Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal, once a luxury for only for the rich and famous, has now become a natural part of many self-care and hygienic maintenance routines. Because of this, there are so many businesses now offering this service that it can be overwhelming to choose the place that is right for you!
Here’s an important tip: The FDA only requires a laser manufacturer to prove their machine keeps hair away for 90 days to market themselves as laser hair removal. This is where the term “hair reduction” was born. These lasers are inexpensive and have a low energy yield, which will damage the hair follicle and cause it to temporarily stop growing hair, much like waxing. Eventually, the body repairs that follicle, and it begins growing hair again.
We hear about this every single day from patients who have either been lasered themselves in the past and had it grow back, or have a friend who has had that experience and told them it is only temporary. This is frustrating because it does not have to be temporary.
We use the most expensive, highest-energy laser on the market, the LightSheer® diode laser from Lumenis®. This laser has been considered the gold standard for laser hair removal for over two decades. The energy from this laser is so intense that it literally bursts your hair follicle. That follicle no longer exists in your body, and therefore can never grow hair again.
This does not mean that hair growth will be immediately eliminated. Lasers of any kind can only affect follicles that are actively growing. Follicles can be dormant for a month or a few years. Some follicle may only activate when you have a hormonal change in your body like pregnancy, puberty, or menopause.
However, you can rest assured that with the LightSheer® diode laser, follicles that are active at the time of treatment will be permanently destroyed.
Besides the obvious reasons of saved time and effort , there are some more subtle, but just as important, reasons for getting laser hair removal.
Razor burn, in-grown hairs, folliculitis, and epidermal scarring are all side effects of shaving. They are most commonly found in the bikini area, neck, and face, but can occur on any body part. Shaving or waxing can aggravate hair follicles, creating puss, scabs and/or rashes, and encourages in-grown hairs that can last for weeks and often leave a mark on the skin. So while your bikini line may be temporarily hairless, the skin will look red and irritated.
When you complete a series of laser hair removal treatments, you not only eliminate the above side effects, but your pores actually tighten up, making it look like you never grew hair there. “Smooth as a baby’s butt” may be a cliché, but it is also true.
Laser hair removal with the LightSheer® diode can be done on any skin type, and anywhere on the body. Three treatments are the minimum required because we know that biologically everyone has three distinct hair growth phases. The average is between three and six treatments, and a small population of people requires more than six treatments.
The following factors will affect the number of treatments you will need:
- Skin type: While LightSheer® can treat all skin types, the lighter your skin color, the fewer treatments you will need. If your skin tone is darker, there will be less of a contrast, making it harder for the laser to target the hair. Because of this, we need to be more conservative with treatment to eliminate the risk of burning.
- Hair type: Hair must have some color to it. Light brown to black hair works best. The laser does not recognize very blonde or grey hair and has a hard time with some reds.
- Area being lasered: Fine hairs, like those on a woman’s face, will take longer to treat than coarse hairs, like those on the underarm.
- Personality: If you want your skin to be completely hairless, you will most likely need more than six treatments. If you do not mind a scattering of small, soft hairs that grow at intervals, six treatments may be enough.
Treatment with the LightSheer® diode laser is safe and performed on an outpatient basis. During your treatment, the laser device is held to the target area, and the laser energy heats pigments in the hair follicles until they are destroyed. This prevents the follicles from being able to produce new hair. Laser hair removal can only destroy hairs in the growth phase, so it will take several treatments performed at six-week intervals to permanently destroy all the hair in the target area. Once the series of treatments is complete, hair growth will be eradicated.
Rules for Treatment
- NO waxing or plucking during treatments! If you remove the hair from the follicle, the laser will not recognize it, and it will not be destroyed.
- Shave before coming in. Many people think it is like waxing and you need to grow the hair out. It is actually the opposite; you should shave either the day before or the morning of treatment. Even a few days worth of hair growth can risk your skin being burnt.
- No antibiotics or drugs that make your skin sensitive to light for at least seven days before treatment.
The procedure can take between five and 30 minutes to complete depending on the size of the area being treated.
The laser device will be held to the target area, and the laser energy heats pigments in the hair follicles until they are destroyed. This prevents the follicles from being able to produce new hair. Laser hair removal can only destroy hairs in the growth phase, so it will take several treatments performed at four to six-week intervals to permanently destroy all the hair in the target area. Once the series of treatments is complete, hair growth will be eradicated.
Because laser hair removal is performed in a matter of minutes, you will be able to return to your normal activities immediately following your treatment. Your skin may appear pink or reddish following your procedure, but this should resolve after a few hours. Be sure to avoid direct exposure to the sun as much as you can and wear plenty of sunscreen.
While some patients may have some hair regrowth after their treatment, there will be a significant reduction compared to how much hair was present before the procedure. At Skin & Laser Institute, we will do our utmost to help you achieve the results you desire with laser hair removal.