The armpits, a hidden yet obvious area of the body, are difficult to groom because of the elasticity of the skin and density of the hair. Not to forget the extreme pain you feel while waxing armpits and the pesky blunt hair ends you get after shaving. Regardless of the challenges of removing hair from the underarms, it is important to groom them because such hair is associated with increased sweating, bad smell, and more.
Therefore, laser hair removal brings a semi-permanent and practical solution to get rid of underarm hair once and for all. Let us talk more about armpit laser hair removal and find out if you should give it a try here. Table of Contents:
- Part 1: How does Armpit Laser Hair Removal work?
- Part 2: Laser Hair Removal Armpit Before and After
- Part 3: Preparing for Armpit Laser Hair Removal
- Part 4: Armpit Laser Hair Removal Cost
- Part 5: Number of Sessions Required
- Part 6: Does Laser Armpit Hair Removal Hurt?
- Part 7: Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Lumps in Armpit?
- Part 8: Dark Underarms After Laser Hair Removal
- Part 9: How Long Does Armpit Laser Hair Removal Last?
Part 1: How does Armpit Laser Hair Removal work?
Laser hair removal machines use a probe that gives out a beam of light. This beam is absorbed by the pigment in the hair and taken to the hair roots. In the roots, the beams transform into heat by the process of photothermolysis and it destroys the hair follicle.
In the case of armpits, laser kills some of the follicles while putting others in a resting phase. Additionally, give IPL underarms treatment a read.
The fact that laser hair removal seems like the ultimate solution for women with unwanted hair is due to the following reasons.
- Long-Lasting: The results of laser hair removal last quite a while as it annihilates the follicles in contrast to temporary waxing and shaving.
- Relatively Painless: Laser hair removal might feel uncomfortable. But it is not as painful as waxing or as irritating as shaving.
- No Ingrown Hair: Once the hair breaks at the shaft, you get ingrown hair. As the laser removes it from the roots, you stay free from ingrown hair.
- No Blunt Ends: The hair regrowth in other methods results in blunt hair ends that poke into the skin. However, this is not the case with laser hair removal.
- Finer Hair Regrowth: Laser is not permanent. So, you might notice hair regrowth after some time. But the good thing is that regrowth will be finer.
- Quick Treatments: Armpit laser hair removal treatment only takes 5-10 minutes in each session.
- Cost-effective: You do not have to buy shaving razors, depilatory creams, or waxing kits again and again after getting a laser. So, it is cost-effective in the long run.
- Time-Saving: You save a lot of time by not having to remove armpit hair every week.
Misconceptions and Concerns:
- If you are worried that laser will be as painful as other hair removal methods on armpits, relax because this procedure is gentle
- Sadly, the results of laser hair removal are not permanent as many assume
- You might have heard that lasers do not work for dark skin and light hair. But the advanced technology has overcome this barrier
- If you are concerned about the safety of laser, let me tell you it is completely safe and FDA-approved
- Lastly, even if your armpits are sensitive, laser hair removal got you as the treatment is not invasive
Part 2: Laser Hair Removal Armpit Before and After
What to Expect?
You might be expecting a laser to remove all your unwanted hair in 1 session completely. However, it is better to know that laser hair removal is a process rather than a single-session treatment.
Hair regrowth is slowed down and reduces significantly in subsequent sessions. Also, hair sheds after the session. Therefore, keep your expectations realistic so that you’ll be happy with the results rather than disappointed.
What are the Results?
After the first session, about 30% of the hair follicles die, and 30-60% of the hair is shed. During the 2nd and 3rd sessions, hair regrowth is reduced and you need to shave only once and twice in between the sessions.
Then the subsequent sessions kill 90-100% of the hair follicles and your armpits become virtually hairless.
Demonstration of the Before and After
Part 3: Preparing for Armpit Laser Hair Removal
Take the following steps to prepare for laser hair removal to ensure that you get the best results.
