Laser Hair Removal Men
Laser Hair Removal for Men
Laser hair removal is increasing in popularity with each passing year, and one of the fastest growing demographics is men. Athletes in sports where body hair can be a real hindrance, such as swimming, bodybuilding, cycling, turned to laser hair removal early on, but with the new legion of so-called metrosexuals, men with an unabashed interest in grooming, it has risen in popularity significantly.
Increased sex appeal is the number one reason for laser hair removal for men, but many simply are looking to simplify the grooming process they already use. Many men schedule regular salon or barber shop visits simply to get their neckline shaved. Laser hair removal can eliminate this bi-weekly trip. Other common areas men target for laser hair removal include the back, chest, and upper arms.
Another reason men turn to laser hair removal is because, other than electrolysis, it is the only way to permanently thin hair without totally removing it. Thinning the hair on the back and chest can leave a person with a sense of masculinity without having to feel like a gorilla. Other common areas for laser hair removal are the shoulders, stomach, and genital area.
Laser hair removal works through a process scientifically known as selective photothermolysis. A machine is used with a wand-like attachment that emits pulses of focused laser light. Each pulse lasts only for a millisecond. The laser travels through the skin without harming it, but areas high in melatonin, the pigment that colors and darkens the skin, absorb the laser light. Hair and hair follicles have the highest concentrations of melatonin, so they absorb most of the laser’s energy. This scars (invisibly) the follicle, reducing its ability to grow hair. Since laser hair removal requires melatonin, not everyone is a suitable candidate for its use. Albinos, for instance, would be unaffected. In addition, dark skin can be affected by the laser and absorb so much of the energy that too little reaches the follicle. The best candidate for laser hair removal is someone with light skin and dark hair. The process may cause slight pain that is usually described as “uncomfortable.” For this reason, a topical anesthetic is often applied before the treatment.
One treatment is rarely enough to remove hair permanently. Men usually need between three and eight treatments before the hair is considered permanently removed. Each visit is scheduled 4 to 8 weeks apart so any superficial damage to the skin can heal and the follicle can properly scar. Even after the hair is considered permanently removed, touch-up treatments are often required every 6 to 12 months. At $300 to $500 per session, laser hair removal is not cheap, and this expense must be considered before treatment begins. If laser hair removal is begun, but not finished, the first sessions will have become completely useless.
After treatment, the area exposed to the laser may become red with minor inflammation. This is often described as being similar to a mild case of sunburn that disappears in one to three days. Three to ten days after treatment, hair will appear to grow, but it is really purging and falling out. Hairs should not be pulled out during this time, but men undergoing laser hair removal can still shave if this is an area in which they normally do so.
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