Laser Hair Removal for Indian Skin Tone
Before you ever consider a cosmetic surgery being performed on yourself, you have to understand how it will be performed and what the possible side effects are. Medically necessary procedures are generally understood as having a higher reward than drawback -- or else your doctor would not recommend it.
Indian skin is incredibly unpredictable in how it will react to specific cosmetic dermatological procedures. The main drawback is that any of these surgeries can lead to hyperpigmentation. And there's really no way to know if this will be of concern to you. Best to discuss this with your doctor.
My Personal Laser Hair Removal Case
Let me give you my personal example so that you have a good starting point. I have thus far had four laser hair removal sessions on my face and have had incredibly positive results!
The lasers that are used for Laser Hair Removal (LHR) go after the pigment found in the hair follicle. It heats it up, destroys it, and theoretically keeps it from growing out again. The problem though with many of these lasers is that it could go after the pigmentation in your own skin. If the setting is wrong, dark skinned individuals could get majorly scarred. In fact, I got the impression that even if the setting was right and safe, the same result could happen.
Since I wanted to remove the hairs on my beard, it was also not something recommended for men to do. The facial beard is so thick and requires so much heat and so many sessions that many dermatologists do not even recommend this procedure to be done.
I was almost entirely convinced that having a beardless face would be an impossibility until I saw a few posts on this website called RealSelf.com. One of the dermatologists explained that there was a safe laser -- Soprano XL -- for all skin types, specifically ethnic skin.
I managed to find a few Youtube videos about the laser and found that the reason it was safe for skin was because the strength of the laser was weaker but works by having a long exposure.
First Laser Session
So I went in to see the Dermatologist that commented on RealSelf.com, Jason Lupton. He explained to me how the laser worked and described the possible side effects. He was especially confident that it would work for me which put me to ease. And he explained that the laser would work best for Indians because our hair follicles were so dark.
And to further put me at ease, he told me he would put the laser at a very safe setting.
After my first surgery, I had a lot of redness. I could not really shave for a week and I looked horrible. And I didn't even have a lot of hair loss at all!
But because I knew the setting was safe and my skin handled the laser quite well, I decided to go for a second surgery. By the way, they market this laser as being relatively painless but it could not be further from the truth!! It felt like someone was lighting matches all over my face. It hurt.. But I suppose it was because I was using the laser in a way it is generally not prescribed for. It is generally used for thin sparse hair, not thick dense hairs on my beard.
Second Laser Session
The hair loss does not happen immediately after the laser session. It takes about ten days before the hairs start to come out. And the hair loss lasts for another week. After about two-and-a-half weeks, I called up the dermatologist to have an appointment at about exactly three weeks after my first session.
After looking at my face, the dermatologist was happy with the results. My skin had handled it quite well. So I assume he put the laser to a setting he expects to have good results.
I also had my back done. And it was relatively painless in this region of the body. It was as if I could not tell anything was happening back there.
I did not have as good a reaction to this treatment. Part of my skin scabbed off after just 2-3 days. My skin was scarred but over time the scar started getting lighter and lighter. I did not overly worry about this since it did look better. And since the laser heats up the follicles, it was possible some of the hair absorbed the heat and got to my skin. I don't know much about the biology of hair or in how the laser works to really know what happened but my feeling was that I planned this session a bit too close to my first session. The dermatologist does recommend three weeks but I planned on waiting quite a while before my third session.
I scheduled this session about six weeks after the second session. My scab scar had healed about 60-70% and I had the doctor look at it. He said it was due to in-grown hairs. He was not terribly worried about it and nor was I.
The results of my third session were incredible! I had what seemed to be like 90-95% hair loss on my cheeks. The goatee area felt a little bit less dense but was still pretty much there. And aside from two to three little patches, most of my neck hairs were gone.
I had this fourth session just a few days ago. I can feel my goatee having been affected and I can almost guarantee I am going to have significant loss in this area. My cheeks will be pretty much 99% loss. And I don't expect to go for more surgeries because the results might be good enough.
I have about two weeks to wait to see what my final results will be.
If there are any stray hairs, I will probably just pluck them instead of shaving. It should not be so hard to do considering I did not even have much hair after the third session.
I definitely recommend any Indian considering laser for their hair removal to use the Soprano XL. The results of these lasers may not be as fast as other lasers but they might be safer. Someone posted on HairTell.com that Soprano XL was the worst of all the lasers he had used and that he had only done it once. Even my results after one session were not very good so if he had similar results, I could understand his frustration. But because I have Indian skin and am prone to hyperpigmentation, I felt most confident with a safe laser anyways.
I paid $400 for each session on my face, in total $1600 thus far. Having a permanent reduction of my beard is definitely worth it for the following reasons.
I have seen some people complain online that hair comes back after 6 months. But according to my doctor, it is not that the lost hairs come back, it is that new hairs come out. And they would generally come back lighter and softer if at all. I plan to go back for a cleanup procedure in 6-9 months if I do see some hair growth that I am not happy with.
I still have hair on my back. My back has never really been that hairy so it does not bug me a lot. I probably did lose some but not that much. So just as my face had poor results after one session, it appears as though my back is afflicted with the same consequence. Since two sessions were needed on my face to have 60% loss, I will probably schedule another session for my back but not yet. The price for the back is $750 on it's own and I am just not sure it is worth having another 1-2 more sessions. Besides I want to see how my face turns out -- specifically after six months -- whether hair comes back and/or hyperpigmentation results.
Before & After Pictures
The pictures I am posting here are not necessarily the most professional looking. All I did was just go through my archive of photos and choose the ones that can give you a good idea of what the results have been thus far.
Before any treatment. (A few years ago)
This picture is perfect because it shows how dark my beard area is even though I shaved that day!
Before any treatment. (A couple of months before)
This picture shows what my hair looks like after just 1 day not shaving (maybe two). Not a pretty site.
Pay specific attention to how hair my neck is. That was the area I had the fastest loss as you will see from my after photos.
After the first treatment.
I did not really lose that much hair after one treatment. It was very patchy and may not be easily visible here on the web.
After the third treatment.
My neck hairs have almost all been taken out. Great!
As you can see from my frontal view that the density of hairs in the front have come down. My moustache is not as thick. My goatee area is not as dark. I have had most of the hair loss from the side as can be seen from the following picture.
All of these pics really are of me. Don't let the fact that I just got braces keep you from believing it haha.
I have two scabby regions on the side of my face here. That has been a normal part of the process for me but it gets better over time so I have not really had to worry about it too much.
Nothing on this page is meant to be taken as medical advice. I am not affiliated with the doctor or the laser that I reviewed here. I just wanted to tell you my personal story -- a story that has been positive for me. And since I know there are many Indians out there looking to shed hair, I hope this information helps.
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