How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
The simple answer is that lasers emit a pulse of light, which is absorbed by the pigmentation, and blood vessels of the hair follicle. When that light is absorbed by the hair follicle, it is converted to heat, which then destroys the follicle. When the hair follicle is destroyed, it is unable to re-grow hair. Because of the unique properties of each laser wavelength, the tissue surrounding the hair follicle is left untouched leaving you simply smooth.
How Do I Prepare For My Laser Treatment?
Before your treatment hair must be shaved to remove any hairs from the surface. However, procedures to NOT do are: waxing, tweezing or electrolysis, as this removes the hair follicle that the laser requires in order to destroy it. If you have undergone any of these procedures to remove hair then you must wait 4-6 weeks before you can be successfully treated with the laser.
Also, if areas that are to be lasered have been exposed to the sun (example: tanning creams or tanning beds) you must wait at least 3 weeks before you can be treated. Be sure you trust and always speak with your skincare technician if you are ever unsure of anything.
Why Do I Need More Than One Treatment?
Hair follicles transition through active and dormant stages. With each treatment, we will cover the entire skin surface, however only follicles that are “active” (anagen) will be destroyed. When a follicle is dormant, the laser light cannot be absorbed, and the follicle is left undamaged, ready to grow hair once more.
Only about 30-50% of your hair is actively growing at any given time, so multiple treatments are necessary to ensure that we treat every single hair follicle. Each session will reduce hair growth by approximately 15-20%.
Below is a diagram outlining the different stages of hair growth.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
The average number of treatments needed to achieve the full effect of laser hair removal varies greatly from person to person, and can even vary between body parts.
The majority of clients will end up needing about 5-8 treatments to accomplish permanent results. Consistency in treatments is essential in order to achieve the best results.
Treatments are typically performed every 6-8 weeks apart for below the neck and 4-6 weeks apart for the face, when the hair is in the “active” cycle of hair growth. Only shaving should be done in between treatment; remember: NO waxing, tweezing or electrolysis, as this may prevent you from achieving the best results.
What Happens After The Treatment?
After your treatment, sun exposure must be avoided for at least 7 days. Wearing sun protection of at least 30+ SPF is essential to protect your skin.
Hair may take up to 4 weeks or as little as a few days to fall out after treatment. This is called casting. The hair appears to be growing, but the damaged hair is actually sliding out of the hair shaft. Allow this to occur naturally.
Is There Any Downtime With This Treatment?
In most cases, there is no downtime with this procedure. After treatment there may be some erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) around the hair follicles in the area treated, however this usually resolves within the first 24-48 hours.