Laser hair removal / reduction
Laser hair removal (LHR) is a medical procedure that uses a specific wavelength of light to remove unwanted hair.
During laser hair removal, a laser emits a light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the tube-shaped sacs within the skin (hair follicles) that produce hairs. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.
Although laser hair removal effectively delays hair growth for long periods, it usually doesn’t result in permanent hair removal. Multiple laser hair removal treatments are needed for initial hair removal, and maintenance treatments might be needed as well. Laser hair removal is most effective for people who have light skin and dark hair, but it can be successfully used on all skin types.
Why is LHR done?
LHR is used to reduce unwanted hair. Common treatment locations include legs, armpits, upper lip, chin and the bikini line. However, it’s possible to treat unwanted hair in nearly any area, except the eyelid or surrounding area. Skin with tattoos should not be treated either.
Hair color and skin type influence the success of laser hair removal. The basic principle is that the pigment of the hair, but not the pigment of the skin, should absorb the light. The laser should damage only the hair follicle while avoiding damage to the skin. Therefore, a contrast between hair and skin color — dark hair and light skin — results in the best outcomes.
The risk of damage to skin is greater when there is little contrast between hair and skin color, but advances in laser technology have made laser hair removal an option for people who have darker skin. Laser hair removal is less effective for hair colors that don’t absorb light well: gray, red, blond and white. However, laser treatment options for light-colored hair continue to be developed.
What are the risks involved with LHR?
The risks involved with LHR vary with skin type, hair color, treatment plan and adherence to pre-treatment and post-treatment care. The most common side effects of laser hair removal include:
- Skin irritation. Temporary discomfort, redness and swelling are possible after laser hair removal. Any signs and symptoms typically disappear within several hours.
- Pigment changes. Laser hair removal might darken or lighten the affected skin. These changes might be temporary or permanent. Skin lightening primarily affects those who don’t avoid sun exposure before or after treatment and those who have darker skin.
Rarely, LHR can cause blistering, crusting, scarring or other changes in skin texture. Other rare side effects include graying of treated hair or excessive hair growth around treated areas, particularly on darker skin.
Laser hair removal isn’t recommended for eyelids, eyebrows or surrounding areas, due to the possibility of severe eye injury.
How should you prepare for your LHR appointment?
Before LHR, schedule a consultation with us to review your medical history and previous laser treatments if any. You should also do the following:
- Stay out of the sun. Avoid direct sun exposure for at least 4 weeks before and after treatment. Whenever you go out, apply a broad-spectrum, SPF30 sunscreen.
- Avoid tanning. Avoid going to tanning beds or using any sunless skin creams that darken your skin for at least 4-6 weeks prior to before your planned session.
- Avoid other hair removal methods. Plucking, waxing and electrolysis can disturb the hair follicle and should be avoided at least four weeks before treatment.
- Shaving. Trimming and shaving is recommended the day before laser treatment. It removes hair above the skin that can result in surface skin damage from burnt hairs, but it leaves the hair shaft intact below the surface.
What you can expect
Laser hair removal usually requires two to six treatments. The interval between treatments will vary depending on the location. On areas where hair grows quickly, such as the upper lip, the treatment might be repeated in four to eight weeks. On areas of slow hair growth, such as the back, the treatment might be every 12 to 16 weeks.
For each treatment you’ll wear special goggles to protect your eyes from the laser beam. An assistant might shave the site again if necessary. The doctor might apply a topical anesthetic to your skin to reduce any discomfort during treatment.
During the procedure
Depending on the type of laser, a cooling device on the tip of the instrument or a cool gel will be applied to protect your skin and lessen the risk of a skin burn. The laser technician will then apply the laser paddle onto the skin treatment area.
When the technician activates the laser, a laser beam will pass through your skin to the hair follicles. Heat is produced when the laser beam strikes your skin and hair follicles. The intense heat produced from this initial reaction from the laser beam then damages the hair follicles and inhibits hair growth. You might feel discomfort, such as a warm pinprick, and you’ll likely feel a sensation of cold from the cooling device or gel.
How long does a treatment session take?
Depending on the type of device, a LHR session should take less than 20-30 minutes when using a newer device like the Alma Soprano Diode Laser. Treating a small area, such as the upper lip, might take only a few minutes while a larger area, such as the back, might take about 15 minutes.
After the procedure
You might notice redness and swelling for the first few hours after laser hair removal.
To reduce any discomfort, apply ice to the treated area. If you have a skin reaction immediately after laser hair removal, the doctor might apply a steroid cream to the affected area.
After your LHR session and between scheduled treatments, avoid direct sunlight and don’t use a tanning bed for at least six weeks. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF35 or more daily.
Hairs do not fall out immediately, but you will shed them over a period of days to weeks. This may look like continued hair growth. The repeated treatments are usually necessary because hair growth and loss naturally occur in a cycle, and laser treatment works best with hair follicles in the new-growth stage.
Results vary significantly and are difficult to predict. Most people experience hair removal that lasts several months, and it might last for years. But laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. When hair regrows, it’s usually finer and lighter in color.
You might need maintenance laser treatments for long-term hair reduction.
This is a trio clustered Diode laser that combines the three most clinically validated laser hair removal wavelengths- 755nm, 810nm and 1064nm in one hand piece. It offers the synergistic benefits of these 3 most effective wavelengths for hair removal, each targeting different structures within the hair follicle. With its diode type cooling hand piece, this laser offers a practically painless hair removal experience as compared to the non-diode type laser hair removal systems. This Laser provides a broad range and safe way of treating patients of all various skin types, Fitzpatrick I – VI. With the large handle piece spot size of up to 4cm2 hair, the hair removal treatment time can be cut to a fraction thereby allowing for a quicker and more comfortable hair removal experience for both the provider and the patients.
The three clinical wavelengths most commonly used in LHR
The Alexandrite wavelength improves the absorption of powerful energy by the melanin chromophore, making it ideal for the most extensive range of hair colors and types, especially light-colored and thin hair. With increased superficial penetration, the 755nm wavelength targets the bulge of the hair follicle and is especially effective for superficially embedded hair in areas such as the eyebrows and upper lip.
The 810nm is a classic hair removal wavelength, offering deep penetration of the hair follicle with high average power, and a rapid repetition rate and a large 2cm. spot size for time-efficient treatments. The 810nm has a moderate melanin absorption level, making it safe for darker skin types. Its deep penetration capabilities target the Bulge and Bulb of the hair follicle, while moderate tissue depth penetration makes it ideal for treating the arms, legs, cheek sand chin.
The YAG 1064 wavelength is characterized by lower melanin absorption, making it a perfect solution for darker skin types. The1064nm also offers the deepest penetration of the hair follicle, so that it targets the Bulb and Papilla, while deeply treating embedded hair in areas such as the scalp, armpits and pubic areas. With higher water absorption generating a higher temperature, incorporating the 1064nm wavelength increases the thermal profile of the overall treatment, leading to highly effective hair removal and improved results.
Superior Hair Removal mode (SHR)
SHR is the only clinically proven method of laser hair removal that is virtually painless, and it is the safest laser hair removal method for all skin types, including dark and tanned skin. Its unique gradual heating and single pulse delivery method effectively damages the hair follicle and hinders re-growth, while preventing injury to the surrounding tissue. SHR affects the melanin of the skin using a unique method, allowing the procedure to be performed anytime of the year as well as on tanned skin. Furthermore, sun exposure is less traumatic to the skin following SHR treatment.
Contact us at 7208180533 for a free consultation regarding your laser hair removal.