There’s likely to be some redness or swelling in the area which was treated after your session, and this may persist for a couple days afterward. You might also experience a sensation similar to a sunburn after treatment, and this can be alleviated by aloe vera or over-the-counter hydrocortisone. It is normal for patients to recover from laser hair removal within just a few days of treatment, since any swelling or redness will generally subside by that time.
As long as you don’t engage in improper activities, e.g. sun-tanning, excessive heat, saunas, hot tubs, or extreme workouts, you should not have any scarring or skin texture changes. Recovery is generally so quick that you will be ready for your next session within four weeks, if the area to be treated is around the face. For trunk areas, follow-up sessions can be every six weeks, and for the legs, every eight weeks.
Like most medical procedures, laser hair removal does involve a few risks, all these are generally minimal for most patients. As previously stated, there might be some mild swelling or redness around the hair follicles of the area being treated. It’s also possible that changes in the skin pigment might occur, especially for people who have darker skin.
These are usually temporary changes which revert back to their normal condition within a few days of treatment. There are some other temporary conditions which might occur after a laser hair removal session, such as crusting, blistering, or scarring on the area which was treated. In terms of any discomfort felt during the actual laser hair removal session, the worst discomfort reported by any patient has been the sensation of having a rubber band snapped against the skin.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the typical cost for a session of laser hair removal is in the neighborhood of $400. However, there are a number of factors which will heavily impact this cost, beginning with the size of the area being treated and the amount of time it takes to conduct the treatment. Keep in mind that several sessions will always be needed for truly effective laser hair removal, so the prices quoted below are reflective of individual sessions, and not the total cost of the process.
Sessions addressing the neck or face will be between $600 and $900, sessions treating your arms will be between $350 and $500, and when treating the bikini area it will cost between $350 and $500. Sessions dealing with the lower legs will cost between $600 and $850, sessions treating your back will be between $600 and $900, and those sessions which treat chest hair will cost between $350 and $600.
It will be helpful to understand the stages of hair growth when trying to predict how long it will be before hair grows back on affected areas. The four different stages of growth are anagen, which is the growing phase, catagen which is a transitional phase, telogen which is a resting phase, and exogen which is a shedding phase.
At any one time, the hairs on your body are going through all four of these different phases, and laser hair removal is most effective during the anagen or growing phase. This is exactly why it takes several sessions to accomplish laser hair removal, because not all the hairs in any given area are in that growing phase at the time of treatment.
You will definitely see hair re-growing while you’re undergoing successive laser hair removal treatments, because many of the other hairs in that area will be reaching the anagen phase where they can be effectively treated by laser hair removal. Once you have been through all the necessary treatment sessions, you should have caught all the hairs in that treatment area during the anagen phase, so that all hairs will no longer be growing there.
At this point, you can expect that there won’t be any regrowth of hair for many years, and in some cases removal might even be permanent. If any hair does grow back, it will be much thinner and sparser, and would only require quick follow-up treatments.