The Treatment Plan:
Although every person can get laser hair removal treatment, it is important to discuss the treatment plan, your skin condition, any drugs you take, and any contraindications you might have with the doctor. If you are pregnant or planning pregnancy, it is better to delay the treatment.
Additionally, the process laser for dark skin and light hair is different. So, it should be discussed accordingly.
The Preparation and Precautions:
Here are some preparation tips for getting laser hair removal on armpits.
- Wash the underarms with gentle body washes
- Avoid wearing sleeveless clothes for about 2 weeks before that treatment so that you can prevent sun sensitivity. Wear sunscreen as well
- Do not apply artificial tanners on the armpits and nearby areas
- Do not pluck the hair with wax or tweezers. Also, do not use depilatory creams for a month before the initiation of the laser treatment
- Some painkillers, antibiotics, and other medicines cause photosensitivity. So, either avoid those medicines or talk to your doctor about it
Before Going for the Session:
Part 4: Armpit Laser Hair Removal Cost
Factors Affecting the Cost:
Laser hair removal has a variable cost that is affected by the following factors.
- The popularity and location of the clinic
- The skills and education of the laser hair removal provider
- The fact that it is a laser surgeon’s clinic, salon, or spa
- Number of sessions required
- If you are paying for treatment by sessions or altogether
- Discounts and promotions
The Price Range:
The average cost of laser hair removal on armpits is $100-200 dollars depending upon the factor mentioned above. For example, 1 session in New York will cost $150, and about $75 in Seattle.
At this price, you get the anesthetic gel, the laser treatment itself, and the immediate post-treatment gel.
The Treatment Plan by Popular Providers:
You can find the best laser hair removal providers for armpits through firms like the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Academy of Dermatology Association, and the American Society of Dermatological Surgery.
The trick to finding the most affordable treatment plan is to get the pricing cost of the top laser hair removal clinics or spas through the internet, and see what the treatment plan covers and if there are any additional charges or tipping policy.
Part 5: Number of Sessions Required
Why Do You Need Multiple Sessions?
As we said earlier, laser hair removal is not a one-time procedure. This is because the laser requires the hair to be in the active phase for it to be effective. The hair is anaphase attached to the follicles, has high pigments, and receives an active blood supply. However, catagen and telogen phases lack these features.
As only a fraction of hair is in Anagen at one time, you need multiple sessions to target all hair strands when they are in the active growth period.
Factors Influencing Number of Sessions:
The number of laser hair removal sessions is influenced by various factors given as,
- The area of the body
- The skin color and type
- The hair thickness, coarseness, pigment, and density
- The response of your body to the treatment
- Hormonal status
Average Number of Sessions:
Laser hair removal sessions are scheduled every 4-8 weeks. In most cases, you will need one session every 6 weeks for removing underarm hair.
Part 6: Does Laser Armpit Hair Removal Hurt?
One of the major concerns about lasers is will hurt, especially in areas with low pain tolerance like armpits.
Why Does it Hurt:
Laser becomes heat when it reaches the hair follicle. The area near the follicles has both pain and temperature nerve endings. When the heat flashes, the nerves carry signals of pain, discomfort, or irritation to the brain. As a result of which, you feel hurt.
Moreover, armpits are one of the areas of the body with the least pain tolerance. It is because the skin on the underarms is thin while the hair is thick. So, the hair absorbs a high percentage of radiation and causes the hurt.
How Much Does it Hurt:
Well, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the pain caused by laser hair removal on armpits. It depends on factors like the density of the hair in this region, the condition of the skin, and most importantly the individual’s pain threshold.
So, some people only feel mild discomfort or tingling sensation as the laser is applied while others experience a sensation similar to snapping by a rubber band or stinging by a bee.
How to Reduce the Pain:
All clinicians take measures to reduce the pain and make laser hair removal treatments comfortable for you. Some of the ways to reduce the pain are given as,
- Take systemic painkillers like ibuprofen 30-45 minutes before the treatment
- Application of topical anesthetic gels or numbing creams reduces the painful sensation
- Some laser hair removal machines have built-in cooling mechanisms to make the process relatively painless
- After the session, you can apply a cold compress to numb the treatment area
Part 7: Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Lumps in Armpit?
