Hair removal techniques have been used since the beginning signs of grooming methods. From stones, to chemicals, to epilation with a variety of devices, the desire to remove hair from the body has been a constant in a variety of cultures. Today, we are fortunate to have lasers in our tool box, for hair removal and in many cases, to radically reduce unwanted hair from areas indefinitely.
How does it work?
The science behind laser hair reduction is remarkable. Simply put, the laser sends out a concentrated form of light, directly into the pigment/color of your hair follicle. The light destroys or stunts hair growth, depending upon where the hair is in its growth phase.
The hair grows in three stages:
Stage 1 - Anagen
This the beginning of growth phase. This is the stage of growth is where the laser treatment is the most effective.
Stage 2 - Catagen
This is the middle stage, where the hair stops growing, but has not completely shed, or fallen out.
Stage 3 - Telogen
This is the resting phase. The laser is not effective for hair reduction in this phase.
How many treatments do I need, and how often?
Depending upon the area of the body, and the individual’s hair growth patterns, the frequency can range between every 4-6 weeks for facial hair, and once every 8-10 weeks for body hair. Depending upon the individual, one may need between 6 and 12 treatments. Yet, for others, it may more of a maintenance issue of regular sessions, rather than a permanent reduction at set amount of treatments. Everyone is unique, and as mentioned above, the hair needs to be in the treatable phase for the device to work. We cannot control the hair growth phases. It’s smart to plan for more treatments, rather than fewer.
It is important to follow the instructions for both pre and post laser hair treatments, as recommended by your medical team. As with all treatments, adherence to the specific recommendations will enhance the benefit of the treatments and procedures.
Pre Laser Hair Treatment Instructions
Avoid sun exposure for 4 weeks prior to treatment series.
Do not wax, tweeze, bleach or use depilatory products or methods for 4 weeks prior to treatment. Cutting hair or shaving is recommended while going through treatment series, as it does not affect the hair growth phase.
Shave treatment areas closely prior to laser hair treatment appointment. This reduces heat buildup in the follicle, and makes for a more comfortable session.
Do not use creams, lotions, makeup, or deodorant as they can affect the laser light by refracting or directing the light away from the target area.
If your skin is extremely sensitive, apply ice packs to treatment areas prior to laser hair treatment.
Post Laser Hair Treatment
Apply ice immediately after laser hair treatment. This helps with redness, swelling, and the slight burning sensation that some patients may experience. The skin may feel like you have a sunburn.
Sunscreen and make up can be applied immediately after laser hair treatments. Products containing mineral ingredients such as zinc oxidant (Dynamic Broad Spectrum SPF 55) are best post laser hair sessions, and are least likely to sting treated areas.
Avoid sun exposure for up to 4 weeks post laser hair treatment.
Do not use any other hair reduction treatment or service, as it will disturb the hair follicle in the growth phase of the treatment area.
Avoid picking or scratching the treated area.
Shedding of surface hair will occur for 1-3 weeks post treatment. It may appear as if new hair growing, but it is old hair detaching.
Avoid extreme heat in bathing, hot tubbing, or swimming in chlorinated pools, immediately after treatment.
To find out more about laser hair removal or to schedule a consult you may reach us at 206.795.1693.