The laser uses a non-evasive light that penetrates the skin down to the melanin (pigment color) in the hair root. The light is selectively absorbed into the melanin of the growing hair and the photothermal effect of the light damages the hair growing cells. This heat destroys the growth structure of the individual hair so that it will not grow back. This procedure is ideal whether you are looking for just partial or permanent hair reduction.
Each hair can be in a different growing stage, anagen – actively growing, catagen – resting, telegen – dead. The light waves only affect the actively growing stage-anagen. This is why a course of treatment conducted over a period produces best results.
Normally you will experience hair loss after two weeks and the hair that seems to be growing is actually pushing out. After a period of 3-6 weeks, new hair will appear, although not in the density it once did. In the period between treatments, growth should be shaved, not waxed or tweezed, as the new hair needs to be actively growing for the subsequent laser treatment to have an effect. Check out our FAQs for questions and concerns
Before the treatment takes place:
- Please consult with your physician before starting any laser treatments.
- There is a requirement for a consultation to review your medical history and administer a patch test to determine the laser effect on your skin.
- Hair should be shaved prior to the day of treatment.
- Sun exposure, tanning bed or spray tan to the treatment area is not recommended, two weeks before treatment.
- Accutane and ruacutane acne drugs should be stopped 6 months before the treatment. Retinols & retinoids should be stopped at least three days before the treatment.
During the Procedure:
- An isopropyl alcohol wipe is applied to the area for hygienic reasons. The area to be treated is marked out for the accuracy of treatment and any remaining hair is shaved. Areas that are not being treated are covered by a cloth or towel.
- Client will be given eye protection wear to protect eyes from light flashes. Supplied by technician.
- The skin is typically cooled prior to treatment with an ice pack or cooling gel. Or, depending on the laser, a cool clear ultrasound gel may be applied to the area being treated.
- The technician will then chose the appropriate setting for the desired treatment including energy fluence (J/cm2) pulse rate, duration and Thermal Relaxation Time between pulses. The laser handpiece is then applied to the skin on top of the gel and pulses of light are applied in a grid-like manner. The light is intense and travels through the skin to the area that needs attention without harming the surrounding tissue. Some people compare this to the mild snap of a rubber band. The area treated may have a feeling of warmth for up to one hour or so after treatment.
- Gel is removed. A cold-water compress or cold ice pack can be beneficial and applied at client’s discretion. Aftercare skin care is applied to the treated area. Throughout the treatment, you are monitored for effects on skin.
After the Treatment is completed:
- The appearance right after the treatment looks similar to flushing and the redness will last from a few minutes to several hours after treatment. Because the treated follicles have been heated the area may have slight swelling or erythema, (redness), pigmentation may appear darker and may even crust in some spots.
- You will notice hair still in the area for up to two weeks after treatment. This is quite normal as this is the process of the hair being removed from the follicle naturally. Do not pluck the hair but you can continue to shave.
- Sometimes, however, the treated skin loses pigmentation (hypopigmentation) becoming lighter or the treated skin gets darker in the same area (hyperpigmentation). These effects last from 8-12 weeks (hyperpigmentation) to a few months (hypopigmentation). These pigment changes are rarely permanent.
- Effects can be soothed with a cold compress or ice pack, aloe vera gel or mild medium-strength steroid cream.
- Cases have been reported where the hair of the person undergoing treatment turns white. The hair pigment goes back to normal when treatment is stopped. The whitening process is thought to be the damage to melanocytes (pigment cells) in the base of the hair root. It is not enough to destroy the hair, but enough to cause it to lose color.
- Individual results will vary.
How to care for the area that was treated:
- Apply a cool towel or compress to the treated area to relieve the swelling or warm sensations for up to 1-2 hours after treatment. You may not need to do this. You may apply aloe vera gel to help soothe and cool the area, morning and night 3-4 days after treatment as needed.
- Do not expose the treated area to the sun, tanning bed or tanning products without a sunscreen in the early weeks and months following the treatment. 30 SPF should be applied to treatment area after treatment if there is a likelihood of area being exposed to the sun.
- Do not have hot showers or baths until 24 hours after the treatment.
- Do not apply any perfumes, oils or crèmes and deodorants to the treated area for 48 hours after.
- Do not swim in chlorinated swimming pools or exercise to excessive sweating for 24 hours.
- Do not apply tanning products or visit tanning beds 2 weeks after treatment.
- Do wear protective clothing over treated areas or sun block of (SPF30+).
- Laser hair reduction cannot be performed during pregnancy or lactation.
- Laser hair reduction cannot be performed on recently sun-tanned or sun over-exposed skin.