Laser hair reduction is one of the top five most popular cosmetic treatments in the country. Thousands of men and women choose this long-lasting hair reduction method every year to reduce unwanted facial, chest, arm, or leg hair. Excessive hair growth can be caused by hormonal shifts such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, but hair growth patterns can also change due to medications, hormone replacement therapy, health conditions, and genetics. No matter the cause of your excessive hair, laser treatments are a great way to minimize hair from growing in unwanted places.
If you are interested in laser hair reduction in Los Angeles, please contact Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD, to schedule your consultation.
How Laser Hair Reduction Works
Laser hair reduction works by targeting the root of your hair through a series of treatments in Los Angeles. The lasers emit light beams that are highly precise. The dark hair follicles under your skin absorb the intense light and cause heat to build up and destroy the follicles, thus preventing continued hair growth.
Your hair follicles are not all active at once, and laser treatments only work on hair that is actively growing, so multiple treatments are needed to reduce the full amount of hair effectively. Laser and light therapies don’t use needles or anesthesia, and most patients report feeling a minor stinging similar to the snapping of a rubber band.
This is a technical medical procedure that requires a skilled dermatologist or physician—such as our Dr. Fitzgerald in L.A.—who is trained to use the lasers.
The Benefits of Laser Hair Reduction
Laser treatments offer a wide variety of advantages for cosmetic and health purposes. Some of the benefits of Los Angeles laser hair reduction include:
Lessens the growth of dark, thick hair but leaves the surrounding skin tissues intact
Treatments are fast, treating a quarter-sized area of skin in just one second, which allows reducing hair on small areas such as the face or underarms to be done in less than a minute
Minimizes discomfort or embarrassment from unsightly ingrown hairs
No more concerns about skin irritation or razor burn from shaving
Saves you time in your everyday routine
Laser Hair Reduction Vs. Traditional Methods
Older hair reduction methods are time-consuming and require routine or daily maintenance to keep unwanted hair from getting too long. Laser treatments initially require several sessions in Los Angeles, but the hair is considerably reduced afterward. The traditional options, such as shaving and waxing, are lifelong hair growth management techniques that are frustrating or painful. These methods include:
Epilators—Mechanical devices that pull the hair from the skin
Shavers—Tedious and makes the hair appear thicker because the cut ends are now “flat”
Waxing—Potential to cause scars or irregular pigmentation
Electrolysis—Extremely time-consuming and slow process
How to Prepare for Your Laser Treatment
Dr. Fitzgerald will walk you through the laser hair reduction process during your initial consultation in Los Angeles. You will want to avoid waxing or plucking the hair in the area for up to six weeks before each treatment. Electrolysis should also be discontinued or avoided before laser hair reduction. Laser treatments work by targeting the roots of your hair, and those traditional methods remove the root temporarily.
During the course of your treatments, you should avoid excessive sun exposure and be sure to wear sunscreen as much as possible to prevent unnecessary complications and maximize your results. Dr. Fitzgerald may also recommend you shave before coming to our Los Angeles office and stay away from using lotions.
Average Number of Treatments
Your hair grows in phases, and not all hair follicles are active at once, which is why multiple laser treatments are necessary to address all of the hair in that area of your body. The anagen phase occurs when your hair follicles are growing, and laser energy has the best impact on these active hairs. However, dormant hairs in the telogen phase will grow within approximately three weeks to three months, which is when you’ll notice new growth in the treated area. The different hair cycles are why we schedule laser treatments at least one month apart.
Depending on how your hair responds to the laser, you may need anywhere from three to seven sessions in Los Angeles. We’ve found that a minimum of three treatments performed over a 12-month period produce long-term, satisfactory results. Some areas of the body respond to laser treatments faster than others such as the female face, underarms, and bikini area. The backs, legs, and arms typically require more sessions for optimal results.
The Best Candidate for Laser Hair Reduction
Laser treatments for hair reduction in Los Angeles work by targeting the melanin pigment, or “color,” in the follicle and skin. Candidates for this procedure with light skin and darker hair will likely see better results because the hair follicle can absorb more of the laser energy. Tanned skin “robs” laser energy as it passes through your skin to the roots of your hair follicles.
Dr. Fitzgerald recommends that you avoid tanning before your hair laser treatments. You should also refrain from using spray-on tanning products for up to a week before your laser treatment because these over-the-counter products contain metallic ingredients that may intensify laser heat and cause burning. If you have white or gray hair, laser hair reduction will most likely not work because your hair follicles lack the pigment required for the procedure to be effective.
Darker skins are now safely treated with the newer laser designed for tanned and darker skin tones without the risk of creating hyperpigmentation. Dr. Fitzgerald will select the appropriate laser to use for your hair color and skin type.
Excessive Hair Growth from Hormone Imbalance
Dr. Fitzgerald says, “I know full well that women who suffer from abnormal hair growth patterns aren’t just ‘bothered’ by their problem – they really do suffer!”
Hirsutism is a hormonally-driven condition that needs to be properly diagnosed before undergoing any laser treatment in Los Angeles. The wrong treatment for excess hair caused by this condition can worsen the problem.
Potential Side Effects
Sometimes you may experience slight regrowth of some hair, though it is usually finer and lighter than what was originally removed. Some patients may experience slight reddening and localized skin swelling, much like a sunburn. In some instances, blistering may occur. However, these effects typically last 24 hours or less.
A majority of patients in Los Angeles are very satisfied with the results of their laser hair reduction treatments, and the satisfaction rate is high overall. There will be some fine, light-colored hairs left over that will not be permanently removed. These hairs, especially on the face, do not absorb the laser light and, therefore, are not affected. The chosen area will not be 100 percent hair-free because your skin heals with the help of the hair follicle, so it’s important that you retain some of this fine hair to help your skin heal in the future.
Burns and scarring are seen mostly in “spa” locations that are medically unsupervised. To ensure your safety, it’s wise to always make sure your laser treatment is performed by a dermatologist or physician who is trained to do the laser procedure and knows how to use the necessary equipment.
Schedule Your Los Angeles Laser Hair Reduction Consultation Today
Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD has been published repeatedly in various journals of dermatology and was a featured physician on several television programs both locally and nationally. She’s presented at seminars and conferences around the world and is highly sought after for her expertise in dermatology and ability to train other physicians skillfully.
If you’re interested in laser hair reduction in Los Angeles or other cosmetic dermatology treatments, please contact Dr. Fitzgerald today to schedule your consultation.