There are about as many myths about ridding yourself of body hair as there are methods of removing it in the first place. Often, the information you’ll find is confusing at best and conflicting at worst. Is laser hair removal for you and can this makeover treatment do you any good? Below, we separate the fiction from facts:
Myth 1: Laser hair removal causes the hair to grow back faster and denser.
How fast your hair grows back, as well as how thick or coarse it is, is pre-determined by your genes. This means that regardless of the method you’ve used to remove the hair, it will always come back at the same rate. People believe this myth because untouched body hair lies flat, soft, and thin; a stark contrast to freshly shaved hair with blunted ends, which feels courser against the surface of the skin.
Laser hair removal should cause a marked reduction of hair growth, anywhere between 10% and 25%. There should also be a visible reduction in the density and thickness of the hair when it grows back, as well as a decreased rate of growth for every successive session. The hair that does grow back should be much finer and lighter than before, meaning that problematic areas won’t bother you as much when the hair does start growing back.
Myth 2: Laser hair removal lasts forever.
While it is a highly effective method of getting rid of unwanted body hair, laser hair removal isn’t permanent. However, it does drastically reduce hair growth, and as stated above, the hair that does grow back is thinner and much finer. After a point, it will become unnecessary for you to pick up a razor ever again, so long as you are able to complete your recommended number of treatments faithfully. This means going in for a sitting up to 12 times to fully realize the effects, though around 6 to 8 sessions is enough to notice a visible reduction.
Laser energy is used to damage the follicles in the growing phase, and several treatments are needed to get all of them. Depending on the hair type and your genes, certain people may require more treatments to fully rid themselves of hair.
Myth 3: Laser hair removal only works on a certain skin or hair color.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about laser hair removal only being effective on those with light skin and dark hair. While this used to be true, the technology has advanced enough that people of all colors and hair types can now avail of laser hair removal and achieve the same results. However, it may take light haired, fair-skinned individuals a few more treatments for the lasers to get the work done. You’ll want to consult with a professional about this to determine how many sessions it’ll take for you personally, as it can vary from person to person.
Myth 4: Laser hair removal can burn the skin.
It’s actually very rare for the machines used in laser hair removal to cause burns. It depends on the condition of your skin, as darker-skinned individuals may be more at risk for this. That’s why it’s important to talk to a medical professional before undergoing any sort of aesthetic treatment. Listen to their advice and take any pre- and post-treatment medication you may be prescribed.
Myth 5: Laser hair removal is extremely painful.
How painful the treatment will be largely depends on which tool is used – there are many different kinds! Ask your aesthetician for a list of options and inform yourself well on each one, especially if you have a particularly low tolerance.
The pain level can vary for different people: some treatments are virtually painless, while others have reported to feeling a mildly uncomfortable pinprick sensation. Others still report a manageable amount of discomfort – certainly less than waxing, for example. You can rest assured that your aesthetician will do everything within their power to make the process as comfortable as possible for you, so don’t be afraid to speak up. Furthermore, laser treatments get progressively less painful as the hair becomes finer, so you can just grit your teeth until the worst has passed, for lasting hairless comfort.
Again, it’s very important to consult with a medical professional and educate yourself about laser hair removal prior to signing up for a series of treatments. This way, you can properly set your expectations and clear any misgivings you may have about it.