How does laser hair removal work?
A concentrated beam of light is aimed at hair. The light is absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle, the energy is converted into heat, which damages the follicle enough to decelerate future growth without damaging the surrounding tissue. Lasers can remove hair for anywhere from several months to years, as the results differ widely from person to person.
What is the difference between a Session and a Treatment Plan?
Due to the staggered nature of the hair growth wherein some hairs are actively growing while others are dormant, laser hair removal requires reoccurring treatments to catch each hair as it enters the “active” growth phase. The number of laser hair removal treatments necessary for complete hair removal differs from person to person and is best defined during a consultation. Most patients require anywhere between 8-10 hair removal treatments, spread out between 4-6 week intervals.
In six to eight sessions, spaced about four weeks apart, you’ll see 70 to 80 percent reduction in hair growth. For best results, get maintenance treatments done once a year for at least a couple of years.
What is the after care of laser hair removal?
Here are a few key things you must keep in mind to achieve the best results…
Avoid all sun exposure (including tanning beds) and wear sunscreen as part of your daily routine for at least 2 weeks prior to your treatment.
- No tweezing, threading, waxing, epilating, bleaching or use of Depilatory creams for at least 2 weeks prior to your treatment.
- No Botox or dermal fillers in the area to be treated for two weeks prior to your treatment.
- Discontinue use of photosensitizing medications, facial peels, Retin A or Renova, and all sunless tanning products 7 days before treatment.
- If you are prone to cold sores, it is highly recommended to take an anti-viral medication (such as Valtrex) prior to your treatment.
You may need to obtain clearance from your doctor prior to treatment if you have any abnormal lesions, moles or spots on the area to be treated, or if you are taking a long-term antibiotic. Failure to adhere to any of the above instructions may affect the results and can cause scarring, hyper-pigmentation, and possible laser burns.
Vanity Laser Aesthetics will not treat clients who have used Accutane or similar products within the last 6 months, have active cold sores or are pregnant or suffer from Epileptic seizures.
Does it hurt?
Most individuals experience no more than a slight stinging sensation as the laser pulses are applied, almost like a rubber band snapping. Our lasers have advanced cooling systems used to prevent overheating of the epidermis. Some parts of the body do tend to be more sensitive than others, and topical numbing is available.
How do I know if I am a candidate for laser hair removal?
Results depend on the color and thickness of your hair. Hair removal lasers work best on dark, coarse hair. Some with blonde, gray, or red body hair might not achieve desired results when undergoing laser hair removal. Lighter hair is more difficult to treat and will require more sessions. White or grey hair might be untreatable, as no pigment exists.
How soon do I get to see results?
After each laser treatment, hair will continue to grow out as if it were never treated. Typically this will occur for about 2-3 weeks and then that treated hair will simply begin to fall out. After the 3rd treatment, you will start to see a reduction of hair, but more dramatic results will be visible closer to the 6-8th treatment. Please note that not all hairs are created equal. Some hairs may need higher energy and continued treatments in order to treat resistant hair.
How many sessions do I need?
The number of treatments required for long-term benefits depends on the area being treated, your hair density, and the hair’s growth cycle and keeping up with your appointments. There are three phases of hair growth — Anagen (active), Catagen (regression) and Telogen (resting). Laser technology is designed to treat hair in the Anagen phase of growth. Additional factors, including age, ethnicity, weight, hormones, diet, medication and metabolism, influence hair growth and play a role in the location, thickness, and resilience of your hair.
Although each client is unique, experience tells us that you can expect an average of 6-8 treatments spaced 6 to 12 weeks apart, depending on the body location of the unwanted hair.
Should I shave before a session?
Unless otherwise stated by a technician, shave the areas to be treated 24-72 hours before your appointment. If possible, exfoliate the area to remove any dead skin cells on the surface and it will help along the natural shedding process. The laser treatments will penetrate deeper and be more effective when there are no residual cells on the surface. The area to be treated should be freshly cleaned, left with no makeup, deodorant, lotions, creams, antiperspirants etc.
What can I expect following a session?
While laser hair removal is considered a safe treatment, there is a risk of burning. While the FDA adds
that blistering, discoloration, redness, and scarring can be expected after a session. Some clients say it feels like tiny rubber bands hitting the skin but it doesn’t feel like that everywhere-only where the hair is thick and dense.
After your treatment and you come out looking like you just fell out of a beehive, you’re in great state. It’s called perifollicular edema, which is just a fancy way of saying swollen hair follicles. It means your treatment was successful. We advise our clients to expect up to 48 hours of redness, stinging, or itching-but more commonly these only last about an hour or two. Any longer than that and we recommend a hydrocortisone cream or Benadryl gel to alleviate any discomfort.