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When Will All My Hair Be Gone? Laser Hair Removal 101

When will I see results? How long is each treatment? How much does it cost? When do I come back? If I miss a treatment, do I start over? I had six treatments and the hair is still there? These are all questions we hear every day and while I'm so glad people are curious and wanting hair removal treatments, we need to first talk about your hair.

Some people sell hair removal in a series or package. Usually, this is due in part to marketing, cost savings to the client, possible client retention to the business, and a way to introduce people to your business (more marketing). While you will need several treatments for a satisfactory outcome, I usually tell my clients we will assess the progress throughout each visit, but laser hair removal is a process that takes time and patience is the key!

Stages and Cycles

Hair grows in stages and cycles. There are three stages of hair development. Anagen, Catagen, and Telagen. Basically, there is an active stage, a resting stage and a shedding stage. Most people just want their hair gone, but need to understand not all hairs grow at the same time, there are many factors such as diet, age, hormones, etc. that will contribute to how hairs grow, what rate they will grow and how long they stay away.

How laser works

In laser world, our laser engineers have discovered wave lengths. Think of an ocean or pool. There is a shallow end and a deeper end. The same rules apply in laser technology. Hair begins to originate at around an 800 wave length (nm) or the 10 foot deep, but not 20 feet deep body of water. The lasers used for most hair removal will generally read up to an 840 wave length. There are other lasers which will penetrate far into the dermis for skin renewal, but for hair removal we stay somewhere in the middle. Think of the laser machine as a large light beam seeking to reach the base of the hair and creating a thermal disruption each time you come for a visit. After several visits, you should start to see very little hair, the texture of hair changing, and hopefully not a lot of hair growth going forward.

Lasers love color

Lasers also like to read color or pigment. While newer technology claims to work on lighter hairs, most lasers do much better with reading pigment. I personally find pre-shaving before your laser treatment is helpful. You do not have to burn exterior hairs in order to have a lasting result. The laser is seeking the hair below the skin. It has to destroy the bulb/root of the hair.

How many sessions?

Everyone is different. I wish there was a blueprint for all people, but reality says we are all different and most people will need anywhere between 6-12 treatments initially, with what I call "touch ups" from time to time.

Oops, I missed my appointment. Now what?

What happens if you miss a scheduled treatment, move or COVID hits and you aren't able to come for your normal visit. FIRST, DON'T PANIC! It will usually take more than six treatments and any visit is going to be beneficial. Remember, you have active, resting and shedding stages of hair growth. These stages can take several weeks, months, even years to complete. With today's advances in laser technology, we are confident you will have a good result within 12 months.

Do I need to take out a loan to pay for it?

How much should laser cost? Well, it depends on who is doing the treatment, the business model, how you purchase your visits, and what type of laser is used. Most laser hair removal treatments are priced slightly higher than a wax price and depending on demographic, type of facility, and type of laser, you will find a variety of pricing and financing options.

What is the time between Appointments?

Laser treatments typically are spanned anywhere between 4-6 weeks apart and in some cases 8-12 weeks apart. Talk with your laser specialist and where you are in your treatment plan.

Patience! Laser hair removal is worth it!

Remember, laser hair removal is laser hair reduction. While most people really like the results, it does vary from person to person and patience is key. Cheers to getting rid of those pesky hairs! :)

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