Although not very common, you can notice the formation of rashes or lumps after the sessions. These bumps in most cases are temporary and caused because of the heat effect of the laser. So, it resolves once that effect is gone without a few hours.
However, in rare cases, the persistent bumps represent folliculitis.
How Does the Lumps Form?
When the heat is applied to the hair follicle, inflammation occurs in it giving rise to a lump. This is a normal happening.
But, at times, bacteria invade the skin and activate an intense inflammatory response in the follicle giving rise to swelling and edema of the hair roots. This condition is called laser-induced folliculitis.
It might also occur when the hair is not yet completely extruded from the skin and it acts like a foreign body to produce an immune response.
How to Avoid Such Lumps?
If the lumps in your armpits are diffuse and look like a rash, see how to heal an armpit rash here.
However, if you want to avoid it in the first place, here are some tips.
- Start by choosing a well-reputed laser hair removal provider and talk about your concerns
- Follow the pre-treatment protocol where you avoid sun exposure, tanning, and anything that irritates the skin
- Take measures to take good care of your skin after laser hair removal by applying a cold compress, and moisturizer, and avoiding hot showers, deodorants, and tight clothes.
Part 8: Dark Underarms After Laser Hair Removal
In addition to the lumps, you might develop darkness in the underarms.
Why Do Dark Underarms Happen?
The dark underarms that occur after laser hair removal are the result of post-laser inflammatory changes in the skin that appear in the form of small dark specks. Additionally, it can be because of the interference of the laser with melanocytes resulting in the overproduction of melanin.
But there is nothing to worry about as it is temporary and resolves on its own.
How to Treat and Prevent Dark Underarms?
If your underarms are naturally dark, here are the tips to whiten dark underarms. However, if it is a complication of a laser, here are the tips for you.
- Leave it as it is because the pigmentation is temporary and will fade away
- Wear sunscreen before and after the treatment and avoid sun exposure
- Quick using any fake tanners on armpits
- Use skin-brightening moisturizers
Part 9: How Long Does Armpit Laser Hair Removal Last?
Laser hair removal offers temporary yet long-lasting results making people assume that it is permanent.
Factors Determining the Longevity of Results:
The longevity of laser hair removal is affected by the following factors,
- The effectiveness of the treatment: The better the candidacy of laser hair removal, the stronger will be its effects.
- Activation of hair follicles: Hair follicles are either killed or put to rest after the treatment. So, the hair at rest might reactivate and give rise to new hair.
- The regrowth of the hair: New hair follicles can regenerate anytime during life just like other cells of the body. These follicles produce new hair.
- The hormonal factors: The imbalance of hormones either by physiological states like pregnancy and menopause or pathological conditions like PCOS affects the results of laser hair removal.
- The usage of medicines: Some medications like steroids, hormonal antagonists, and minoxidil can cause hirsutism.
The Average Timeline for Results:
The longevity of the results of laser hair removal depends on several individual factors as discussed above. So, we cannot say how long does the results last exactly as explained in how long laser hair removal lasts.
However, people have reported being hair-free for 2 to 10 years after the treatment. Also, note that the results might only last for a few months in some cases.
Need of Follow-up Sessions:
Even when you are done with your treatment which takes 6 to 12 months, you might notice the regrowth of some hair within the next 6 to 12 months. Thus, you require follow-up sessions to kill all hair that erupts.
In general, 1 or 2 follow-up sessions per year are considered enough.
Laser hair removal is as effective for armpits as any other part of the body. However, while you will be getting laser for an improved appearance on the other parts, laser on the armpits is associated with better hygiene, less sweat, no armpit odor, and a boost in self-confidence.
Also, the armpit laser hair removal is economical. But it is essential to have a treatment that is personalized for you to get the best out of your money and not regret your decision. Therefore, we talked about everything you need to consider about laser hair removal in this article.