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While women commonly seek laser hair removal of the bikini line, underarms, and face, men are good candidates for this procedure as well. For most men, however, the areas where they want to have hair removed are much larger ones, usually the back and shoulders. Such large areas pose problems for conventional hair removal methods such as waxing and electrolysis. While shaving is a low cost approach, it must be done at least every several days and the back area is a hard one to do by yourself. With laser hair removal, these large areas can be done quickly and easily with good long-term hair reduction.

The concept to grasp about laser hair removal is that it can only affect the hairs that are in the active growing phase, known as anagen. On the back and shoulders, only about 50% or so of the hairs are actively growing at any one time. The growth cycle for back hairs is about three to six months. What this tells you is that it will require a series of laser hair treatments to get significant growth reduction. Mathematically, one can calculate the point at which less than 10% of the hairs will be present by taking a 50% reduction at every 4 to 6 week treatment interval. (1st treatment 50% left, 2nd treatment 25% left, third treatment 12.5% left, 4th treatment 6.25% left, 5th treatment 3% left, etc) That is why laser hair treatments are sold in packages of 5 at Eppley Lifestyle Spa it takes that many to see really good results. Long-term, occasional maintenance treatments may be needed as well, maybe once a year for a few years after the initial series.

The biggest issue with treating large areas with laser hair removal is pain control. Because the lasers work with attached cooling mechanisms, treatments are less painful and uncomfortable than they would be otherwise. However, further pain control efforts are helpful and the use of a topical pain relieving cream to be applied before the hair removal begins providing even more relief.

While women have a long history of understanding the cost of beauty, men are often more logical and scrutinizing of such costs. Because areas like the back are bigger than say the bikini line, the cost for a package series of back treatments will be higher. While the cost may seem initially high, it is a long-term investment that will save time and money considering the alternative methods of hair removal.

Perhaps one of the most attractive selling points of laser hair removal for men is that their skin will require very little care afterwards. The area that has been treated will be slightly red and feel like a sunburn. This goes away in a day or two. One can apply moisturizers or aloe for comfort and dryness. One should not get direct sunlight or tan on the area treated for two weeks after treatment.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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