A lot of women struggle with body hair removal. Though there are many options such as using an epilator, waxing strip or tweezers, some are painful and others take up a lot of time. If you are looking for a permanent solution to get rid of your unnecessary body hair, to get silky smooth legs or to simply bid goodbye to excessive facial hair, you can probably consider laser hair reduction.  Laser hair reduction is the process of removing unwanted hair by means of exposing the hair follicles to pulses of laser light. The intense heat of the laser destroys the hair follicles and inhibits hair growth. It is usually performed in clinics by professionals.  (ALSO READ Top 5 hair removal methods to have a smooth, hair-free body).

Many celebrities including international reality star Kim Kardashian gets laser hair reduction done. Kim says her whole body is hairless thanks to laser hair reduction. If you do not prefer time-consuming hair removal methods such as shaving, waxing or tweezing, you can probably opt for this method of hair reduction. But if you are not sure about the whole process, here are some frequently asked question about laser hair reduction, answered by Dr Aditya M Shah, MD dermatology. (ALSO READ What is bikini waxing: 13 tips to keep in mind before you plan your first bikini waxing appointment).

Is it laser hair removal or laser hair reduction?

It is laser hair reduction, not removal. The end result that you get post the process is laser hair reduction. Zero hair growth is not possible. Hairs occur due to hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, which results from genetic variations that might be inherited from a parent. So, 100% hair removal is not possible but with this technique, the hair growth is sparse and delayed as well which makes managing it easy.

How exactly does laser hair reduction works?

The laser method targets the melanin present in the black hair, since melanin is only present in black hair, they get easily destroyed. They absorb light and the heat developed in the process destroys the follicle. Grey and white hair do not respond to lasers as they don’t have melanin. So if you have thick, black hair growth, this method is best-suited for you.

All Your Frequently Asked Questions about Laser Hair Reduction, Answered by an Expert

Is laser hair reduction permanent?

In the laser hair reduction process, your thick hair will become thin. For example if you have 100 hair in a particular area then 70 to 80 hair will get destroyed (their quantity will decrease). You shall have patchy growth. In certain hormonal-dependent areas like the chin new growth can occur from your inactive follicle when there are hormonal disturbances.

Is laser hair reduction painful?

No, laser hair reduction is not painful. You might feel a pricking sensation where laser has been done but it is bearable.  Infact the latest and gold standard technology; LightSheer Desire technology by Lumenis is fast and painless compared to other laser systems. No gel is to be used for large body areas. The Light Sheer uses high-power diodes that delivers high fluence in two wavelengths (805nm and 1060nm). This is combined with user-select pulse duration, effective contact cooling or vacuum assisted technology.

All Your Frequently Asked Questions about Laser Hair Reduction, Answered by an Expert

What are the chances of re-growth?

Post laser hair reduction, you can get fresh new hair growth from inactive follicle if there is hormonal imbalance in the body. (ALSO READ Top 15 frequently asked questions about skincare, answered!).

Are there any side-effects?

Getting the laser reduction done under observation of a dermatologist who has a good machine reduces the chances of side-effects. Though side-effects are rare, few of them are acne, folliculitis (infection and inflammation of hair follicles), pigmentation, paradoxical hair growth (stimulation of hair growth on the area or adjacent area), allergy to solutions. But these side-effects are temporary and rarely permanent.

Who can get it done?

According to Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL) taskforce guidelines anyone above 15 years of age can get laser done. It is a safe process.

Frequently asked questions about laser hair reduction, answered by expert

Which body parts are excluded from laser hair reduction?

Laser is safe on the whole body except on the hair near the eyes, so they have to be avoided.

What are the pre-laser treatment precautions?

If you are considering to opt for laser hair reduction the pre-laser treatment precautions you must take is to avoid tanning your skin, avoid threading or waxing as you need to have full hair growth. Also, do not use home remedies on the treatment areas and hydrate the skin with a good moisturizer.

What are post treatment precautions?

Once the laser is done, use the cream advised by your doctor and also a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. Also, post the treatment do not use homemade remedies on the area and steer clear of using makeup for 48 hours.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the treatment depends on the area, for instance, upper lips will cost you Rs 1,000 for a single session. You can go for packages which can give you a good discount.

(Photographs: Shutterstock)

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