Laser hair removal is a popular way to get rid of unwanted body hair on a not quite, but practically, permanent basis. The procedure uses an intense beam of light to damage hair follicles, stopping or greatly minimizing hair growth. That powerful technology makes for some pretty impressive and long lasting results, but it also means that if there’s a problem, you could end up with something much worse than a little razor nick. If done wrong, the procedure can cause disfiguring burns and permanent scars. While it’s easy to find a spa or salon that offers laser hair removal, the person doing the treatment won’t necessarily be qualified or licensed. In fact, licensing requirements for laser hair removal providers are at the discretion of each state, and some states have no requirements at all. A lot of technicians who claim to be certified only have a background in cosmetology. A cosmetology license will only teach you about the chemistry of the hair, how it grows, it doesn’t give you the practical knowledge and experience required to ensure safety.

Nationally certified technicians go through thorough training before being licensed to perform laser hair procedures. Some states require that laser hair removal be done by a physician, but even that doesn’t address the importance of experience. Laser treatment is not taught in medical school, so physicians performing laser treatments also need training and certification. Technicians need a broad understanding of different skin types and hair growth patterns to choose the right machine for each client. There are a wide range of lasers that can be used for hair removal, however not all have been FDA-approved, and some are better for certain skin and hair types than others. There are other factors that affect the success of laser treatments, including menstrual cycles, stress, and the length of each hair. That’s why it’s important for people to find a certified technician with the skills and experience to tailor treatment to clients’ individual needs. So when deciding where to have your laser hair removal procedure, be sure to look for an establishment that has certified technicians. You can also ask your dermatologist if he or she is qualified to do the treatment or can recommend someone who is. And no matter where you go, ask questions before having any type of procedure to find out if the technician has worked with women whose skin and hair types are similar to yours. One last piece of advice, steer clear of Groupon deals. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is, so why risk it?