Laser hair removal: How does it work?

Laser hair removal is a procedure that uses a beam of light (or laser) to remove unwanted hair. The results are long-lasting which make it a popular alternative to traditional hair removal methods.

No more waxing appointments and no more disposable razors. Cities and towns up and down the UK now play host to a range of beauty clinics, many of which offer laser hair removal services as part of their offerings.

Laser hair removal clinic

Thus, online searches around laser hair removal, like ‘laser hair removal in London,’ and ‘laser hair removal near me’ have massively increased in popularity and competition, reflecting this service’s increasing popularity in the UK.

Some customers are concerned about how laser hair removal actually works and whether there are any risks associated. In this article, we will answer any questions you may have about this procedure.

The process involves a laser emitting a light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. This light energy becomes heat, which damages the hair follicles.

This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth. Laser hair removal delays the effects of hair growth for long periods of time; however, it is not a permanent result. For initial hair removal, customers will need multiple treatments, then maintenance appointments may be needed to keep any unwanted hair from returning.

Laser hair removal has a slightly different effect on everyone. Usually, it is most effective on people with light skin and dark hair, however, it can be successful on all skin types and hair colours.

The basic principle is that the pigment of the hair and not the pigment of the skin should absorb the light. The light from the laser will damage only the hair follicle while avoiding damage to the skin. This is why a big contrast between hair and skin colour (i.e., dark hair and light skin) tends to give the best results.

Will it hurt?

10 years ago, the answer would have certainly been yes. The burning sensation followed by the sensitivity was far from ideal. However, with newer technology and better-trained technicians today things are quite different. Honestly, if you go for an appointment now you may not feel much at all. You may feel a small ’ping’ like an elastic band hitting you, but there shouldn’t be any burning or bruising, even in the most sensitive areas.

Are there risks?

Risks of side effects will vary based on your skin type, hair colour, treatment plan and how closely you follow your pre-treatment and post-treatment care plan. There is more risk of damage to the skin with hair colours that do not absorb the laser well, i.e., red, blonde, grey or white.

The most common side effects include skin irritation which may include temporary discomfort, redness and swelling. These symptoms only tend to last for a few hours and should then disappear.

Pigment changes, as laser hair removal may affect the pigment of your skin, darken or lighten the affected area. These changes could be temporary or permanent. Skin lightening typically affects those who don’t avoid sun exposure before or after treatment, which is advised. It can also affect those who have darker skin.

Why are more people choosing laser hair removal?

  • Hair removal with long-lasting effect
  • It reduces and removes any unwanted hair
  • Many customers opt to remove hair on their legs, armpits, upper lip, chin and bikini line, but it is possible to treat unwanted hair in nearly any area (except on the eyelid or surrounding the eye area)
  • A cost-effective option for hair removal
  • No disposable products and so it is a greener and more environmentally-friendly option
  • Less hassle than other options because the effects are so long-lasting