MEN’S LASER HAIR REMOVAL…the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
If you are thinking about Laser Hair Removal or have booked your first session and don’t know what to expect, here’s some practical information that will cut the fears and boost your confidence factor.
It’s one zap and you’re done…right?
Nope, afraid not. It’s easy to think of the laser machine as a hair zapping superhero but it’s a little more scientific than that. The laser actually targets the hair follicle and uses the hair as a guide to get to the “root” of the problem. The challenge is that each hair is only zappable for one period of the three-stage growth cycle which is why you need repeat sessions to capture hairs as they move through the growth stages. For the science nerds those three phases are:
- Growth Phase – Anagen
- The amount of time your hair spends in this phase is down to your genetic make-up and may be as long as several years. It is estimated that around 85% of hairs are in the Anagen phase at any one time. Because the hair is rich in protein, melanin and keratin at this time this is the where laser hair removal works best
- Transition or Shrivelling Phase – Catagen
- During this phase, chemical and structural changes cause the hair to pull away from the follicle, the hair stops growing for two to three weeks before moving into the Telogen phase. It is estimated that 5% of our hair is in the Catagen phase at any one time.
- Resting Phase -Telogen
- This is the stage where hairs begin to shed and new hairs are produced by the follicle. It is estimated that 10% of our hair is in the Telogen phase with 30 – 100 hairs being shed every day.
So, how many sessions will I need?
Ahhh, this is one of those “it depends” answers. It depends on how coarse or fine your hair is, how much hair you would like removed or thinned out and your genetic make-up. Darker skin tends to respond better to laser hair removal but there are lasers such as Laser IPL that work very well on lighter skins. At Men’s Den we find most clients respond well to 6 treatments over monthly or six-week periods, some may need up to 8 sessions overall.
Did you say thinned out? I thought it was all or nothing?
Let’s face it, not everyone wants that hairless fitness guru look, a lot of guys use Laser Hair Removal to thin out chest hair and make it finer and sparser. Sure, you can remove hair totally over a number of treatments, but you will also find that laser works as a hair retardant and you see less and less growth over time.
Okay, I’m up for it…what next?
To get the best results you need to put in a bit of effort before your treatment. Stay out of the sun or slip slop slap for at least two weeks prior to your first appointment, this is because lasers work best on light skin and dark hair and it’s also good to protect your skin, right? The same goes for fake tans, they are a no-go pre-treatment.
You can also put away your tweezers, waxes and hair removal creams gels etc, but you can shave as often as you like. In fact, it helps if you shave the area pre-treatment but that’s all part of the service if you can’t reach or can’t be bothered.
Bring it on!
On the day of your appointment your therapist/clinician will walk you through the process and what’s involved including what kind of laser would be best suited for your skin. If you’d like to know more about what to wear, what to take off, etc, check out our recent blog here. Here are some estimated treatment times
- Chest 15 – 20 minutes
- Back 30 minutes
- Face 15 minutes
Will it hurt?
We promised you the truth so yes, kind of. It depends on your pain tolerance, but for most people it feels like a pin prick or a rubber band snap. The new breed of lasers are much less painful and we use soothing aloe gel to keep you as comfortable as possible, but you may just need to man up.
What about after the treatment?
Some people have no after treatment symptoms, but others do have mild symptoms that last anything from 2 to 72 hours. The skin could be red and swollen or hot and itchy, it can feel like a mild sunburn and we recommend aloe-vera and cool compresses for 24 hours. It is also important not to do anything that adds heat, so no baths or saunas and save the big leg work out for another day.
You will also need to avoid waxing, tweezing and hair removal between treatments but you can shave as often as you like.
You should notice some hairs starting to fall out after two weeks and now is a good time to exfoliate the area and clear out some of the “debris”. You can do this with a scrub or an exfoliation mitt.
From here on in you’ll notice a gradual change in hair growth, and you’ll see less hairs appearing and those that do will be finer and sparser.
Don’t let fears or misinformation put you off Laser Hair Removal, it’s a fast, effective way to get rid of unwanted hair and be proud of the body you have. Want more information? Contact Men’s Den for personalised advice www.mens-den.com.au
Men’s Den is the brainchild of Elyse Sinclair. A unique men’s clinic in Northwest Sydney with a focus on the latest skin and body treatments ranging from laser hair removal and skin care to medical and cosmetic injectables.