Getting rid of hair in unwelcome places can be a lengthy and occasionally painful task. Laser hair removal has been gaining popularity in recent years because it helps to actually reduce hair growth. No longer needing to shave daily or schedule waxing appointments weekly is definitely appealing. However, a lot of myths about laser hair treatment have sprung up as more people become aware of this option. The laser hair removal process is not very well understood by many, so a lot of inaccurate information is being spread. If you have heard one of these laser hair removal myths before, you may be surprised to learn just how inaccurate they are.
Myth #1 It Takes Months to See the Effects
Laser hair removal works by stunting hair follicle growth, so it lessens hair thickness and length over time. Many people make the mistake of thinking this is a very gradual process. However, each individual session reduces hair growth by up to 15 percent. After just the first treatment, you will notice that your hair is growing back much more slowly. It may look patchy in areas because some hair follicles may have already stopped working. Hair that does grow back tends to be thinner, and over time, it will stop returning at all.
Myth #3 Laser Treatments Are Excessively Painful
There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the comfort level of laser treatments. Some people have heard that it is completely painless, while others have heard that it is an excruciatingly awful sensation. The real truth is somewhere in between these two myths. Laser hair removal may be slightly uncomfortable. However, it is not extraordinarily painful. If you are worried about the pain, you can take an over the counter painkiller medication before treatment to dull the sensation even more. Patients generally say that laser removal is less painful than waxing.
Percent of people age 18-29 who say they want to get laser hair removal
Percent surveyed who said they would do it again
Myth #4 You Should Not Shave for a Few Days Before Removal
This myth occurs when people get confused between preparation methods for waxing and laser hair removal. If you have too much hair present at the treatment, then the laser will not be able to target the hair follicle. However, you should not remove hair with waxing or plucking between treatments because that completely removes the hair follicle. According to Dr. Lorrie Klein, the best option is to shave your hair right before the treatment. This makes it easy for the laser to target the follicles that need to be zapped. The only time you should go to a treatment without shaving is if the clinic provides a pre-treatment shaving service.
Myth #5 Laser Hair Removal Is Risky and Unsafe
This misconception arises from people who have bad experiences with unapproved laser hair removal services. Depending on an area’s laws, a beauty clinic may be allowed to operate a cheap laser system that has not been approved by the FDA. These can result in some risks for burns and other issues, so they are not advisable. Laser hair removal should not be unsafe when done by an actual professional. Choose to get laser hair removal done at a dermatologist who uses one of the FDA-accredited laser hair removal systems for the best results. Before getting a laser hair removal treatment, talk to your dermatologist to find the safest treatment methods.
Gardner, S. “Laser Hair Removal.” http://www.webmd.com/beauty/laser-hair-removal
Klein, L. “Will Not Shaving Before Laser Improve Results?” https://www.realself.com/question/shaving-before-laser-hair-removal-improve-results
Malle, C. “Laser Hair Removal: Is It Really Worth It?” http://www.vogue.com/865573/laser-hair-removal-is-it-worth-it/
“Medical Device Databases.” http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/Databases/default.htm
Oliver, D. 9 Myths About Laser Hair Removal And Waxing, And The Truth Behind Them