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Laser hair removal utilizes specific wavelengths of light that are drawn to the pigment at the “root” or bulb of the hair. This light heats and destroys the hair follicle without damaging the surrounding skin resulting in permanent hair reduction.
The treatment consists of multiple pulses delivered with the laser. Each pulse feels like a brief hot stinging or snapping sensation that is mildly uncomfortable. A device that blows cold air is used during the treatment to keep the skin cool and decrease discomfort. Some patients choose to purchase an anesthetic cream from our store and apply 30 minutes prior to their treatment to further reduce discomfort.
You should perform a close shave two to three days prior to your appointment. Hair is best treated when there is short stubble present. Waxing, tweezing and threading should be avoided for at least four weeks prior to your treatment. Tan skin cannot be safely treated, so we ask that you avoid sun exposure for four weeks prior to your treatment and self-tanning products should not be applied to the treatment area two weeks prior. If you have a history of cold sores or genital herpes, be sure to notify your doctor prior to your appointment and he or she will prescribe a medication to take the night before that will reduce the likelihood of a breakout. If you are using any products containing a retinoid on the treatment area, we ask that you stop using them five to seven days prior to your treatment.
It is expected to have mild swelling and redness immediately after the treatment. This is typically brief, but may persist for several days. You can apply makeup and sunscreen immediately after the treatment. It will take approximately one to two weeks for treated hairs to shed. You may shave, but avoid tweezing or waxing between treatments. Avoid the use of retinoid on the treatment area for five to seven days after treatment.
Hair follicles go through different cycles, and a treatment will only target those hairs that are in the “growth phase.” There is considerable individual variability in response, with most patients having a 60-80% permanent reduction of hair after 6-10 treatments. Certain body areas and certain skin types may take longer to respond. The best results are seen in patients with dark hair and light skin. Laser hair removal provides permanent hair reduction. Therefore, you should expect that occasional maintenance or “touch-up” treatments may be necessary.
Treated hairs will shed one to two weeks following the treatment. There will be minimal hair present between treatments, with regrowth occurring near the time of the next treatment. Each treatment will permanently reduce a percentage of hair resulting in the overall results of 60-80% permanent reduction following the series of treatments.
Laser hair removal is only effective on darker hair. Patients with blond, red, white, grey or even very light brown will not respond. Although laser hair removal is safe for all skin types, it is not safe on tan skin. Patients who have taken isotretinoin (Accutane) within the previous 12 months or are currently pregnant cannot have the treatment. Patients who have a history of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) or other hormonal conditions may not respond as well.