Bethenny Frankel gets a laser hair treatment.
Landing strip, lighting bolt, bald eagle -- no matter how you're manicured, the trend is "less is more" down there. But how do you tame your wazoo?
Bethenny strips down, lasers it off and explains all.
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When it comes to laser, you can't bring back the bush once it's gone. when soaring the bald eagle (aka "The Full Monty"), do men really want a woman who looks like a little girl? When you're 80, will it look bizarre to be flying free? Bethenny, who has been waxing all her life, has held on to her landing strip… until today.
Bethenny's dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel says he's seeing more of his patients, both men and women turning to laser. The trend is less hair all over. It's more of an investment, but do you want to lease or buy? Lasering is the buy. Waxing or razoring is the lease.
Hair on the belly, toes and boobies -- women get hair in some crazy places. Dr. Sobel zaps you with all the info on what you need to know about laser hair treatments.
Laser Hair Removal: Say Goodbye to Stubble
1. The Ideal Laser Candidate
Sick of razoring, waxing or plucking unwanted straggles? The ideal patient for laser hair removal is someone with excessive hair growth who is unhappy with the appearance, the daily maintenance, and is looking for a simple, clean, no-hassle solution. The procedure is most effective on patients with dark hair and light skin.
2. Before You Laser
Two things to remember before you laser; the first is to be cleanly shaven. This is very important because if the laser reacts to a long hair, you could burn the skin.
Second, you don't want to have a tan. During the procedure the laser is pulsing absorbing the pigment, the melanin that's in the hair. If a patient is tan, it could react to the skin that has melanin, and burn the skin.
3. How It Works
In Bethenny's case, Dr. Sobel used an advanced new laser treatment, the LightSheer DUET. This laser requires six treatments to get at least 80% permanent reduction of hair.
The laser pulses the skin, absorbs the pigment and destroys the hair down to the follicle. Eye protection is used during treatment.
4. Why Are Six Treatments Required?
Six treatments, about six weeks apart is recommended for best results, according to Dr. Sobel when using the LightSheerDuet. This varies based on the laser used.
The multiple treatments is because the hair grows in stages. During the first treatment, only a certain percentage of hairs growing at that time are reached. The six weeks must be consecutive.
5. Does It Hurt?
"It's not not painful," says Bethenny after finishing laser on her private areas. The nurse described it as a "hickey machine" -- the head of the laser sort of grabs you.
If you experience any pain, it's quick. There is a numbing gel that can be used beforehand but Bethenny passed on the gel (as this would have taken more time). During laser treatment on her legs, she felt more sensitivity around the ankle and Dr. Sobel explains this is because the skin is thinner here, closer to bone.
All in all, Bethenny says "I laughed. I cried. It was better than wax."
6. How Long Does It Take?
In the past, laser treatment took longer because only a smaller head was available. Now, with a larger head, an entire leg can be done (front and back) in 15 minutes. Each pulse of the laser is a fraction of a second and the medical technician overlaps a little of skin with each pulse.
7. Does It Smell?
During her underarm treatment, Bethenny spelled something similar to popcorn. This is the smell of hair burning -- the laser conducts heat down the hair shaft and if hair is a little long, it may burn until down in follicle. This happens occasionally.
8. Is it Messy?
Using a smaller head, gel is required to actively work, so there may be a little mess, however, when using a bigger head (LightSheer DUET), gel is not required.
9. How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of laser treatment varies throughout the country and depends greatly on the amount of area being treated and the type of laser used. According to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, $500 per treatment is the average cost nationwide. Before starting treatment, be sure to ask for the total cost -- including surgeon, facility, and laser fees.
Bethenny says while people think laser is expensive, "it's the gift that keeps on giving!"
After laser hair removal, patients may experience some redness and swelling in the treated area, but these symptoms usually go away on their own within a few days. Patients can return to work and other normal activities immediately after treatment. Excessive sun exposure should be avoided for some time after laser hair removal.
The results of the laser hair removal procedure are visible immediately, but hair may continue to grow until the full course of treatment is complete.
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