Shaving, plucking, and waxing are a few ways to get rid of hair. These methods, however, are temporary. While waxing allows you to go several weeks with smooth skin, laser hair removal is a long-term solution that help you ditch waxing for good.
If you have unwanted hair, our Cosmetic Dermatologist Dana Brownell, MD, offers a lasting solution. With laser hair removal Dr. Brownell can treat a wide range of skin and hair types, and it works on many body parts.
Waxing involves using heated wax, an applicator, and a fabric strip to remove hair from any part of the body. Wax is applied to the skin with an applicator in the direction of hair growth. Then, a fabric strip is put on top and smoothed down. The strip is removed from the skin in the opposite direction of hair growth.
Using the correct technique, waxing removes hair from the follicle. The result is smooth skin. However, the follicle stays intact in the dermis layer of skin and the hair grows back.
Waxing normally leaves the skin smooth for a few weeks, after which you must wax again to remove new hair growth.
The low-down on laser hair removal
Laser hair removal involves the use of a powerful laser that affects the hair's root and disables the follicle, which prevents hair from growing. Although different light-based technologies are utilized for hair removal, all treatments are alike.
During a treatment session, the undesired hair is exposed to intense flashes of light. The light enters the skin and targets melanin in the hair follicles. The pigment absorbs the light energy, disabling the hair follicle.
Multiple treatments are required to target hair follicles throughout the growth phase. Permanent, long-lasting outcomes require at least four to six sessions for most patients. Over time, touch-ups may be required.
Patients should experience benefits after the first treatment, with their hair growing back thinner, and their skin becoming smoother. With each treatment, hair growth continues to slow and eventually stop as all the hair follicles are disabled.
Waxing vs. laser hair removal
Anyone who has ever waxed knows one thing: It’s painful! It can be particularly uncomfortable in areas such as the ears, bikini line, and underarms.
Additionally, waxing can create ingrown hairs. It does not harm the hair's root; instead, it removes the hair from the follicle. The hair will eventually regrow, and when it does, it’s at risk of being ingrown.
What’s more, you must let at least a quarter inch of hair grow in between sessions. This is an inconvenient time that often causes itching. You’ll have to deal with a week or more of itchy stubble between each appointment. Waxing can be time-consuming. For optimal results, you have to wax every six weeks.
It can also harm the skin, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Laser hair removal is the most effective way to have long-lasting smooth results.
If you want to save time, laser hair removal is the best option. Sessions are brief and simple. Even if a large portion of your body is being treated, you will only be under the laser for a few minutes at a time.
Laser hair removal is safe and doesn’t cause long-term harm to the skin. If it’s conducted by a licensed laser expert, even those with sensitive skin can benefit.
Additionally, laser hair removal is significantly less painful than waxing. Most individuals compare the pulse of the laser to a rubber band snapping on the skin.
If you are prone to ingrown hairs, this is the only approach to use, as it eliminates the hair follicle entirely. Once the follicle is eliminated, you won’t have to worry about those annoying and unpleasant ingrown hairs.
Dr. Brownell can help you achieve lasting smooth skin. To get started, call our Westport, Connecticut, office to schedule your visit today.