For years, the only options available to remove unwanted hair were waxing, tweezing, or electrolysis. These procedures are painful, ineffective, expensive and can even be harmful (e.g. Electrolysis can lead to scarring of the skin and severe lipstick lines). With the advent of Laser Hair Removal, waxing, tweezing, electrolysis, and even shaving, have become a thing of the past. Permanent hair reduction with Laser Hair Removal is safe, effective, more cost effective, and relatively painless.
Believe it or not, hair covers most of our bodies. The hair itself is produced in a follicle. The hair follicle may lie dormant in the skin (no hair present) or be in a growth phase (with a hair present). The hair that is present varies in thickness and color and may or may not be visible to the naked eye. Waxing, tweezing, and electrolysis, because they rely on vision and traction, are only able to remove the thicker and more visible hairs. In addition, they may or may not remove the hair follicle, which is the source of unwanted hair.
Laser Hair Removal, per treatment, removes hundreds to thousands of times the amount of hair removed with these other methods. The light delivered is picked up by any hair present (visible or not) that has pigment. The light energy, in turn, heats up and destroys the source of unwanted hair – the follicle. The hairs that have been treated are gone forever.
What areas can be treated with Laser Hair Removal?
- Treatment areas include the upper lip, face, neck, chin, underarms, bikini line, legs, chest, and back.
A detailed pre-procedure skin evaluation will be performed. The settings on the machine are calibrated for your skin. The area to be treated may be shaved if the hairs are excessively long. A moisturizing gel is applied to the treatment area. You will feel a cool sensation as the chilled tip of the Laser Hair Removal handpiece is applied to the skin. The treatment pulse is signaled by a tone and a flash of light. An initial single pulse of energy is delivered to the targeted area so you become acquainted with the sensation. Most patients describe it as the gentle snapping of a rubber band. Additional pulses are delivered until the entire area of unwanted hair is treated.
Immediately after the treatment, you may feel a mild sunburn-like sensation. Occasionally, you may have minor swelling which can last from 2-24 hours. Cooling is used to minimize the potential for swelling. Hydrocortisone cream and/or aloe gel may also help. Mild redness may also occur but resolves in 2-3 days. Make-up and your regular skin care regimen may be resumed immediately post-therapy if there is no significant redness and after the redness, if present, has resolved. You may return to regular activities and work without any downtime.
Over the next 7-30 days you will see the appearance of hair growth or stubble. This is not, in fact, new hair growth but rather the treated hair being expelled from the destroyed follicles. The treated hairs/follicles do not return. With time, the area of unwanted hair will enter a new hair growth cycle (a natural occurance) where the dormant follicles become active and produce a hair. These active follicles can now be targeted with laser hair removal. With repeated treatments, permanent hair reduction is accomplished. The number of treatments required depends upon the area being treated and the desired result. Dense hair and large areas can take up to 4-6 treatments.