Health and Fitness

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Do you want your body hair gone for good? Try laser hair removal! Laser hair removal is a quick, non-invasive treatment that removes unwanted hair in just a few treatments. That’s why it has become such an attractive alternative to traditional hair removal methods such as shaving, waxing, and tweezing. Let’s take a look at how laser hair removal works. 

What Exactly Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a technique that uses laser energy to reduce unwanted hair on the face and body. Hair is produced by the hair follicle, so in order to prevent hair growth, the laser energy damages the follicle during treatment.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work? 

The laser emits a concentrated beam of light that passes through the skin and selectively targets the melanin at the base of the hair follicle. Melanin is the natural pigment responsible for hair and skin color. The pigment absorbs the laser energy, which is then converted to heat that damages the hair follicle. This process delays or prevents future hair growth. The treated hair starts to shed a few days after laser hair removal, resulting in smooth, hair-free skin. 

Laser hair removal provides long-term reduction that lasts for months or years, but multiple treatments are needed to achieve the desired results. Follow-up treatments are also recommended. Results of laser hair removal are not permanent, but when hair regrows it is usually finer and lighter.  

Multiple laser hair removal treatments are needed because hair growth occurs in a cycle, and the laser energy only targets hair in the active phase of the cycle. It’s important to remember that within each treatment area there are thousands of follicles, and each follicle goes through the hair cycle at a different time and speed. It therefore takes multiple sessions to remove hair from one area.  Sessions are spaced at least 4 weeks apart. 

Since the laser works by selectively targeting the pigment in the hair follicle, it can also be absorbed by some skin types. That’s why laser hair removal works best on people with light skin and dark hair.  However, there are laser technologies available that can be safely used on darker skin tones.  

Laser Hair Removal Treatment Areas

Hair grows almost everywhere on the body, but the most common treatment areas for laser hair removal are the legs, underarms, bikini area, back, and chest. 

Preparing For Laser Hair Removal

Patients are generally advised to completely shave the target area before treatment. They should not use any creams on the day of their laser hair removal session and should avoid waxing, electrolysis, or tweezing in the weeks leading up to treatment. These hair removal techniques can affect the hair follicles, and make laser hair removal less effective. Patients are generally advised to wear loose-fitting clothing on the day of treatment, ensuring that the target area can be easily accessed.

Is There Any Downtime? 

There is no downtime after laser hair removal, so patients can resume normal activities after the procedure. 

How Many Laser Hair Removal Sessions Do I Need?

You can expect to undergo at least 4 laser hair removal sessions to get the best results.  However, several factors determine the number of sessions needed including skin tone, density of the hair, and the type of laser used.  

Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

Some patients tolerate laser hair removal very well, while others experience pain even when numbing cream is applied to the treatment area. Patients generally describe the discomfort of the laser as similar to the feeling of having an elastic band snapped against the skin.   However, when laser hair removal is done correctly with the right laser, the treatment is virtually pain-free.

Also, newer technologies like the GentleMax Pro are significantly more comfortable, because they are equipped with cooling systems that help to reduce discomfort.

Am I A Good Candidate For Laser Hair Removal?

If you are tired of shaving or waxing and you’re interested in long term hair reduction, you may be a good candidate for laser hair removal. However, if you have a darker skin type it may be best to ask your laser removal provider to do a patch test, to ensure that it is safe to proceed with treatment. 

Benefits Of Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal provides long-lasting results. Waxing only lasts a few weeks and shaving has to be repeated every couple days, but laser hair removal lasts months, or years in some cases.  It’s therefore the ideal solution for unwanted hair on the face and body. 

Laser hair removal is also more cost-effective because although it costs more initially, the results last a long time. In contrast, alternatives like waxing and shaving end up costing more because they have to be done often to maintain results. 

If you are in the Vancouver, BC area, laser hair removal is available at Yaletown Laser Centre. At Yaletown, they use the advanced GentleMax Pro to perform laser hair removal. 

About Yaletown Laser Centre

Yaletown Laser Centre is a premium spa and skincare centre located in Vancouver, BC. At Yaletown, they combine the latest advances in non-surgical cosmetic skin rejuvenation, and laser and cosmetic reconstructive dentistry, to offer patients an integrative approach that delivers the best aesthetic results possible.    

Yaletown Laser Centre was founded by Dr. Shelly Kassam who envisioned a safe, relaxing environment that would allow clients to achieve their highest potential.  Therefore, the team at Yaletown Laser Centre is committed to the beauty and wellness of all their clients.  They strive to ensure that clients leave their office feeling empowered and more confident. 

You can reach Yaletown Laser Centre at, or by calling (604) 245-2288.

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