The vast majority of women regularly remove hair from their body, especially from the legs, bikini area, and armpits. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process since most people have to shave or wax on a regular basis for more than 50 years. At Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA, we offer laser hair reduction as a more permanent solution that can eliminate the need for ongoing Laser Hair Removal VA.
By choosing this option, you will be able to save hours every week and you will no longer have to go through the shaving or waxing process on a regular basis. But how long does this type of appointment take, and is it worth it? Read on to find out more about the innovative laser technique and what you can expect during your sessions.
Your Laser Hair Reduction Appointment
Over the course of your life, you will spend tens of thousands of hours on removing unwanted hair from your body. Not only is this process very time-consuming, but it also involves spending a lot of money. In fact, you may spend $23,000 on waxing or over $10,000 on razors in total. Compared to this, laser hair removal is a fast and cheap process, with an average cost of just $429 according to a study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
The treatment involves applying laser energy to the areas where you want your hair to stop growing. Like a piece of gauze, your skin will let the light penetrate, but the base of your hair follicles will absorb the energy and as a result, heat up. The greater temperature stops the follicle from growing new hair in the future. This same innovative technology is used for many different types of skin treatments.
How Long Does it Take?
Fortunately, your laser hair removal appointment doesn’t take very long, and it doesn’t involve any invasive procedures. That’s why you’ll be able to drive yourself home and resume your normal activities quickly. When you first contact us about removing excess hair, we will invite you for a consultation to discuss this. You can tell us what other methods you’ve tried in the past and what areas you’d like to have treated, and we can explain how long this takes.
If you choose to have all of your unwanted hair removed, your appointment may take 2-3 hours, although our very experienced practitioners might be able to do it in 90 minutes. However, if you’d like to target only very specific areas such as the armpits, you could be in and out of our clinic within an hour. It will depend on the surface area and the amount of hair you have there.
What Does it Involve?
Both you and the practitioner will wear special safety goggles during your appointment, so you can be certain that you’ll be safe. We may also apply a cool air spray or cooling gel to prevent the area from feeling hot. Then, we can get started, using our handheld device to apply the laser to the target area.
Most of our patients don’t feel pain, but you may feel a sensation similar to snapping a rubber band on your skin. If you’re used to waxing, you’ll be surprised at how much less painful laser hair removal is. What’s more, there are safety devices built into the device, so it will shut off if it gets too hot to avoid causing damage to your skin. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, you can tell your practitioner and we can take a break.
Before You Visit Us
At your initial consultation, we will tell you to stop using certain hair removal techniques like waxing, tweezing, or epilating several weeks before your treatment. However, you should shave the day before so that your hair will be very short during your session. We also advise you to wash your skin and avoid applying any lotions or creams before coming in for your visit.
In the days leading up to your treatment, you should not expose your skin to excessive sunlight, and if this is unavoidable, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. In addition, we will give you a list of treatments to avoid. For example, you shouldn’t apply hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, and retinol, but a gentle cleanser will be fine.
As mentioned, you won’t need to alter your routine significantly after this treatment because it is non-invasive and doesn’t involve a general anesthetic. When we’re done applying the laser energy, you’ll be able to get dressed and leave the clinic. If your skin is sensitive, it might be a good idea to take the rest of the day off, but most people can resume their normal activities right away.
Some of our patients like to apply ice to the affected area since it has been heated up by the laser. We will also advise you to keep your skin away from direct sunlight for a few weeks, as it may be more prone to getting sunburned. For the first month after each session, you should apply sunscreen no matter what the weather conditions are.
Number of Appointments Needed
In most cases, your laser hair reduction treatment won’t be complete after just one appointment. This is because your hair follicles won’t all be in the growth stage at the same time, and only the ones currently growing can be targeted by the laser. At any given time, around 85-90% of your hair will be growing, so you’ll have to come in several times to catch the follicles that are at rest.
For this reason, we often recommend 4-6 sessions, each one 4-6 weeks after the previous treatment, and it’s important that you attend the clinic on a regular basis. As a result, a full course of treatment could take up to 9 months. Your follow-up appointments are likely to be similar to your first session, but they might become shorter over time. We can give you more details and come up with a treatment plan at your initial consultation.
While laser hair removal is a quick and cost-effective way of removing body hair, you do have to be patient while waiting for your results. After your initial session, it will take around 2-3 weeks for you to notice a difference. At that time, you’ll find that your hair is thinner and finer, but it won’t be completely gone yet. The full results can only be appreciated after your course of treatment is over.
The majority of people report that 90 percent of their hair doesn’t come back. However, this can change with fluctuations in your hormones. When you become pregnant or enter the menopausal life stage, your hair might start growing again, and you’ll have to come back for some maintenance appointments.
Am I a Good Candidate?
Now that you know what laser hair reduction is all about and how long you can expect it to take, you may wonder whether this is the best option for you. Because it is a safe and non-invasive treatment, most people will be eligible, but we will check your medical records and ask you for a full picture of your health before deciding.
Your Skin and Hair Color
Many people worry that they might not be a good candidate because of their skin and hair color. Traditionally, this therapy worked best on people with light skin and dark hair, and there was a chance that darker-skinned people would get burned during the process. This happened because the laser was attracted to their skin instead of the hair. However, there have been a number of innovations since laser hair removal was first developed.
Nowadays, the therapy is completely safe for everyone, and it can benefit you no matter what type of skin and hair you have. There are several different lasers available that work well on different people, so we can customize your treatment to your needs. In addition, the handheld device has safety mechanisms built in to prevent damage to your skin.
If you have teens who are struggling with excessive hair, they may be eligible after the age of 14. Many of our patients are young adults who are either busy studying at university or spending a lot of time at work, so they want to cut down on the time spent removing hair. During this life stage, it’s important to invest your time in building success and relationships with loved ones, so laser hair removal could be a great option to free up a few hours every week.
Many older adults are also still eligible for the treatment, especially if their skin is generally in good condition. Sometimes, we start growing more hair or tasks such as shaving become more difficult, so cutting them out can be very liberating. No matter what your current age, you should talk to us about your struggle with excessive hair to find out whether you could benefit from this treatment.
Your Medical History
Although the vast majority of people are eligible, there are a few conditions that will make such a treatment impossible. If you have colored or raised scars, called Keloids, we will need to avoid this area. In addition, we can’t treat any area that is currently infected or suffering from chemical burns. People who have poor blood circulation and issues with excessive bleeding might also need to find an alternative.
Before your session, we will check what medications you are currently taking and let you know about any drugs you need to discontinue during the treatment months. These could be topical products you put on the affected area or oral medicine. We will also make sure you don’t have any relevant allergies.
Get Rid of Unwanted Hair Quickly and Easily
Women spend thousands of dollars and countless hours on hair removal during their lifetime. Fortunately, laser hair reduction offers an alternative that is both quicker and cheaper than the mainstream techniques of shaving, waxing, or epilating. By spending a few hours at our clinic, you could eliminate the need for such treatments in the future and achieve the smooth look you’ve been dreaming of.
No matter what your age is and what skin and hair color you have, you can take advantage of this option. To get started, contact us at Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare in Harrisonburg, VA to book your initial consultation. Our expert providers can then come up with a treatment plan, determining how many sessions you need and how they will be spaced out.