Laser Hair Reduction
Laser hair reduction is a sought after procedure today. WE prefer to call it laser hair reduction and nt removal as it reduces the number of hair but does not completely remove all hair. With lasers we can achieve a longer hair-free interval. The coarse hair become finer, thinner, lightly coloured and minimally visible.
With advances in technology, laser hair reduction has become painless and faster. Now, we are able to target the finer hair as well.
Best candidates for LHR
The best candidates are those with light skin and dark hair colour. Caution is required in patients with dark skin as correct parameters need to be used to prevent burns.
Coarse hairs respond best to lasers. Coarse hairs in the face or elsewhere are more amenable to laser treatments.
Finer thin light coloured hairs are difficult to treat. They require maintenance sittings to keep the growth at bay.
Pre-requisite before undergoing laser hair reduction
When done for excess facial hair, we must evaluate the underlying cause for it (polycystic ovarian disease being the most common). In cases where there is a suspicion of an underlying hormonal abnormality or insulin resistance, we conduct a panel of investigations with an ultrasound to elucidate the cause. It is better to be on concomitant hormonal correction therapy while undergoing laser as this improves the outcome of laser and also the results of hair reduction will last longer.
Frequently asked questions
- How does laser cause hair reduction?
The laser bean is emitted at such a fluence and wavelength that it selectively heats the hair follicle. IT damages the follicle and prevents hair regowth. The melanin present in the hair follicle absorbs the laser. Melanin is also present in skin. Hence, it is important to use correct parameters so that the hair follicle is destroyed without causing damage to skin.
- Do lasers really work?
Yes, it does. It definitely reduces the number of hair and also the texture becomes finer and less visible. But do not expect completely hair free area without maintenance sessions.
- Will my hair completely disappear?
The responses to lasers vary amongst patients and also between sites in the same patient. There will be a definite reduction of 70-80%.In some all hair are removed. In some patients there are few residual hair remaining which are not significant enough to require intervention.
- How many sessions do I need?
The number of sessions depends upon many factors such as type of hair, site, skin colour etc. On an average 6-8 sessions are required which are to be administered at monthly interval. Maintenance sessions are required once every 3 – 6months.
- When can I notice results?
You will notice visible reduction in hair growth 3rd or 4th session.
- Can I wax my hair before session?
No, waxing should not be done. Only shaving is allowed as it is necessary for parts of hair to be present under the skin for the laser to act on it.
- Does shaving cause hair to grow thicker and denser?
It is a myth that shaving makes hair denser. The number of hair remains constant after birth and can only reduce with age but never increase. Shaving makes the tip of hair blunt instead of natural tapering ends, thus giving a false sense of thickness.
- Can I go for full body hair removal?
Yes you can.
- Are there any side effects?
When done with proper parameters, it is well tolerated with no pain, burning or pigmentation. There are no long term side effects as the laser beams doesn’t not penetrate below the dermis (deeper layer of skin).
- Is the procedure painful?
When done with adequate cooling and appropriate parameters, there is no pain.
- My friend got LHR. But her hair has grown back. Why is it?
There could be a few reasons:
- She did not take the laser sessions at regular intervals as suggested by the dermatologist
- She did not take maintenance sessions
- She has some underlying hormonal abnormality
- Will I develop pigmentation?
No. As appropriate parameters customized to your skin colour are used, there is no pigmentation.
- Can I do LHR during pregnancy?
There is no data which suggests that lasers cause any harm to the baby as they do not penetrate beyond the skin. But for all practical purposes, it is better to avoid any therapy until the pregnancy is completed.