Laser hair removal is one of the most popular treatments in the world, with over 4.1 million people getting it done each year. It’s easy to see why — it’s fast, affordable, and can give you permanent results if you follow through with maintenance appointments.
But how exactly does laser hair removal work?
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about full body hair laser removal. You’ll learn about how it is performed, what kind of results you can expect, who shouldn’t get full body hair removal (hint: it’s not just people with sensitive skin), and much more!
What Is Full Body Hair Laser Removal?
Full body hair laser removal is the process of removing hair from the entire body. Using a powerful laser beam, this method works by targeting cells within the skin’s pigment called melanin. When melanin absorbs radiation, it changes its chemical composition and destroys the root of your follicle, helping you get rid of unwanted hair and preventing new hair growth for up to six months after a single session.
What’s Included in Full Body Laser Hair Removal?
When it comes to hair lasers, most people think that it’s limited to the face, arms and legs — but that’s not the case. This procedure can be done on any part of the body, including:
- Bikini line
- Hands, arms, and underarms
- Facial hairs including upper lips, chin, and eyebrows
- Back and neck
- Buttocks, legs, and thighs
What Are the Different Types of Hair Laser Treatments?
There are five types of lasers that are used in laser hair removal including ruby, alexandrite, diode, IPL, and Nd-Yag. Each type of laser has its own unique properties and characteristics that make it more or less appropriate for certain skin colors and hair colors and thicknesses.
The ruby laser targets blood vessels beneath the skin, causing them to heat up and become destroyed. This is considered an effective way to treat smaller areas like the upper lip and underarms because it targets blood vessels rather than melanin-containing hair follicles.
This laser method is less powerful than other types of lasers, which is why it is not recommended for treating thick or coarse hair because it may damage the skin and not remove the hair effectively. However, if you have fine hair or a fair skin tone, this laser treatment will help you achieve extra smooth and glowy skin!
Alexandrite laser works by emitting light at the wavelength of 755 nanometers, which targets the melanin in hair follicles and permanently removes the hair shaft. This method is also used to reduce pigmented lesions, tattoos, age spots, and hyperpigmentation. Since this laser uses a smaller wavelength, this laser method is perfect for people with sensitive skin or a lighter skin tone.
One of the most effective, powerful, and painless laser hair removal methods, the diode hair laser emits a longer wavelength of 810nm with a superior penetration rate of 3mm to target melanin hiding in the epidermis.
This method also uses integrated cooling technology, so there are fewer chances of bruising or irritation. Diode hair laser is best for people with coarse hair or a medium-dark skin tone.
IPL (Intense Pulse Light)
One of the most customizable options is IPL. These laser machines are available in various configurations with varying levels of intensity and different wavelengths, but they all work on the same principle: emitting short pulses of intense light energy that destroy the hair follicle.
It is often adjusted according to an individual’s specific needs and skin tone. For example, dark hair needs to be targeted with longer wavelengths while blond or red hair needs to be targeted with shorter wavelengths.
Nd: YAG lasers have been used in medical settings for years, but their use in cosmetic procedures has only recently become popularized. They are often used to treat vascular lesions and other conditions that require cooling or freezing, but many dermatologists are using this method to effectively treat unsightly body hair.
Emitting a wavelength of 1064nm, this method works by heating up the base of the follicle, causing it to break off from its root. Because of the longer and more powerful wavelengths, Nd: YAG laser is an ideal option for people with thick hair and a dark skin tone.
Benefits of Hair Laser Treatment
Whether you’re looking for a quick fix or something more permanent, laser treatment is an ideal solution for anyone who wants a smoother and more even skin tone. With this treatment, you can enjoy the following benefits:
Reduce Hair Growth
Laser hair removal treatment can reduce overall hair growth by 90%. The hair that does grow back is finer and lighter in color, which makes it less noticeable.
Eliminate the Risk of Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs occur when hair follicles become trapped beneath the skin, causing redness, swelling, painful bumps, and crusting.
Unlike waxing or shaving that leave behind stubble and cause skin inflammation, laser devices target each follicle with pinpoint accuracy, eliminating the risk of ingrown hair and infections.
Hair laser treatment is a non-invasive procedure. There are no cuts or stitches involved in the process and you won’t be given any anesthesia. In addition, hair laser treatments have a high success rate with very few side effects reported by patients.
Laser hair removal is a quick process, providing maximum convenience. The laser beams are emitted in milliseconds and the treatment takes only minutes, depending on how many areas you need to treat. You will be in and out of the clinic in no time. Plus, since there is no downtime associated with the procedure, you can return to your normal activities immediately after treatment.
How to Prepare for Full Body Laser Hair Removal
Although laser hair removal is a safe procedure, you can’t simply rush to your dermatologist’s clinic and ask them to perform laser hair removal right away. Instead, you should follow the proper steps to get the best possible results.
- Visit the dermatologist before getting started with the laser treatment. The doctor will be able to tell you if you have any skin diseases that might hinder the treatment or if there are any health conditions that could affect the outcome (such as diabetes or psoriasis). They might ask you to stop taking any blood thinning medication before your session.
- Before your treatment, avoid waxing or plucking your hair since this can cause breakage or infection that will make your skin susceptible to injury.
