Saying Goodbye to Hair Maintenance: Laser Hair Removal with Dr. Anil Shah, MD

If you’re getting tired of ongoing body hair maintenance, then it might be time to consider a more permanent hair removal option. Laser hair removal treatment in Chicago, IL, with Dr. Anil Shah, MD can permanently reduce the amount of hair in almost any area of the body after several laser hair removal sessions.

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Why Have Laser Hair Removal?

Everyone has hair, but some people have more than others. If you have hair in areas where you don’t want it, you have plenty of options for getting rid of it. However, most at-home hair removal techniques require frequent repetition, which can be irritating and time-consuming. 

That’s where laser hair removal treatment can help. By preventing the hair follicles from producing new hair, laser treatments can result in long-term hair reduction after several sessions. 

Treatments using laser technology can be used pretty much all over the body, anywhere hair grows such as the underarms, bikini lines, or the upper lip, except for the eye area.  The procedure doesn’t necessarily permanently remove all hair, but it will permanently reduce the amount of hair in the treated area.

How Laser Hair Removal Works

During a laser treatment, a laser beam, or concentrated ray of light, is directed at the hair follicles. The pigment in the hair absorbs the energy from the laser, causing damage to the follicle. Once the follicle is damaged, new hair won’t grow from it. Hair moves through three phases during its growth. Lasers can only damage follicles that are in the anagen, known as the active growth phase. Since not every follicle is actively growing at the same time, most people need multiple hair removal sessions to get the results they want.

Different Types Of Lasers For Hair Removal

Several different types of laser can be used to remove hair from the body. The four lasers that are most often used are:

  • Intense pulsed light (IPL
  • Alexandrite
  • Diode
  • Nd:YaG lasers

Dr. Anil Shah, MD uses diode lasers to remove body hair at his practice in Chicago, IL, specifically the Diolaze laser. Diode lasers are preferred for hair removal treatment because they work quickly and tend to be the most comfortable for patients. The Diolaze laser treats a larger area than other devices, meaning the process is quicker. It also works on most skin types. Another benefit of the Diolaze laser is that it has a built-in cooling mechanism to help improve patient comfort.

Good Candidates For Laser Hair Removal

As with any cosmetic treatment, laser hair removal treatment isn’t right for everyone. Some people are better candidates than others. People with light skin and dark hair tend to be the best candidates for the procedure. The contrast between hair color and skin color allows the lasers to work more effectively.

In the past, people with darker skin tones, such as people of Middle Eastern or Indian descent, were discouraged from having laser hair removal treatment. Older laser methods used wavelengths that could cause skin pigmentation changes and damage to darker skin tones. Fortunately, newer lasers are safe to use on all skin tones, as there are now more pulse widths and wavelengths available.

Although newer laser treatments are safe for use on people of all skin types, hair color can still affect candidacy for treatment. Blonde, red, gray, and other light hair colors can be challenging to treat with a laser since there often isn’t enough pigment in the hair to absorb the laser’s energy. 

The condition of your skin also affects your candidacy. Ideally, you won’t have any open wounds, rashes, or infections on your skin before treatment. It’s also important not to tan before or after laser hair treatment.

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Treatment Areas For Laser Hair Removal

Lasers can remove hair from practically any area of the body. The size of the treatment area influences how long the process will take and how many laser sessions a patient might need in order to get satisfactory results. Although both men and women have body hair, often in the same areas, the treatment areas for laser hair removal often differ for men and women.

Common Treatment Areas for Women Common Treatments Areas for Men
Face Face
Underarms Chest
Legs Back
Bikini area “Mankini” area

If you have hair on a part of your body that isn’t listed above, it’s still very likely that a laser can help to reduce it. Dr. Shah, MD will discuss your hair removal treatment goals with you during an individual consultation and will let you know if you’re a good candidate for laser treatment.

Laser Hair Removal Consultation

An initial consultation is required before starting your laser hair removal treatment series in Chicago, IL. During your consultation with Dr. Shah MD, you will have the chance to ask questions and learn more about the process. Dr. Shah MD will use the meeting to learn more about you and what you’re hoping to get from the treatment. He’ll discuss your goals with you, let you know if your hair is likely to respond to laser treatment, and discuss other hair removal treatment options with you, if appropriate. The doctor will also ask about any medications or supplements you take, your medical history, and whether or not you smoke. He may also ask about your tanning habits. It’s a good idea to bring along a list of any medications or information about any medical conditions you have.

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How To Prepare For Laser Hair Removal

Unlike plastic surgery, laser hair removal treatment usually doesn’t require an extensive amount of preparation beforehand. It’s an easy, safe and effective. A non-surgical treatment with no downtime, so feel comfortable. You won’t need to have someone drive you to Dr. Shah’s state of the art practice, nor will you need to have someone stay with you overnight after treatment.

There are a few things you can do before laser treatment to help improve your results. Since having tanned skin can reduce the efficiency of the laser, it’s best to avoid sun exposure for up to six weeks before your hair removal treatments. Keep the area you want to treat covered to minimize sun exposure and use sunscreen to protect your skin. It’s also important to skip using any type of sunless tanner during the six weeks before treatment.

You should also avoid doing any type of hair removal treatment that disturbs the hair follicle in the weeks before you start treatment. Plucking, epilating (using hair removal creams), and waxing all remove the hair by the root and should be avoided. Laser hair removal treatment needs the follicle and root to be intact to work. It’s important to note that you can continue to shave since it doesn’t disturb the root. In fact, you will need to shave your hair the night before your treatment to ensure that the laser can work properly.

