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Man with hair removed from back

You’ve probably seen plenty of advertisements lately for laser hair removal. If you’re curious about what it could do for you, you’re not alone.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in male patients,” says Brooke Schick, a licensed esthetician specializing in skin care at WellSpan Plastic Surgery & Skin Care Center in Chambersburg.

“Laser hair removal is helpful to men who are uncomfortable with excess body hair and those who get irritation and ingrown hairs from shaving,” says Schick. Winter is an ideal time to get laser treatments. “You want to avoid treatments in the summer or if you’ve had recent sun exposure because of how the laser works,” Schick says. “It uses heat and energy to pick up the darker pigmentation in the hair follicle.”

The laser also can make you sun sensitive, so getting laser treatments in fall or winter, when you’re covered up and the sun’s rays are weaker, is optimal.

How it works

Once the laser picks up the darker pigmentation in a hair follicle, it burns and destroys the bulb of the hair to permanently reduce—not eliminate—hair growth, Schick explains. Normally, about six monthly treatments are needed.

“After that, you’ll have a 60 to 90 percent hair reduction in the area being targeted,” says Schick. The treatments can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour each. “The more dark and coarse the hair is, the better the results.”

After each treatment, Schick advises that any exposed skin be covered with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50, and that clients stay out of the sun as much as possible.

Benefits of lasering

If you’re curious about which areas your fellow men tend to get lasered, Schick has an answer: The most common areas treated are chest, face, and back. She adds that the laser can help reduce irritation from shaving and ingrown hairs.

Hair that may come back in will be more fine and grow in sporadically, making shaving easier.

Schick’s male clients have quickly become fans of lasering, she says: “They prefer it more than waxing because they don’t get as much irritation afterwards, it’s less painful, and more permanent.” They’re awed by the results, she adds. “They often start seeing a difference after just one treatment.”