Wellness Wednesday is a weekly feature on HuffPost Canada dedicated to helping you become the healthiest version of yourself possible. This week, we’re talking about laser hair removal.

What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a treatment for skin ailments that involve unwanted hair. The laser light heats up the hair follicle, preventing future hair growth. It’s a quick, non-invasive procedure that is a less painful alternative to waxing and shaving. You can read more about it on the American Academy of Dermatology’s website.

The treatment is also called selective hair reduction. It’s a popular option for people with sensitive skin, who can’t tolerate the heat that comes with waxing and shaving. The dermatologist first maps out the areas that require the most attention, and then she/he performs the laser treatment. This is also the reason why you should choose a dermatologist for laser hair removal; they know how to properly use the device and what settings to use based on your skin tone and photosensitivity. Many people doze off after the treatment as a result of the anesthesia and relaxing effect of the treatment. Some people feel a tingling sensation during the treatment, which lasts for a few minutes after the procedure.

Does it work?

The science behind laser hair removal is extremely effective. According to a 2016 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, 82% of people reported that their hair grew back less, and 75% reported that their hair grew back quicker after laser hair removal. Only 6% reported that their hair grew back somewhat the same as before the treatment. Unfortunately, not everyone will see the benefits of laser hair removal. The researchers in the study concluded that people with darker skin tones needed higher doses of laser light, and those with lighter skin tones needed lower doses to achieve the same results. This indicates that the treatment works best for those with darker skin tones and worst for those with lighter skin tones.

The Best Time to Have Laser Hair Removal

The best time to have laser hair removal is between two and four weeks after your last shampooing. This is because the hair follicles are at their softest at this point, meaning that there is the best chance of the treatment being effective. You should also do research into the wavelength that your dermatologist uses, and choose a product that is specifically designed for use with this laser. Thicker hair means a longer treatment time, so be sure to book your appointment as soon as possible once you’ve decided to go ahead with the procedure.

Where Can I Go For More Information?

You can get more information about laser hair removal at the American Academy of Dermatology’s website. There, you’ll find a directory of skin diseases and treatments, as well as FAQs and more. Not only that, but you can also read patient reviews and feedback from those who have undergone the treatment. This way, you can determine for yourself whether or not laser hair removal is right for you.

Many insurance providers cover the cost of dermatologist visits and laser hair removal treatments. As long as you meet the criteria, you should have no trouble receiving benefits. Check with your insurance provider to see what restrictions and limitations they have regarding coverage of this procedure.