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What To Expect During Laser Hair Removal In Chicago

On the day of your laser hair treatment, you’ll be given a pair of protective goggles to wear, to shield your eyes from the laser. If the treatment area hasn’t been shaved within the past 24 hours, it will be shaved at the office (for a fee) to remove any hair and to help the laser target the follicle more effectively. 

Before starting the hair removal treatment session, Dr. Shah, MD might apply a topical numbing cream to improve your comfort. During the treatment, he will place a hand-held instrument to your skin, allowing the laser to target the follicles. The Diolaze laser Dr. Shah, MD uses has a cooling device built in to help keep the laser from heating up the skin. As the treatment goes on, you’ll likely feel some warmth from the laser. 

How long the process will take depends on the size of the treatment area. A small area, such as above the lips, might only need a few minutes. Larger areas, like the legs, chest or back, might require an hour or longer.

Laser Hair Removal Recovery And Aftercare

You won’t need to take time off from work or your other activities after having laser treatment to remove hair. There’s no downtime involved. It’s common for the treated areas to be red and somewhat tender for several days. You can use cold compresses to help reduce redness and improve your comfort. To protect the treated area, avoid sun exposure as much as possible for the next six weeks. Your skin will be particularly sensitive to the effects of the sun after laser treatment. It’s also a good idea to use sunscreen daily.

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Results After Laser Hair Removal

When you will see results from your laser treatment depends on your unique pattern of hair growth. It can be challenging to predict results since everyone’s hair grows differently. You might see some shedding starting a few days after your first treatment or it might take weeks before you see a noticeable change. 

About four weeks after the first treatment, you’re likely to notice that your hair is growing in patches. That’s a sign that the treatment has worked and that the treated hair follicles are no longer producing new

You’ll want to schedule an additional laser treatment within four to eight weeks after your first session. Depending on your hair growth, you might need up to five additional treatments. Since the amount of hair in the area is considerably reduced with each treatment, you’re likely to notice that the process becomes easier and quicker with each session. 

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Risks of Laser Hair Removal

There are some minor risks involved with laser treatments to remove unwanted body hair. Mild side effects can occur, such as swelling, redness, and irritation of the skin. People with darker skin might notice pigmentation changes, but these are usually temporary. Following Dr. Shah’s instructions before and after treatment can help you reduce risks.

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Laser Hair Removal FAQ

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Does Laser Hair Removal Work On Gray Hair?

Gray hair contains less pigment than other hair colors. There often isn’t enough pigment in the hair to absorb the energy of the laser and effectively damage the hair follicle.

Does Laser Hair Removal Work On Blonde Hair?

Laser treatments usually aren’t recommended for people with blonde hair, as the hair is too light to absorb the laser’s energy.

Does Laser Hair Removal Work On Dark Hair?

Dark hair is often ideal for laser treatments. Brown or black hair has plenty of pigment to absorb the laser’s energy and effectively damage the follicle. The preferred combination for effective laser treatment is dark hair and light skin as the contrast helps to ensure optimal results

Does Laser Hair Removal Work On Dark Skin?

While older laser treatments weren’t recommended for people with dark skin, newer methods are designed to work on all skin types. If you have dark skin, Dr. Shah, MD will recommend that a particular light wavelength be used on your skin to reduce the chance of pigment changes.

What Is The Best Laser Hair Removal Method?

Dr. Shah, MD uses diode lasers at his practice, because of their versatility and efficacy. Diode lasers work on a wide range of skin types. The Diolaze laser Dr. Shah, MD uses has a larger spot size than other options, allowing it to destroy more hair at once.

Does Laser Hair Removal Work For Men?

Yes, both men and women can benefit from laser hair removal treatment. The treatment areas for men are often different than the treatment areas for women, but there is some overlap.

Should I Shave Before Laser Hair Removal Treatment?

While it’s not a good idea to wax, pluck, or epilate your hair before a laser treatment, shaving is acceptable and is actually part of the treatment preparation. You will most likely be asked to shave within 24 hours of your treatment to help the laser work better. If you don’t have the time to shave beforehand, we can shave the area in our office, for an additional charge.

Does Laser Hair Removal Treatment Create Ingrown Hairs?

Ingrown hairs happen when a hair grows back into the skin, rather than out and away from it. They can be uncomfortable, as well as unsightly, and usually occur after shaving or waxing. Laser treatments will not cause ingrown hairs. In fact, they can help reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs after several treatments, since fewer follicles will be active.

Can I Do Laser Hair Removal Treatment At Home?

Although at-home devices exist that claim to remove hair using lasers, they aren’t going to be as effective as a treatment performed in-office, by a trained, board-certified medical professional. There haven’t been studies conducted on the effectiveness of at-home devices. You also don’t save much money using an in-home laser device, as most of them cost hundreds of dollars.

What Laser Hair Removal Office Is Near Me?

If you live near Chicago, IL, Anil Shah Facial Plastic Surgery offers Kybella among its services and is conveniently located at 200 West Superior St., Suite 200 Chicago, IL 60654

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Anil Shah. Why he is the best:

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Schedule a Laser Hair Removal Consultation in Chicago, IL Today

A double board-certified facial plastic surgeon based in Chicago, Dr. Shah, MD has established himself as a specialist in using lasers to remove unwanted hair. If you’re ready for a permanent reduction in unwanted hair growth, call 312-820-8856 to set up a laser hair removal treatment consultation in Chicago, or book online today.

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