If you’ve decided to have laser hair removal, it’s a given that you’d want to see results as soon as possible. How many laser hair removal treatments a person needs, depends on a number of variables that can influence the timeline for results.
Laser Hair Removal – The Basics
Laser hair removal is a procedure that uses laser technology to remove unwanted hair on the face and body. Lasers are able to wipe out the hair follicle, without affecting the surrounding skin structures.
There was a time when laser hair removal was only effective on individuals with light skin and dark hair. That has since changed due to advancements in laser technology. There are now systems that can yield results on most skin tones.
The most common areas for laser hair removal include the legs, bikini line, underarms, upper lip, back, and shoulders. Each session takes 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the area you treat.
How Many Laser Hair Removal Treatments Do I Need?
It takes approximately 6-8 treatments to see results. To gauge the number of sessions you require your aesthetician will take several factors into account including the area being treated.
Most patients notice some hair reduction within 2 weeks of their first treatment. Results become more noticeable after subsequent sessions. Treatments are about 4-6 weeks apart, possibly longer after subsequent treatments.
In order to see why several treatments are needed to see results, it is helpful to understand how laser hair removal works.
How The Process Impacts Results
The laser emits light energy that targets the melanin (pigment), which is concentrated at the root of the hair follicle. The melanin absorbs the laser energy, and results in an increase in temperature that damages the follicle causing the hair to fall out. The hair can take anywhere from 10-14 days to be pushed out of the follicle. The treated hair follicle will not be able to produce any more hair in the future.
Another important factor affecting results of laser hair removal is the cycle of hair growth. Hair grows in three phases – anagen (growth phase), catagen (transitional phase), and telogen (resting phase). The hair cycle repeats continuously. Laser hair removal can only affect hair when it is in the growth phase, so only a portion of the hair can receive the laser during treatment. This is the reason why it takes multiple treatments to see results.
Areas of The Body
Patients may notice results in some parts of the body earlier than in others. It will typically take fewer treatments to see results when treating areas such as the legs and bikini line. The hair in these areas is generally thicker and darker, which makes it ideal for laser treatment. Consequently, the legs and bikini line often yield very fast results, and a significant reduction in hairs can usually be seen after three treatments.
In contrast, laser hair removal on the face may take longer to show results because the hair on the face is thinner; therefore, requiring more hair removal sessions.
Each patients hair growth cycle and genetic makeup determines how many laser hair removal treatments needed. Understandably, the time span of results will not be the same for everyone. Patients that have a longer growth cycle will experience a longer wait time to see results after treatment.