Laser Hair Removal
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WHAT DOES THE TREATMENT INVOLVE?
Light energy emitted from a handpiece safely passes through the outermost layers of the skin and is “targeted” to the pigmentation in the hair follicle. The laser’s intense light is absorbed by the hair shaft. The light energy is then converted to heat and travels down to the base of the hair follicle. This creates damage to the follicle and initiates the process of eliminating the hair follicle. There are currently NO lasers available that can provide complete or permanent hair removal. Many of the hair follicles are permanently destroyed, but other follicles will rebuild and so retreatments are necessary. Permanent hair reduction is possible with follow-up laser treatments. Lasers can only “kill” follicles in their active growth phase (1of 3 phases), so frequently several treatments are necessary to catch the different hairs in their active growth phases.
WHICH TYPE OF LASER IS USED?
We use the Candela Gentlelase hair removal laser. This is one of the most widely used and trusted lasers for hair removal.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL BE NEEDED?
Most patients will require 4-6 treatments to ensure the best results. Treatment packages are available ranging from 3 to 6 treatments to save money and provide maximal results. With each treatment, you will experience complete removal of the hairs with a gradual regrowth of 20-50% of the hairs. With each treatment, you will have less and less regrowth; so you will have to shave, wax, or pluck less often. You should notice improvement after each treatment.
DOES IT HURT?
We typically use a topical numbing agent prior to each treatment. There can be slight discomfort, but it is usually very tolerable.
WILL IT WORK OR BLONDE OR GRAY HAIR?
No, it really doesn’t work on light hair. Blond or gray hair lacks pigment so the laser light is not absorbed and the hair is not eliminated.
CAN I BE TREATED IF I HAVE DARK SKIN?
Yes, but often a test spot is necessary to insure that hair removal without pigment loss is possible. The best hair removal is accomplished in patients with light skin and dark hair.
IS THE HAIR REMOVAL PERMANENT?
All current laser hair removal treatments can be described as permanent hair reduction. The hairs are removed with each treatment-some permanently, but others can regrow. Often the hairs will regrow as vellous or “peach fuzz” hairs rather than terminal or thicker hairs.
WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE & AFTER TREATMENTS?
Excessive sun exposure or tanning should be avoided prior to and after laser treatments. Otherwise normal activities can be resumed immediately after each treatment.