Laser hair removal has become a popular cosmetic treatment, due to the effectiveness and relative permanency that typically results. While laser hair removal works well for many patients, most require more than one treatment to achieve their desired results. The total number of treatments and the need for touch-up procedures will vary from individual to individual. There are a number of factors that come into play when determining precisely how many laser hair removal treatments you might need.
Average Number of Treatments
Due to the way laser hair removal works, few patients will see desired results after a single session. The only hairs that can be removed by this method are those that are in the active growth phase at the time of treatment. Hair enters that growth phase at different times, so multiple sessions will be required to finally address all the hair follicles in the treated area. For most patients, the average number of laser hair removal sessions is three to six, scheduled approximately four to six weeks apart. However, this number can vary based on certain patient factors.
Dark hair typically responds best to laser hair removal, especially hair with coarser texture. These hair colors can typically achieve desired results in just three or four sessions. If you have light brown, blonde or light red hair, you will probably require additional sessions of laser hair removal to achieve desired results – up to five or more. White hair does not respond well to laser hair removal, no matter how many treatments are scheduled.
Laser hair removal targets the melanin in the hair follicles that gives hair its color. A contrast between the darker melanin in the hair follicle and lighter melanin of fair complexions works the best for this treatment. This means that fair-skinned individuals typically require fewer laser hair removal sessions, while those with darker skin tones may need more. Tanned skin is not usually a good candidate for laser hair removal, because the laser will be drawn to the melanin in the skin rather than the hair follicle.
Hormones and other factors can have a direct impact on how quickly hair grows. When a patient has faster or slower hair growth than average, she may require a different number of sessions to achieve desired results. As a general rule, those with more hair in the growth phase at one time will require fewer sessions. Those with less may require more sessions to address all of the hair follicles. This may be a difficult variable to assess at the onset, and may be addressed throughout the process as hair growth is detected between laser hair removal sessions.
Waxing or Plucking
These hair removal treatments can affect how many laser hair removal sessions a patient requires, because they have a direct impact on the growth cycles of the hair follicles. To ensure best results and fewer sessions of laser hair removal, avoid waxing or plucking for a number of weeks before treatment.
While many doctors refer to laser hair removal as a permanent solution, many patients find they must have additional treatments to maintain results. If you do require maintenance hair removal sessions, they are usually only scheduled once or twice a year. The above factors may also affect your need for and frequency of maintenance hair removal sessions.
The best way to learn how many laser hair treatments you're likely to require is to meet personally with a laser specialist in your area for a full assessment. Contact us today to schedule a free consult at a clinic near you!