Laser Hair Removal
Unwanted hair can affect the way we feel,
what we wear and what we do.
Enter Laser Therapy!
Unwanted hair can affect the way we feel, what we wear and what we do.
Enter laser therapy!
How do laser treatments work?
Lasers emit a wavelength of light with a specific single colour. When targeted to the skin, the energy from the light is transferred to the skin and the hair pigment, melanin. This heats up and damages the surrounding tissue. Melanin occurs naturally in the skin and gives skin and hair their color. There are two types of melanin in hair. Eumelanin gives hair brown or black color, while pheomelanin gives hair blonde or red color. Because of the selective absorption of photons of laser light, only hair with colour such as black, brown, or reddish-brown hair or dirty blonde can be removed. White hair, grey hair, light blonde and strawberry blonde hair does not respond well.
Will it remove hair permanently?
Laser treatment can either permanently reduce the density of the hair or permanently remove unwanted hair. Permanent reduction in hair density means some hairs will regrow after a single course of therapy and ongoing treatment will be required. Permanent hair removal means none of the hairs in the treated area will regrow after a single course of therapy and no ongoing laser therapy is needed.
Whether hair is removed permanently or just reduced in density is influenced by the colour and thickness of the hairs being treated, the colour of the skin and the type and quality of the laser used.
How many treatments will I need?
Hair grows in several phases (anagen, telogen, catagen) and a laser can only affect the currently active growing hair follicles (early anagen). Hence, several sessions are needed to capture the hair in the active follicles. Most people need a minimum of eight treatments and re-treatments must be long enough apart to allow new hair growth in the action phase – usually with four to eight weeks between sessions, depending on the area being treated.
Typically, the shedding of the treated hairs takes about two to three weeks. These hairs should be allowed to fall out on their own and should not be manipulated by the patient for certain reasons, chiefly to avoid infections. Pulling hairs after a session can be more painful as well as counteract the effects of the treatment.
Laser does not work well on light-colored hair, red hair, grey hair, white hair, as well as fine hair of any color, such as vellus. For darker-skinned patients with black hair, the long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser with a cooling tip is a safe and effective for hair removal.
The Fitzpatrick skin type scale classifies your skin by colour, its sun sensitivity and its likelihood to tan. Below is a guide to a treatment plan depending on your Fitzpatrick skin type:
Pale or white skin, burns easily, rarely tans (Fitzpatrick types 1 and 2) People with dark hair can usually achieve permanent hair removal with 4-6 treatments every 4-6 weeks. People with fair hair will generally only achieve permanent hair reduction and after an initial course of treatment may need 6-12 treatments a month apart.
Light brown skin, sometimes burns, slowly tans to light brown (type 3) People with dark hair can usually achieve permanent hair removal with 6-10 treatments every 4-6 weeks. People with fair hair will generally only achieve permanent hair reduction and after an initial course of treatment may require 3-6 repeat treatments a month apart.
Moderate brown to dark brown skin, rarely burns, tans well or to moderate brown (type 4 and 6)
People with dark hair can usually achieve permanent hair reduction with 6-10 treatments every 4-6 weeks. Maintenance will usually be required with 3-6 monthly repeat treatments. People with fair hair are unlikely to respond.
What side effects or complications should I be aware of?
Some people may experience some slight pain during treatment, especially the first few when there is more hair. This is mainly due to not removing all hair in the area to be treated before the procedure. Hairs missed while shaving absorb laser energy and heat the skin surface. There is less pain with repeat treatments at regular intervals.
Your skin may feel hot for 15-30 minutes after laser treatment. There may be redness and swelling for up to 24 hours.
Some normal side effects may occur after laser hair removal treatments, including itching, pink skin, redness, and swelling around the treatment area or swelling of the follicles (follicular edema). These side effects rarely last more than two or three days.
Risks and more serious side effects include the chance of burning the skin or discoloration of the skin, hypopigmentation (white spots), flare of acne, scab formation, purpura, and infection. These risks can be reduced by treatment with an appropriate laser type used at appropriate settings for the individual’s skin type and treatment area.
To avoid side effects it’s important to not suntan two weeks prior to treatment and for your therapist to ensure the settings are adjusted appropriately for your skin type. In addition, you should make your therapist aware of medications you are taking that affect your skin’s response to sunlight.
Does the type of laser matter?
The type of laser not only influences how well it works, it influences your chance of side-effects.
Lasers suitable for hair removal include: long-pulse ruby lasers, long-pulse alexandrite lasers, long pulse diode lasers and long-pulse Nd:YAG lasers. Intense pulsed light (IPL) devices are not laser devices but flash lamps that emits multiple wavebands of light simultaneously. They work in a similar way to lasers, albeit less effectively and they are much less likely to permanently remove hair.
At Skindevour we use the latest medical grade technology, the Lutronic Clarity II. With the advanced features of Clarity II including IntelliTrack, we are able to complete hair removal in much less time and often in fewer treatments leading to greater client satisfaction.