Laser hair removal is a proven tonic for the permanent reduction of unwanted hair virtually anywhere it appears on your face (including the upper lip and cheeks) or body. One method is the Alexandrite laser hair removal procedure, which uses a specific wavelength of energy to pinpoint and destroy dark hair follicles without damaging the tissue around them. (People with predominantly blonde or red hair, as well as people with tans or naturally dark skin, are not ideal candidates for Alexandrite or other types of laser hair removal.)
While no laser treatment can guarantee complete hair removal, Alexandrite laser hair removal can permanently reduce unwanted hair almost anywhere it appears - from the chin, upper lip and other areas of the face to the back and shoulder area, the bikini line and legs, even nipples and underarms. Like other laser hair removal procedures, though, the Alexandrite laser treatment is not used to remove hair around the eyes because of the potential damage the laser can do to the eyes.
Each hair follicle goes through a continuous, three-stage cycle (growing, resting and shedding), and Alexandrite laser hair removal targets only those hairs that are in the growing stage. Since each individual follicle is on its own schedule, each treatment session can effectively remove the growing hair follicles but will leave behind those follicles that are in the resting or shedding stage. For best results, therefore, multiple sessions are usually required.
The Alexandrite laser hair treatment focuses a wavelength of energy (specifically, 755 nanometers, or nm) on the area being treated. These intense pulses of light destroy individual hair follicles without significantly affecting the surrounding tissue. While a procedure like electrolysis penetrates the skin with a thin metal probe to halt the growth of individual follicles, the Alexandrite laser procedure is less invasive and less painful and can target a larger area during each session.
It's both your responsibility and your doctor's responsibility to ensure that you understand what will happen before, during and after a medical procedure prior to making any treatment decision.
Before an Alexandrite laser hair removal treatment, the doctor will wash the treated area with alcohol and apply a topical cream to numb the area as needed. Both you and the doctor will then don safety goggles to protect your eyes from the laser. After testing a patch of skin to determine the precise setting, the doctor will apply the Alexandrite laser to the targeted area, effectively destroying most of the hair follicles that are in their growing stage. (As noted above, dark hair follicles are more easily removed than lighter hair follicles because the dark pigmentation attracts and absorbs the laser energy.)
The treatment can feel as if a small rubber band is being snapped against your skin, but a topical anesthesia can reduce the pain, and the laser has a cooling function to further minimize any discomfort. Typically, the procedure can last 30-40 minutes, but the actual time will depend upon the size of the treated area. Once the initial session is finished, you may have minor swelling in the treated area, but that usually subsides within a few hours.
To achieve the final, desired results, most clients require three or more visits at monthly intervals to remove hair follicles that were in the resting or shedding stages during the previous sessions.
Due to the nature of laser hair removal technology, Alexandrite laser hair treatment isn't for everyone. Because the laser targets dark pigmentation, the hair in question must be darker than the skin surrounding it. Therefore, the ideal candidates are people with light skin and dark hair. Blondes, redheads, people with tanned skin and people with naturally dark skin are not good candidates for Alexandrite laser hair removal, although folks with darker skin tones can receive effective treatment through pulsed light hair removal procedures.
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