Simplify with Laser Hair Removal: Top 10 Questions Asked & Answered
- Posted on: Nov 16 2015
For anyone preoccupied with body hair (and the removal thereof), you are probably weary of the countless nicks and cuts endured by razors followed by the painful aftermath of redness, ingrown hairs, and general itchiness. Worse still is the trauma of hot waxing, the chemical smell of depilatory creams, or the sheer tedium of tweezing hairs one-by-one. If only life were simpler…
For those women (and men) out there considering alternatives, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about laser hair removal:
Q: What areas can be treated by laser hair removal?
A: If it grow hair, then it can be treated. Arms, legs, bikini line, back, chest, face: you name it…and, don’t be shy!
Q: In layman’s terms, how does laser hair removal work?
A: The laser selectively targets your hair follicles to heat them up to damage them while keeping your skin safe.
Q: Can people of all skin tones and hair types get this treatment? Is it equally effective on everyone?
A: Yes, with the right laser you are able to treat all skin tones. However, laser hair removal is still only effective on dark hair (sorry Betty White). Also, not everyone is a great candidate for laser hair removal. There are certain skin conditions and some medications (e.g. Tetracycline, Retin-A, and Accutane) that preclude laser hair removal. Also, pregnant women should wait until their baby is born, and tanned patients need to wait until the tan fades. A reputable laser hair removal practice will offer complimentary consultations to ensure that it’s safe for you and that you can achieve your goal of being hair-free.
Q: What does laser hair removal feel like? Is it painful?
A: Laser hair removal has come a long way since the 1990s. The best practices use the safest and fastest lasers on the market. Most people describe the feeling similar to a pinch of a rubber band. Although some people are more sensitive than others, most express the sensation as tolerable. And, frankly, if the alternative is waxing or electrolysis, most people find laser hair removal using the LightSheer laser at Restifo Plastic Surgery is mild by comparison.
Q: Are the results permanent?
A: The LightSheer laser has been cleared by the FDA for hair removal and permanent hair reduction on all skin types and tanned skin. Typically, four to six treatments are recommended, though the exact number of treatments varies from person to person. That said, hormone changes can affect new hair growth and realistically, we all bring different biology to the table so treatments and results can vary for everyone. Also, every patient’s expectations of hair loss are different. Some may be happy with 60-70% loss and may want to discontinue and others will want to continue until they reach their maximum loss of 80-95%. All things considered, the vast majority of patients are extremely pleased with their results with the LightSheer system.
Q: How long should I wait between treatments?
A: Waiting time may vary. The general guideline is 4-6 weeks for neck and above areas and 6-8 weeks for areas below the neck.
Q: What should I do to manage the hair between treatments?
A: You shouldn’t have much hair to manage. But, if you need to, shaving or trimming is the most effective way to manage hair growth between treatments.
Q: What should I do before my treatment and what should I expect after a treatment?
A: Avoid sun exposure. Don’t wax, tweeze, thread or have electrolysis for four weeks before a treatment. The best way to manage hair before is to shave, trim, or use cream depilatories. The day of your treatment the hair will need to be freshly shaved. After a treatment the skin may be red and bumpy. This is normal. Post treatment, protect the area from the sun to avoid any additional heat to the area, and avoid activities such as exercise, saunas, and other activities which may irritate the area or induce heat for 24-48 hours after treatment. The area should be moisturized with a soothing cream and cleansed with a mild soap as advised by our laser technicians.
Q: Does laser hair removal create or treat ingrown hairs?
A: The laser will not create ingrown hairs. If you suffer from them the laser will produce an effective treatment to clear the ingrown hairs.
Q: Are all laser hair removal systems equal?
A: No. Lasers operate at wavelengths or nanometers. Primitive lasers emit a wavelength of 755nm which is effective at targeting melanin in the hair and consequently the skin. The LightSheer Diode Laser System used by Restifo Plastic Surgery was designed from the ground up specifically for laser hair removal only, so it has the wavelength, fluence, pulse width, and active epidermal cooling system. It’s our preferred laser hair removal system because it is designed for enhanced comfort during treatment, minimal risk of infection, speed and accuracy. Since the system uses a unique cooling hand-piece, it minimizes skin irritation that other methods may create. Since it is non-invasive (no needles to penetrate the skin), the risk of introducing bacteria into the skin is reduced. Because the system is fast, it allows for larger areas to be treated, considerably increasing the efficiency of the hair removal process, which allows more patients to be treated during a typical day. Finally, the LightSheer Diode Laser is a precise instrument that can be adjusted to damage only the hair follicle while minimally affecting the surrounding skin.
Of course, the cost of laser hair removal is also something people regularly ask about. How much will you spend? That depends on the area being treated. How much will you save by no longer paying for ineffective or temporary hair removal paraphernalia? Only you know. When comparing prices online, be aware that not all laser hair systems are the same; also, be sure to research prospective providers thoroughly (extremely low pricing may be a sign of business trouble or inconsistencies)!
Posted in: Laser Hair Removal