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Laser Hair Removal FAQs

Laser Hair Removal uses a visible light laser to gently remove unwanted hair, putting an end to routine shaving and waxing. This advanced technology improves upon the older, painful hair removal treatments to deliver long-lasting results. Because the laser treats more than one hair at a time, it is possible to treat larger areas such as the back, shoulders, arms, legs and face. Laser treatments leave your skin looking and feeling smoother and silkier. Best of all, Laser Hair Removal treatments are a safe, fast, gentle, and effective method for hair removal.

Laser Hair Removal literally goes to the root of an unwanted hair problem: the hair follicle itself. Laser Hair Removal disables the follicle’s ability to produce any more hair. Results with Laser Hair Removal can depend on the darkness of the hair and the stage of growth of the hair follicle – these things will determine the number of sessions required to get rid of all the unwanted hair.

Hair must be in a growth stage during treatment, therefore Laser Hair Removal requires several sessions. All hair follicles are not in the same stage at one time. The stages of hair growth can last anywhere between 2 to 6 months.

We may shave the area. Then the area is scanned with the laser. The laser energy passes through the skin and is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle. In a fraction of a second, all of the treated hair follicles are disabled. Treatments can last from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the size of the area being treated.

Laser Hair Removal treats larger areas of unwanted hair may be treated using lasers than with electrolysis, waxing or tweezing. The quickness of the treatment, combined with the long-lasting effects and large areas that you can treat at one session, definitely make it the hair removal solution of choice for thousands of people. Laser Hair Removal works on the face, armpits, bikini areas, back, legs, arms and chest. Dark hair is more successfully treated than light hair and hair must be in an active growth stage.

Patients interested in Laser Hair Removal will be assessed as treatment candidates based on:

  • Skin type (i.e., ability to tan or to burn)
  • Hair color
  • Thickness and location of hair
  • Presence of tan

Laser Hair Removal works best in lighter skinned, darker haired patients. Because the primary target in hair follicles is melanin pigment, less laser energy is absorbed by the skin and more by the hair follicle. Tanned skin also reduces laser energy as it passes through the skin to the hair follicle. Because the pigment in the hair is the target for the laser energy, gray or white hair (which lacks pigment) cannot be effectively treated with any laser or light-based device. See: Laser Hair Removal Side Effects

Multiple treatments are needed as hair grows in cycles and many factors influence its growth. The number of Laser Hair Removal treatments needed for optimal long-term benefits depends on the area you wish to have treated, your skin type and your hair’s growth cycle. Age, ethnicity, weight, hormones, diet, medication and metabolism all play a part in your hair’s location, thickness and resilience.

The Laser Hair Removal treatments slow the growing capacity of those follicles in their growth cycle at the time of the treatment. Since some hair follicles may enter their growth cycle after your treatment, multiple treatments may be required to deliver optimal results. Note: Removing hair does not make it grow back thicker, darker or quicker. The opposite is usually the case. The laser may cause hair to come back slower and thinner.

Usually at least 3 treatments over the course of a year will be necessary for satisfactory, long-lasting results. The female face, armpits, and bikini lines are areas which respond fastest to laser treatments- backs, arms and legs usually need more treatments over time.

Laser hair reduction should be performed by a certified aesthetician or a physician who specializes in the medical, surgical, and cosmetic treatment of hair and hair diseases, and who is trained to help manage hair and skin problems.

Laser Hair Removal is effective on almost any area of the body where smoother, younger, hair-free skin is desired.

  • No more irritation from shaving or cream
  • Large areas treated at one time
  • Sessions are short
  • Most parts of the body treatable

Slight reddening and local swelling of the skin, similar to a sunburn, may occur. These effects typically last 24 hours or less. In some instances, blistering may occur.

Before Laser Hair Removal treatments, it is advisable to avoid tanning and sunless tanners. Broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher should be used. No plucking, waxing, or electrolysis should be done, although shaving or depilatory creams can be used. The site to be treated may be shaved one to two days prior to laser treatment. An oral antiviral medication may be started the day prior to treatment to suppress the possibility of developing a herpes simplex infection in the treatment area.

Most Laser Hair Removal treatments last about 15 minutes . Ultimately, treatment duration and intervals depend on the size and location of the treatment area.

Yes. Laser Hair Removal is a very safe treatment with few side effects. Some patients describe the actual therapy as feeling like mild stinging or pinching, but this discomfort subsides when each treatment ends. Refer to Laser Hair Removal Side Effects.

Some people describe the laser treatment as feeling like a mild sting or pinching sensation, however anesthesia is not required. Some people experience temporary redness or swelling after Laser Hair Removal treatment. Very rarely blistering may occur.

The results of Laser Hair Removal can be seen immediately.

Side effects of Laser Hair Removal treatments may include pain, perifollicular edema (swelling around the hair follicle due to excessive fluid), and erythema (redness and inflammation) lasting one to three days. Blistering, herpes simplex outbreaks, and bacterial infections also can occur. Temporary skin lightening or darkening, especially in darker skin types, or in patients with a recent tan, may be seen. Permanent skin pigment change or scarring is very rare. Loss of freckles or lightening of moles in the treatment area may occur, as well as darkening or lightening of tattoos.

Electrolysis is a much slower process. With electrolysis a needle is actually inserted into each hair follicle, one at a time. Once inserted, an electric shock burns the follicle to retard hair growth. Laser Hair Removal uses the cool light of the laser to scan the treatment area and within minutes all of the hairs in the laser’s beam are treated. Most patients who have had both procedures say that Laser Hair Removal is less painful, faster and more convenient.

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