Whether your thinking of starting laser hair removal or your already getting laser done you'll enjoy what Vivian (Co-Founder of LaseMedics Laser Clinic Parramatta / Merrylands) has shared today, so please grab a coffee and read on as we take you through everything there is to know about your laser hair removal journey.
The science behind laser hair removal is what’s referred to as Selective photothermolysis or SPTL. It is the principle of matching a specific wavelength of light (755nm) and pulse duration to target melanin with minimal effect on surrounding tissue. In English this means the laser light is able to heat the melanin (pigment) in a hair follicle without heating the rest of the skin. This destroys the tiny blood vessels and nerves that supply nourishment and stimulus to the hair follicle and with several treatments it loses the ability to grow a hair. The hair does not fall out during a laser hair removal treatment or even that same day. It takes an average of 2 weeks for the hair to weaken and fall out. It is very important to not try and pull the hair out. The following three characteristics are why laser hair removal is the most effective hair reduction method:
-Monochromatic - this means nearly 100% of laser light is ONE pure colour
-Collimated – laser is slow to spread out. This is what makes laser so powerful and effective in treating hair as nearly 100% of the light can be harnessed to remove hair
-Coherent -this means that the light is reinforcing in the way that it does not cancel itself out.
The best candidates for laser hair removal are men and women with dark coarse hair and fair skin. Laser hair removal will not work on grey, blonde or red hair simply because there is little or no pigment in the follicle. Though laser hair removal is usually not recommended for darker skin types, through more recent developments there are now lasers which are more suited to treat curtain darker skin shades. Laser hair removal can be performed anywhere on the body except the eyebrows.
It is important to remember that there are many contributing factors when it comes to the results of your laser hair removal treatment. These factors include but are not limited to, hormone levels, medications, stress, pregnancy and genetics. Therefore it is impossible to predetermine individual results. The most realistic description of the results of laser hair removal treatment is "long-term permanent hair REDUCTION". In most cases an 85-90% reduction in hair growth can be achieved in an average 8-12 treatments. In order to achieve the best results individuals must be committed to their treatment plan. This is important in order to target the hair at the correct growth phase known as Anagen, the only time a laser can effectively destroy the hair, follicle and papilla.
It usually requires 8-12 laser hair removal sessions to produce an 85-90% reduction though some see more and others less. Laser hair removal treatments are scheduled at 6 week intervals. Treatment duration vary depending on the area being treated and can range anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour.
Have you ever been flicked against the skin with an elastic band. If so then that’s what laser hair removal feels like. Though slightly uncomfortable most do no find it painful, in fact most consider waxing to be much more painful. The great thing about Medical grade lasers is that they have an inbuilt dynamic cooling system which sprays cryogen (frozen air) onto the skin immediately cooling and soothing the area throughout your laser hair removal treatment. Some however have a very low pain threshold for those people there is the option of applying Xylocaine or Emla, both of which are topical anaesthetic creams containing Lidocaine and Prilocaine. These ingredients have the ability to numb the upper layers of the skin making the elastic band sensation more bearable. These creams need to be applied at least one hour prior to your laser hair removal treatment and can be purchased at your local pharmacy. In addition some have reported that simply taken Advil or neurophen at least 20 minutes prior to their laser hair removal treatment has made it all the more comfortable.
Depending on the area being treated, laser hair removal can range between $10 and $500 per session. Though this may seem like a lot, remember treatments are spaced six weeks apart and the reduction is generally permanent meaning after your treatment plan has ceased you will only need the odd touch up which may only be once a year. That’s right no more money spent on razors and fortnightly waxing appointments.
· Before visiting our Parramatta clinic please avoid sun exposure for a minimum of two weeks before your laser hair removal treatment.
· Always apply Sunscreen to the area being treated in order to help prevent risk of pigmentation and burns.
· Do not apply spray tans, tanning moisturisers or use solariums for two weeks before your laser hair removal treatment.
· If treating the face it is best to avoid wearing make-up to your appointment. Alternatively make sure all make-up is removed prior to your laser hair removal treatment.
· Do not wax, tweeze or bleach the area being treated.
· Hair length must be no more than 5mm long. It is best to shave the treatment area two days prior to your laser hair removal appointment in order to achieve the best length for treatment. If the hair is too long the treatment will not only be less effective but also more uncomfortable.
· Do not use any form of Retin-A (vitamin A cream) for two weeks prior to your laser hair removal treatment.
· Do not use Roaccutane for six months prior to your laser hair removal treatment.
· Always inform your therapist if you fall pregnant or are trying to conceive prior to your laser hair removal treatment
· Always inform your therapist of any new medical conditions or medications being taken prior to your laser hair removal treatment
· Redness is common for a few hours to a few days after your laser hair removal treatment.
· It is vital to apply the topical cooling agent recommended by your therapist. This is to be applied not only straight after your laser hair removal treatment but twice a day for three days post treatment.
· It can take up to two weeks for the treated hair to fall out
· For best results exfoliate the area using a glycolic scrub (making sure to wait 24hrs after treatment)
· Do not expose treated areas to the sun for at least two weeks after your laser hair removal treatment
· Do not apply any form of fake tan for up to 48hrs after your laser hair removal treatment
Sunscreen must be used on a daily basis.
· Do not use any form of Retin-A for two weeks after your laser hair removal treatment.
· Avoid any activities that will make you perspire or that will increase your body heat for at least 24 hours after your treatment. This includes exercise and saunas
Avoid swimming for 24 hours post treatment
· Always contact our Parramatta clinic if you are concerned about any reactions.