Spring has sprung and it’s time to think about swimsuits, shorts and shaving. In the summer months, I often see an increase in the number of patients experiencing painful ingrowns, folliculitis and general skin irritation as a result of shaving. For patients looking for a more permanent treatment option I often recommend laser hair removal.
The laser targets dark, pigmented hair in the active growth stage. Because there are three cycles of hair growth: active, transition and dormant, and since the laser is only effective on one cycle, laser hair removal requires a series of treatments usually spaced 4-6 weeks apart. After each treatment, patients will notice a patchy decrease in their hair growth.
Unlike waxing, hair does not have to be grown out to be treated, so you can shave or clip between treatments (however, no waxing or tweezing as this will disrupt the hair follicle). Six to nine treatments are usually required to produce the most noticeable results.
Beware that laser hair removal is not a permanent solution, there will always be some maintenance required as new hair follicles develop. Laser hair removal is also only effective on pigmented hair that the laser can target, no grays or blonde.