maintenance treatments you have to keep up your new look, the more likely it is that follicles will be completely destroyed by the laser, and the greater the chance of permanent removal.


How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?

As mentioned, there is a chance that your results will be permanent. Most people only need occasional and infrequent touch-up treatments to keep their results. Most people can expect at least six to 12 months of smooth, hairless skin.


The biggest factor in determining the longevity of your results is your hormones. Hormones control hair growth, and even if you achieve completely smooth skin, a big change in your hormone levels may cause your hair to grow back.


Am I a Candidate?

In the early days of laser treatments only those with very light skin and very dark hair were suitable candidates for treatment. This is because the lasers were not able to target the hair without also damaging the skin, so there had to be an extreme contrast between skin and hair in order to safely avoid burns while accomplishing hair removal.


Today’s lasers are advanced and sophisticated and able to work on those with both light hair and dark skin. This treatment is safe for almost anyone who wants it. The best way to find out if you are a candidate is to set up a consultation with us, however, there are really only a few minor things that could prevent you from having treatment.


If you have a condition that makes you especially sensitive to light, you may not be able to receive treatment. The same is true if you are taking any medications that make you photosensitive and you are not able to pause those medications for a few weeks as you seek treatment. Finally, if you have an active infection or rash in the target area, you’ll need to wait until it clears before seeking treatment.


What Laser Do You Use?

At Radiant Divine Medical Spa, we use the Aerolase because we believe it’s the most sophisticated and comfortable way to get you the results you’re looking for. This laser has been proven effective on nearly all skin and hair types.


Does This Treatment Hurt?

Older lasers had a reputation for being quite uncomfortable, but we have come a long way in learning how to make these treatments pain-free. Lasers are now much faster, which means they accomplish their job with less wasted energy hitting your skin.

They also come with cooling technologies to counteract the laser light and keep you comfortable. If you’re worried, talk to us about the ways we can make you more comfortable.


What Kind of Recovery Is There With This Treatment?

There is really no actual recovery time needed. This is not an invasive procedure, and there are no incisions and nothing the body needs to do to heal itself. All you need to do is treat your skin carefully for a few days, almost as if you had spent a little too much time in the sun. Baby your skin with extra moisturizers and avoid using any skincare products that contain harsh ingredients.


You’ll also enjoy the best results if you keep yourself well hydrated and eat healthfully. Hydration and good eating habits are crucial for skin health at all times, and giving your body the nutrients it needs will help you feel and look your best, whether you just had a removal treatment or not.


How Long Do I Have to Wait Between Treatments?

Remember that your body needs a little time for hair that was not treated to cycle into the active growing stage so it can be effectively targeted by the laser. We usually suggest one-week intervals between each treatment.


So, for example, if you want to treat the hair on your upper lip, you would likely need about four treatments at one-week intervals, meaning that you will see your final results after one month. If you’re targeting the hair on your legs, it’s not uncommon to need between six and eight treatments, meaning that you will see your final results in no more than two months.


Is It Worth It?

When you understand that it will take some weeks to see your final results, it’s natural to wonder if it’s worth it to go through laser hair removal. After all, you could buy a can of shaving cream and razor at your local drugstore very cheaply and make that hair disappear–at least for a day–in just a few moments.

But there are some very good reasons to consider this treatment, and especially when you compare it to your other options.


Shaving and Depilatory Creams

There are a couple of problems with shaving and depilatory creams. The most obvious ones are that they must be repeated endlessly. Some people even need to use them every day in order to be rid of the hair they don’t want.

The more often you shave, the more irritation you cause your skin. Meanwhile, depilatory creams contain harsh chemicals that can burn the skin. They are not healthy or comfortable when applied regularly.


Not only must these solutions be applied constantly over and over again, but they are also expensive. While it may seem that one can of shaving gel and a couple of razors isn’t all that expensive, over time it adds up. The average woman will spend over $10,000 on shaving products in her life, not counting what her time is worth.


Waxing and Plucking

The results of waxing and plucking last longer than shaving because you’re removing the entire hair instead of just the part that can be seen about the skin. This can allow you as much as a week or two of smooth skin before any stubble starts to show. Yet there are some downsides to consider.


The first major downside is the pain. It hurts to have your hair ripped out! Plucking is also very inefficient as a way of removing hair from a large part of the body, and waxing can get expensive, especially if you are visiting a spa for your treatments.


Perhaps worst of all, both of these methods require you to allow your hair to grow to a certain length before it can be removed. This means that there will always be a time when you have to cover up and feel uncomfortable while waiting for your hair to grow.


Get Started on Hair Removal Today

If you’re tired of the endless cycle of shaving, plucking, and waxing, contact Radiant Divine Medical Spa in Avon, OH to learn more about laser hair treatments.