Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a procedure which removes hair from the body utilizing a long pulse laser. Laser hair removal lasers have been in use since 1997. The treatment is performed by a specially-trained licensed Professional. Laser heat disables follicles from producing hair.
Hair grows in cycles. Since various hairs will enter their growth cycle at different times, about 6-9 treatments at intervals of 4-8 weeks are necessary to disable most of the follicles in a given area.
At BARE BODY SPA we customize your laser hair removal treatment according to your hair and skin type. Because laser energy is absorbed by melanin in the hair , laser hair removal works best on dark pigmented hairs. Red, white, gray or blonde hair indicates the absence of melanin and therefore, is impossible to treat.
BARE BODY SPA prides itself in giving our clients realistic expectations. Take advantage of a complimentary consultation and an expert technician will evaluate your needs and offer you customized treatment plans for real results.
Yes! There are different types of lasers for different skin types. Candela Alexandrite (Alex) for light skin tone, and a Candela Yag for olive to really dark skin tone. They both have different wave lengths. The yag laser has the ability to bypass the melanin in the surface of the skin and target the root of the hair. The Alexandrite works more on the surface. It is important to be on the right laser for your skin type as this will give you better results, and be safer for you.
Lasers designed for permanent hair reduction emit wavelengths of light that are absorbed by the pigment in the hair (melanin). If the surrounding skin is lighter than the color of the hair, the energy of the laser is concentrated in the hair shaft, effectively destroying it without affecting the skin or the follicle.
Since lasers target pigment, treatments are most effective on coarse hair because it has a lot of pigment and can absorb a lot of heat. Fine hair cannot absorb much heat.
The ability of the laser device to produce a very narrow bandwidth on a consistent basis is the key to a safe efficient treatment. While the laser emits a beam that only heats the hair shaft, heat is transmitted from the hair shaft to the surrounding tissue for several milliseconds after the laser pulse. Several lasers possess cooling attachments which cool the surrounding skin to fully absorb any heat transmitted from the destroyed hair shafts.
Intense Pulse Light (IPL) machines are not lasers. These machines use a highly concentrated beam of traditional incoherent light, often in conjunction with a cream or gel, to burn the hair shaft. A serious flaw with these systems is that they lack the laser's ability to produce a selective bandwidth of light that will only affect the hair shaft (selective photothermolysis). IPLs produce a wide bandwidth of light that can heat up all of the surrounding tissue, making it less effective in disabling hair and putting the patient at a higher risk for burns, especially on darker skin.
IPL devices are generally cheaper than laser devices, which is why many clinics choose to use them. Generally, true hair removal lasers (i.e. alexandrite, diode, and ND:Yag types) tend to achieve better and faster results than IPLs.
Most patients need at least 6-8 effective treatments spaced 4-8 weeks apart. Because hair grows in cycles, several sessions are necessary in order to affect all hair on any given area. Due to length of hair growth cycles, treatments are usually needed once every 4-8 weeks. Hair cycle length varies depending on body part. Face usually requires more frequent treatments (about 4 weeks apart) whereas legs and back need less frequent treatments (closer to 6-8 weeks apart).
“Permanent hair removal” means: “ALL the hair is gone, FOREVER!” There is NO hair removal method (including laser) which can guarantee “permanent hair removal”. The most realistic description of the results after laser treatment is: “long-term hair REDUCTION”. This means: “After six treatments the total amount of hair is greatly reduced — generally by 70% to 90% — and hair which does grow is often much finer and lighter in color.”
The feeling resembles a rubber band snapping against the skin for a quick second. Pain is only felt while laser is hitting the skin and doesn’t last. There is a coolant called cryogen that lands on the skin right before the laser hits the hair follicle. This makes it more comfortable.
Some people may experience the following potential temporary side effects:
o Redness for up to 3 days
o Swelling around mouth of follicle for up to 3 days
o Tingling or feeling of numbness
The following rare side effects are indicative of inappropriate laser type and/or settings:
o Crusting/scab formation
o Purpura (purple coloring of the skin)
o Temporary pigment change (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation)
Yes. This can be achieved with 3-4 treatments instead of the full course of 6-9 treatments. It’s also a good idea to wait at least 12 weeks between sessions in order to correctly assess the amount of reduction achieved at any point during the course of treatments.
Patients should not wax, epilate, or remove hair with the root using any other hair removal method for at least 4 weeks prior to their first session and throughout their course of treatments. The hair needs to be in place in order to be targeted by laser as laser devices targets the pigment in the hair.
The area to be treated should be shaved 1 day prior to treatments so that the energy is targeted towards the hair follicle and not wasted it on the hair above the skin’s surface. Treating unshaved skin can result in burning of the skin by singed hairs.
Treatments are relatively quick. Full legs can take 30 to 60 minutes, Underarms about 2 minutes for both sides. Aloe vera gel can be applied after the treatment to help soothe the skin.
All hair should shed within 3 weeks* following the treatment. Sometimes, shedding doesn’t start until about 10 days after the session. During the shedding phase, hair may look like it’s growing, but it is actually coming out to shed. Exfoliating and/or scrubbing gently in the shower with a loofa can help speed up the shedding process.
After 3 weeks, some patients may see small black dots remain in the hair follicles on some areas. These are commonly referred to as “pepperspots”, which eventually shed on their own. Exfoliating may help speed up the process. Regardless, they will be singed off in the following session.
Once the hair sheds, patients should experience a hair-free period for several weeks. Once new hair grows in, patients should come in for their next session. For most people and on most body areas, this happens about 8-12 weeks after the previous treatment. Patients should continue treatments until remaining hairs are too fine for laser to target, or until they’ve reached their desired reduction.
Hair growth in each hair follicle occurs in a cycle. There are three main phases of the hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen and telogen.
Anagen (active) is the growing phase or when the hair fiber is produced.
Catagen (club hair) is the period of controlled regression of the hair follicle. This phase is when the lower part of the hair stops growing, but does not shed, and the follicle is reabsorbed.
Telogen (tired) is the last of the hair growth cycle. In this resting phase, the old hair falls out in preparation for the development of a new anagen hair.
Normally this cycle of hair production will continue for the duration of the individual's life. However, various factors can influence, promote and inhibit hair production.
Laser affects hairs when it’s in its anagen phase of growth. Thus, patients need multiple treatments in order to disable each batch of hair as it enters the anagen phase of growth. Hair cycle length varies depending on body part. Face usually requires more frequent treatments (about 4 weeks apart) whereas legs and back need less frequent treatments (closer to 6-8 weeks apart).
The causes of excessive hair growth are many and varied, including:
o Glandular and/or hormonal imbalances, including diseases causing these effects (i.e. PCOS condition in women)
o Insulin resistance issues
o Thyroid problems
o Reactions to certain medications
o Normal aging processes