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What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a nonsurgical procedure in which concentrated laser energy removes unwanted hair follicles to stop, minimize or significantly delay hair growth. During the laser hair removal procedure, the doctor delivers concentrated light energy into the targeted hair follicles. The light energy converts into thermal energy and damages the hair follicles, i.e., the tube-like sacs responsible for hair growth. Damaging or removing the hair follicles either inhibits or delays hair growth.

What are the benefits of laser hair removal?

  • Nonsurgical procedure that causes no pain or discomfort
  • Specifically targets unwanted hair without damaging the surrounding skin
  • It’s a quick and efficient procedure, capable of treating large surface areas within seconds or minutes
  • There’s a significant delay in hair growth after the first few procedures. After a few repeat procedures, it can also stop hair growth altogether.
  • No downtime
  • Negligible risk of complications

What are the common treatment areas for laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal can remove unwanted hair from almost all parts of your body, except the areas around the eyes. However, the most common treatment areas are the upper lip, chin, armpits, bikini line, and legs.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal

Who is the ideal candidate for laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is most effective on dark hair and light skin because melanin is better capable of absorbing light energy. As such, strong contrast between the hair and skin color ensures the laser energy affects the hair follicles and not the surrounding skin. Recent advancements in laser technology have made the procedure completely safe for people with dark skin as well. However, the procedure will be less effective on people with gray, red, blond, or white hair. You should also avoid laser hair removal on tattooed skin surfaces.

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How to prepare for laser hair removal

During your initial consultation, Dr. Ringler will examine your skin and hair type, and discuss your expectations, medical history, and allergies to determine if you’re a suitable candidate for the procedure. The doctor will also provide specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure, such as:

  • Stay out of direct sun and apply SPF30 sunscreen if you must go out
  • Apply skin bleaching cream if you have tanned or dark skin
  • Avoid plucking, electrolysis, waxing, or other hair removal methods
  • Don’t take anti-inflammatory drugs or other blood-thinning medications
  • Trim and shave just the day before the treatment to remove the surface hair and expose the hair shafts

What happens during the laser hair removal procedure?

During the laser hair removal procedure, the doctor will place a hand-held laser device over your skin. They may also use a cooling gel to minimize the side effects of the treatment. The doctor will activate the laser to deliver laser energy into your hair follicles, thereby damaging them to stop hair growth. You may feel a pinprick sensation, followed by a cooling sensation from the cooling gel. You may need two to six treatments if you want to destroy the hair follicles and stop hair growth permanently. Each laser hair removal treatment will be scheduled a few weeks apart.

 woman in jean shorts and a tshirt

What is recovery from laser hair removal like?

Your skin will look red and swollen for a few hours after the procedure. You can minimize the discomfort by applying ice packs on the treated area. You should also avoid direct sun exposure and tanning beds for at least six weeks after the procedure, and you must apply a broad-spectrum SPF30 sunscreen whenever you have to go outside. It’s also worth noting that the hairs will fall out over several days or weeks, and you may need multiple treatments for optimal results.

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Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS

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Why choose Dr. Ringler for laser hair removal?

Dr. Steven Ringler is a board-certified plastic surgeon and cosmetic doctor with an exceptional track record. He carefully examines your skin condition and discusses your expectations to provide effective treatments that adhere to your aesthetic goals.

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Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS


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