Skin Care

Laser hair removal - busting myths

Unwanted body hair has a tendency to show up at all the wrong times. Just when you want to hit the beach in a bikini or wear that stylish halter top or those sexy shorts you realize that you cannot wear these because of unwanted hair and unfortunately your waxing schedule is still a few days to go. One of the most convenient ways to keep your plans from going for a toss is to invest in permanent hair reduction. Several hair reduction techniques exist in the market like waxing, which is painful and at the same time gives you hair free skin that lasts just for 4 to 5 days and threading, a technique that is not a practical solution for large areas. Bleaches, depilatory creams etc can leave behind ugly patches on the skin. To avoid the hassle of investing time and money in a monthly bases in hair reduction, it would be better to go in for laser hair reduction that gives you a permanent solution to body hair woes. If you don't like to stop your plans for anything, why let body hair stop you. Why not go for permanent hair reduction? You deserve to enjoy the independence you deserve. However there are many myths that have been associated with laser hair reduction.

Dr. Sangeeta Amladi, Medical Head, Kaya Skin Clinic dispels some of the popular myths associated with permanent hair reduction using laser:

Myth 1: Laser hair reduction is harmful to health , laser affects internal organs and can damage them.
The depth of laser penetration is 1-4 mm, it reaches only the hair follicles, and then is completely dissipated and does not penetrates deeper! Laser destroys only the hair bulb. The laser beam which slides on the surface of the skin does not damage it. There might be some redness after the procedure, similar to what occurs because of exposure to the sun. This redness is partly a measure of correctly performed procedure. A few hours later the red traces disappear.

Myth 2: Laser hair reduction causes scarring and hair in-growth.
Scarring often occurs when needle touches skin during electric hair reduction. As laser hair reduction is not accompanied by a breach of skin integrity, there is no scarring. Ingrowth of hair, which often accompanies wax depilation, does not occur due laser hair reduction. Moreover, laser hair reduction is recommended as a method to eliminate such symptoms.

Myth 3: Laser hair reduction is expensive.
On the contrary, laser hair reduction is a lifelong investment. Consider how much money a woman usually spends during a year to buy tools for depilation (waxing, tools, creams, foams, etc.). On an average you will spend Rs 350,000 on waxing for your entire life- spend half of that on laser hair reduction and get lifetime freedom from unwanted hair in 6-8 sessions with only 1-2 maintenance sessions in year.

Myth 4: Laser hair reduction hurts.
A little pin-prick, that's all the pain involved in this service. But this depends on individual pain barrier. For particularly sensitive parts on the body (bikini, underarms), an anaesthetic cream can be used. Infinitely more bearable than the pain of waxing and the invaluable benefit of permanent hair reduction!

Myth 5: One can remove hair once and for all. The result after laser hair reduction is 100%.
Laser hair reduction effectively targets most of the hair follicles in the body. In some cases, certain hair follicles may be rendered dormant. These dormant hair follicles can sometimes produce new hair due to biological and hormonal changes in the body. This hair, however, will be light and fine in nature, and in most cases, will not be noticed easily.It is also important to remember that hair growth is influenced by our hormones. Any hormonal changes in the body due to stress, lifestyle changes etc can trigger hair growth. The growth may be localized. A maintenance session 2-3 times a year may be required to maintain the results achieved. Your dermatologist will be the best person to advise you if you notice re-occurrence of hair growth.

Myth 6: Sunburnt skin cannot be subject to laser hair reduction.
Of course, as during sunburn melanin is formed in skin, which is the target for laser and thus the risk of burning increases. However, today there are equipments which provide effect without damaging brown skin.

Myth 7: After reduction hair growth becomes more stringent,their number increases.
On the contrary, germinated hairs become soft, their number is significantly reduced and by the third session there is persistent long-term effect. Sometimes, after 2 procedures one can really observe enhancement of growth, a so-called <>. This is considered a display of catalytic action of laser and shows effectiveness of hair reduction.

Myth 8: Laser hair reduction is not valid for all.
The laser operates on melanin in hair bulb selectively! No melanin - no effect. The lighter and thinner a hair is, the more difficult it is to remove a hair. Another question, if there is no adequate effect when you remove black hair - then one should think about presence of hormonal disorders. Growth of hard black hair on face - is a consequence. The reason lies inside the body. The cause of hormone disruption should be identified and treated. Then one will have effect of hair reduction.

A simple check-list will ensure that you have nothing to worry about: The laser technology used is certified for use on Indian skin. Before proceeding with laser hair reduction, make sure that you speak with the dermatologist who can give you full details of the service - are you the right candidate for laser hair reduction, how long will it take for the results to start showing, details about maintenance session etc. Post that the dermatologist / clinic must do a patch test to eliminate skin sensitivity. The service itself should be done under the supervision of the dermatologist and by trained practitioners.

Myth- Extensive post care is required once you start a laser. You need to avoid sun soon after a laser session and use a sunscreen regularly, which is advisable even otherwise!

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