For many people, especially women, unwanted body hair growth can be a cause of distress and anxiety. Shaving, waxing, and other hair removal techniques are time-consuming and give temporary results, thus, people often opt for laser hair removal, a permanent solution that is painless and if done in the right way Also burn-free when done safely Gone are the days when getting a laser hair treatment meant confining yourself to home, avoiding sun exposure and makeup. With the rapid advancement in technology, laser hair treatment has become a favorite of people. Today, after a session, one can put on makeup, or go straight to a party or work.
As a dermatologist, I have observed that men – especially hairy, sexually active, pro-sweating sportsmen or those with corporate jobs – seek to reduce hair for areas such as the arms, underarms, and private parts. Opt for laser technique. It may actually be a better option than shaving. Laser hair removal in dehradun can give you smoother skin and reduce tanning, besides preventing hair follicle or ingrowth and minimal skin pigmentation. It dramatically reduces perspiration and body odor.
But there is an important difference between laser hair ‘reduction’ and ‘removal’. Let’s know about it first.
It is important to know that laser hair treatment is a precise procedure. which targets each follicle individually and can be customized to meet the specific needs of the patient, however, there is no such thing as complete hair removal, some companies may market it as such, but the reality is that It is important to note that the best results can be achieved with a hair reduction procedure itself, as only actively growing hair follicles respond to laser treatment. This is the reason why multiple sessions, usually more than 15 to 20, are required to get the right results. Completely visible hair can be transformed into villus or ‘baby’ hair – colloquially called peach fuzz – which is not visible to the naked eye.
It may come as a surprise, but many clients do not even want to completely remove the hair. They like to “clean up” in certain areas. Some just prefer hair thinning.
Different techniques can be used in laser treatment depending on the type of hair. Diode lasers are known for their ability to penetrate deep into the skin and target hair follicles without damaging surrounding tissue, the focused beam of light emitted by the diode damages the follicle and limits future hair growth. It is best suited for most body areas of Indian people.
Nd: YAG (short form of neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) laser is used in hair reduction to safely and effectively target hair follicles in individuals with darker skin tones.
Intense Pulsed Light or IPL is a type of laser therapy in which light of different wavelengths is targeted to the hair follicle. The melanin pigment absorbs the light, heats up, and destroys the hair follicle, thereby inhibiting future hair growth. It is good for those whose skin needs to be tightened too.
Alexandrite laser treatment is most effective for individuals with fair to olive skin tones, it is often used for larger areas such as the legs or back. While the ruby laser is most effective for people with lighter skin. It also works well on smaller, more sensitive areas like the face or underarms.
Indian skin is most sensitive to diode lasers, long-pulse Nd: YAG, and IPL lasers. This is because most Indians have a darker skin tone, and hair follicles are associated with sweat glands. While most people can see satisfactory results in six to eight sessions, those with hormonal issues may need to wait longer.
Complications, and how to avoid them
Common complications that can arise during laser hair treatment can be scarring or life-long scars. This could be due to the incompetence of technicians or faulty equipment. Hence it is best to approach well-trained doctors with better machinery. Some clients may be disappointed with the outcome of the treatment – one reason could be a hormonal imbalance in the patient.
Nowadays, due to factors like stress and pollution, hormonal imbalance has increased a lot in women. As a result, many women notice hair growth in abnormal areas such as the chin, areola, and navel.
While laser hair reduction is generally safe, some individuals, especially those with hormonal imbalances such as hypo/hyperthyroidism or PCOS, may experience increased hair growth. This is called paradoxical hypertrichosis stimulation, which is a rare but significant complication of laser hair reduction. This can occur if internal hormonal causes are not addressed or if the technician fails to fully cover the treatment area. Hence, it is important to get a complete checkup for hormonal imbalance before undergoing this procedure.
The laser hair treatment should cover the entire area of the skin. Avoid picking only those hairs that bother you at the moment. Hair growth in any area can increase with time. This can not only affect their appearance but can also cause skin irritation and scars, making it a serious concern. In such cases, laser hair reduction is not just a beauty treatment but the need of the hour. Waxing these areas can be painful and can cause long-lasting scars, which can affect a person’s self-confidence. Hence, opting for laser hair treatment is a practical and effective solution that not only reduces hair fall but also prevents future hair growth, providing a permanent solution. Approach laser hair reduction with caution and get treated by a trusted dermatologist.
What if you have doubts?
Geriatric and post-menopausal women who have hair growth on their chin can apply eflornithine cream in addition to laser hair treatment. This cream also works without laser therapy. The compounds in it loosen the hair follicles and work best on areas like the face and areola.
Waxing should not be done on the face, as it can cause stretching, sagging, and looseness of the skin, which accelerates aging. Waxing does not actually eliminate hair growth, as the sweat glands and hair follicles remain intact. You can opt for natural, fruit-based bleach; Shaving/trimming may be other options.
One important point should be noted:
No laser treatment is effective on gray or white hair. If any doctor or salon claims otherwise, it is better to avoid their services. In India, many salons offer laser hair reduction with Chinese or Korean machines, but customers have experienced burns and no reduction in hair growth even after 20 sessions. To avoid such risks, it is always best to seek the services of a reliable dermatologist who uses good technology for laser hair reduction. As a conscious consumer, it is important to ask for a patch test before treatment on a sensitive area such as the upper lip to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. Avoid doing a patch test on areas like underarms, which are not exposed to sunlight.
As with any cosmetic procedure, it is essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.