In 2012, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) recorded as many as 883,893 laser hair removal procedures performed by physicians; the inclusion of those performed by physician assistants and nurse injectors in the count, however, makes the number go up to 1,224,920.
Laser hair removal is a minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure that gained approval from the US Food and Drug Administration as the method for permanent hair reduction. Since its introduction in the late 1990s, the procedure quickly became a popular regimen in dermatological and aesthetic clinics due to the fast, painless and more effective way that it permanently reduces the number of hairs on the body.
Compared to waxing (which can particularly be painful since it requires hair to be ripped out from its root), shaving and tweezing, all of which allow the same thickness of hair to grow back again very quickly, the re-growth of hair months after the laser hair removal treatment is guaranteed to be lighter in color and finer in texture.
The procedure is characterized by the use of FDA-approved lasers and lights that radiate highly concentrated light on the skin and into hair follicles. As the pigments in the hair follicles absorb the light, hair is simultaneously destroyed. On its website, the Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery clinic explains, however, that due to differences in hair density and the cycle of hair growth (which means that only follicles that were in the active growth would be affected by the laser), the number of treatments can vary from one patient to another.
The typical number of treatments is between four and six for some patients, with each treatment spaced four to eight weeks from each other. Many, though, will already notice a remarkable difference in their hair growth after the fifth procedure.
Laser hair removal procedure may be performed on the legs, arms, face, bikini line, underarm, and any other part of the body where there is unwanted hair growth. It can also be undergone by anyone, regardless of skin color and hair type: people with darker hair on lighter skin are guaranteed with the best results, though. With laser hair removal, the result can only be beautiful, smooth skin for a remarkably astonishing look – this is most probably why it remains to be among the top cosmetic procedures chosen by millions of Americans.