- You should close shave the targeted area 24 hours prior to your treatment. Shaving will allow any peach fuzz to come through the skin’s surface so it can be removed by the laser machine’s light waves instead of simply being signed off by them.
- Lightly exfoliate your skin 3-4 days prior to your session. It will help remove the dead skin from the targeted area and make the process much easier for you.
- You must also avoid using Accutane for at least 6 months prior to laser hair removal, as this medication can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) that may lead to darkening of the treated areas of skin.
- If you have any tattoos on your body, make sure they’re completely healed before having laser hair removal performed on them to prevent skin infection.
- Drink plenty of water before getting a laser treatment. Dehydration can cause redness and swelling in the treated areas, which may cause discomfort during your session. Drinking water also helps flush out toxins from your body, which helps reduce inflammation as well as swelling after the treatment is done.
What to Expect During Full Body Laser Hair Removal
Unlike waxing and threading, a full body hair removal procedure takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the area being treated. We’ve broken down the whole procedure into simple steps so you can have a better idea of what to expect during your treatment.
- Before starting your treatment, your aesthetician will cleanse your skin to get rid of any dirt or oil that could interfere with the laser process.
- After thoroughly cleansing the targeted area, your doctor will apply a topical anesthetic cream. This will numb the skin to help reduce discomfort during treatment and increase the laser’s effectiveness.
- Next, you will be given protective goggles and ear plugs to prevent any damage to your eyes and ears.
- Then, your technician will administer the laser energy via a handheld device. This device emits light energy that targets hair follicles and destroys them permanently by heating them up. Each pulse lasts only milliseconds, but you will feel some discomfort during this time as well as a mild tingling sensation from time to time during treatment (this sensation may vary from person to person).
- After completing your treatment, your technician will remove the pigments and apply some soothing gel that you’ll have to keep on for at least 24 hours.
Aftercare of Laser Hair Treatment
Once you have completed your sessions, it’s important to follow these aftercare instructions to avoid any complications and maximize the effectiveness of your treatment:
- Avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks after each session (including tanning beds). Sunlight can cause side effects such as swelling, redness, or blistering due to increased skin sensitivity.
- Use SPF 50+ sunscreen on treated areas for at least six months after treatment to prevent discoloration of the skin.
- Don’t use makeup on treated areas until the redness has cleared up completely — otherwise, you could cause irritation or infection.
- Apply ice packs or a cold compress immediately after treatment — this will help reduce swelling and redness that can last for up to 48 hours after your laser hair removal appointment.
- Avoid hot tubs, saunas, and swimming for two to three days.
- If possible, wear loose-fitting clothes to avoid any itching or scaring.
- In case of pus, tenderness, or fever, take an over-the-counter pain reliever or contact your dermatologist.
How Much Does Full Body Laser Hair Removal Cost?
The cost of full body laser hair removal can vary depending on your treatment plan. Some areas (like the face and bikini line) may only require one appointment, while larger areas like the back and legs may need multiple sessions. Some other factors include:
- Type and amount of hair being removed
- The size of the area being treated
- The type of laser used
- Number of sessions
If you’re planning on getting hair laser removal on upper body parts such as your back, expect to pay around $600 or more.
However, if you’re just planning on removing some unwanted hair from specific parts of your body (for example, your chin, lips, or sideburn), it will cost you about $250 per session. Underarms and bikini lasering can cost anywhere between $175 to $350.
Generally speaking, full body laser hair removal costs about $1500 per treatment session.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I undergo full body laser hair removal with a darker skin tone?
Yes! With advancements in laser technologies, there are no limitations on who can undergo laser hair removal. As long as you are healthy enough for treatment and are willing to commit to regular touch-ups after each session, anyone can enjoy smooth skin without shaving or waxing again!
Who should avoid getting hair laser treatment?
If you have a history of keloid scars, are taking certain acne medication, are prone to cold sores, or trying to get pregnant, then you should consult with your healthcare provider before opting for any such treatment.
How many sessions do I need to achieve the results I want?
The number of sessions depends on the area you plan on treating, your hair thickness, and your skin type. Most people will require between four and six sessions with an interval of six weeks between each session, but some may need more than that for optimal results.
On average, a full-body hair laser can take anywhere between 6 to 9 months to complete.
How long does a full body hair removal last?
While some people may be able to get away with waxing every 2-3 weeks, it’s not uncommon for hair to grow back within a month or two after a single waxing session.
With full body laser treatment, you’re guaranteed to have smooth skin for at least 6-12 months before needing another treatment.
When can I expect to see results after undergoing laser hair removal treatment?
The length of time it takes to see results varies from person to person, but most people will begin to see improvement after one to three laser sessions. This means you could conceivably be hair-free by your sixth laser session or as little as four weeks after beginning treatment if you choose the right clinic and electrologist.
What are the risks associated with laser hair removal?
There are no known risks associated with laser hair removal. However, there are some side effects that can occur after treatment. These include temporary redness, itching, and swelling in the treatment area that should go away within a few days.
Some patients may also notice temporary discoloration of their skin after treatment, but this should disappear within a few weeks.
If you want to say goodbye forever to shaving, waxing, and plucking, you should definitely consider getting full body laser hair removal. Simply follow proper before and aftercare procedures, and you will be able to flaunt smooth and shiny skin for years to come!