Is facial laser hair removal safe?
Laser hair removal on the face works in the same way it does on other parts of the body. The laser destroys the pigment melanin, which is present in the hair and is responsible for its color.
A narrow beam of light of a specially selected length penetrates the skin, the melanin absorbs it, and the hair follicle and the vessel that feeds it die. Damaging the hair follicle during laser hair removal does not usually have any side effects. On occasion, the epidermis around the follicle can become irritated and red for a couple of hours after a treatment. There is no damage to the skin.
There was a time when laser hair removal worked best on people with dark hair and light skin, but now, thanks to advancements in laser technology, it’s a suitable procedure for anyone who has unwanted hair they’d like to remove. Modern lasers do an excellent job with light blond and reddish hair. The exception is gray hair, which does not contain melanin.
Another condition for successfully getting rid of unwanted facial hair is the length of the hair. The laser acts on the hairs that are in the anagen phase – the active stage of growth. Moreover, their length should be about 0.15”: if the hair is longer, then all the laser energy will be used to burn the rod (the visible part of the hair), and will not reach the follicle. Hairs that are short-shaved or pulled out with wax will not be visible, which means the treatment area may not be obvious. The laser device works on a small surface, therefore, the procedure may not be effective.
For complete hair removal, a course of procedures is required. This is due to the fact that not all hairs are removed immediately. Some hair follicles contain two rods, some are in the “sleep” stage at the time of the treatment. After the first two procedures, the number of hairs will be significantly reduced, and then suddenly many new ones will appear, and the patient may get the erroneous impression that there are even more of them. This is not so – just the previously dormant hairs appeared on the surface, and now it is their turn to undergo laser treatment.
The exact number of procedures and the interval between them depends on the type of skin, and hair color.
It takes 1-3 sessions to remove minor hair growth above the upper lip, and 6-10 sessions are required for intensive hair growth.
Benefits of facial laser hair removal
- The absence of severe pain; an important factor for delicate facial skin.
- There won’t be any scars or ingrown hairs on the skin.
- The effect lasts for a long time: up to 6 years, and in the case of a perfect contrast of hair with skin color, it may last forever.
- The procedure doesn’t last long.
- The issue of aesthetic appeal is quickly and safely resolved.
Who is not a good candidate?
- People with heart disease
- Diabetes mellitus of all types
- Colds and viral diseases in the active stage
- Infectious diseases
- Blood clotting problems
- Pregnancy and lactation period
- Oncological diseases
- Skin lesions, skin diseases, and herpes at epilation sites
- Age up to 17 and after 60 years
- Recent tan
How to prepare for laser hair removal on the face
No special preparation for the procedure is required. Before it is carried out, a consultation with a cosmetologist is required, to determine the type of skin, and hair. Then the cosmetologist will tell you how many days before the procedure (taking into account the degree of hair growth) you need to shave the treated area.
It is also recommended to avoid tanning so that the skin does not darken and becomes more susceptible to the laser.
Keep in mind, that if excessive growth of facial hair is caused by hormonal problems, then you need to solve them before the laser treatment. Otherwise, the procedure will not be effective – the hair will still appear. Pregnant women are not recommended to do laser hair removal of the face: their hormonal background is also not stable.
Small areas of the skin are irradiated with a laser for a short period of time. Treatment of the “antennae” zone during laser hair removal on the face in women takes about 10-12 minutes, the chin in men, where the hair is larger and they are tougher is about 15-20 minutes.
Patients with a high pain threshold may not require anesthesia, with a low pain threshold and treatment of sensitive areas, the skin is treated with lidocaine gel. Most modern laser systems have a cooling cap that reduces sensitivity and relieves pain right during the epilation process.
Facial laser hair removal aftercare
The aesthetician applies a remedy for skin irritation to prevent swelling and relieve redness immediately after the procedure. Within a few days after epilation, you need to soften and moisturize the laser-treated area with a light cream or lotion.
In case of burns (which happen very rarely), treat the skin with special means – bepanthen, or panthenol.
It’s better to follow these 7 – 10 days recommendations:
- Limit visits to the bath, sauna, and solarium.
- Do not take antibiotics, hormonal drugs, antipsychotics, or other medications that can slow skin healing or cause pigmentation.
- Do not peel off the formed crust.
- Do not go outside without using sunscreen with SPF-30 on the treated area.