Long-term Hair Removal Options for African American Women

If you’re looking for permanent and long term solutions to facial hair, there are two main options: laser treatment and electrolysis. Both options have different benefits when it comes to African American skin care. Before making a decision on which method you want to use, it is essential that you have all the details. Always be sure to consult a dermatologist to discuss your personal treatment options before going through with any procedure.

Electrolysis

What is it? 

Electrolysis is a hair removal treatment in which a dermatologist inserts a fine need needle into each hair follicle and uses direct electric currents to destroy the hair follicle and stop growth. This is the only permanent hair removal treatment recognized by the FDA, but will take multiple sessions to see results. Most sessions are performed weekly as needed, and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour.

How much does it hurt?

Those who have undergone the treatment consistently describe the pain as bearable. Because electrolysis destroys each hair one at a time, patients experience a series of small plucks. Most patients also agree that the body becomes desensitized to the pain after about 5 minutes.

Who should use electrolysis and where?

Electrolysis can be done on any part of the body, and it works on every skin type and hair type. A major concern in African American skin care is the development of ingrown hairs. Because electrolysis attacks the hair at the follicle and not at the surface, ingrown hairs are very uncommon with this type of treatment. Those with sensitive skin may experience redness after treatments, but no major side effects.

Laser Hair Removal

What is it?

Laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the United States. Although it is not a permanent method of hair removal, it is long-term. Treatments can prevent hair growth for anywhere from several months to several years, depending on the patient. A highly concentrated light is shined on the hairs and the hairs’ pigment absorbs the light’s energy. The absorbed energy destructs the follicle, decreasing hair growth. The amount of sessions needed will also vary from person to person.

How much does it hurt?

The pain from laser can be described as the feeling of a rubber band being popped against your skin. It is definitely tolerable, and some say it even hurts less than waxing. After the procedure, you may notice your skin is more sensitive to feeling for a few a days, which is normal.

Who should use laser hair removal and where?

This type of treatment is quick and can be done anywhere on the body. Traditionally, laser treatments work best on individuals with pale skin and dark hair since it is the hair’s pigment that absorbs the light. This is not the best method for African American women’s skincare as it can cause hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation (white spots). Recently, however, new technology has made it possible for laser treatment to be effective of darker skin. If you opt for a laser treatment, be sure to consult a dermatologist who specializes in Black skincare to achieve the best results.

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