Why would I need Laser Hair Removal?
Laser Hair Removal Q&A
Am I a good candidate for laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal works well on men and women with light skin and dark hair, but is appropriate for many skin types. Your provider lets you know if laser hair removal or another aesthetic treatment best matches your needs.
When you’re ready to get rid of embarrassing hair on your face or body, Call Us Today.
When will I see results?
Hair begins to fall out around 2 weeks after your treatment, but it’s very important to complete the recommended amount of treatments for optimal results. Laser hair removal generally requires 6-10 treatments depending on hair growth, hair type and color, and the area of removal. Appointments should be spaced about 4 weeks apart for face and 6 weeks apart for body.
What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a nonsurgical cosmetic treatment that uses concentrated light beams to remove unwanted hair. It works by emitting light that gets absorbed by hair pigment, where light energy converts to heat and damages hair follicles. This damage delays or prevents future hair growth and is a convenient alternative to waxing, plucking, and shaving.
What should I expect during laser hair removal?
After a thorough consultation with your dermatologist, you arrive for a laser hair removal session. During treatment, your provider applies a hand-held laser to your skin that emits a beam of light into the affected area. The laser pulses, allowing hair to absorb light and produce heat.
You may feel a cooling sensation from the laser instrument to enhance comfort, and warm pinpricks from the laser’s heat. The amount of time laser hair removal lasts depends on the area treated. It might take just minutes for small areas on your face or over an hour for large areas, such as your back.
Which areas does hair removal work on?
Laser hair removal reduces hair on nearly any area of your body where unwanted hair lurks, such as your:
- Upper lip and chin
- Bikini area
Because laser hair removal may not result in permanent hair loss, periodic maintenance treatments might be necessary.
What types of lasers are used?
At Specialists in Dermatology, your dermatologist may use the following lasers for hair removal and other skin conditions:
ALEXANDRITE LASER – The alexandrite laser emits high-energy light through an alexandrite crystal. The length of light determines how far into the skin the laser penetrates. In addition to hair removal, the alexandrite laser helps treat age spots, spider veins, and vascular birthmarks.
YAG LASER – The Nd:YAG laser, or Yag for short, produces light beams that reach deep skin layers and target melanin at variable depths. In addition to hair removal, the Yag laser improves the appearance of spider veins, varicose veins, and vascular birthmarks. It also reduces wrinkles, pigmented lesions (such as freckles and brown age spots), and much more.
Is it permanent?
Laser hair removal has potential to be a permanent solution. However, it does require commitment to the process. It will significantly reduce future hair growth in treated areas. Hair that returns will be sparse, thinner and possibly lighter. For best results, we recommend maintenance treatments once or twice a year even after results have been achieved. Every patient is different and results will differ but overall, you will see a significance decrease in hair growth.
Is there any downtime?
While there’s no downtime associated with laser hair removal, you may experience some redness afterward. We recommend you stay out of the sun for two weeks before treatment and one week after.
Does it hurt?
Laser hair removal isn’t painful. It feels a bit like snapping a rubber band against your skin. We can apply a topical numbing cream before your treatment if you’re concerned. And if needed, we may apply an ice pack after your treatment to cool and comfort skin.
I'm pregnant. Can I get laser hair removal?
We recommend avoiding laser hair removal during pregnancy.
What happens after laser hair removal treatment?
Side effects may occur during the first few hours after laser hair removal and can include:
- Skin irritation
Apply ice to affected area as needed, and avoid sun exposure and tanning beds after and between scheduled treatments. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin. Treated hair might not fall out right away, but you can expect shedding over a period of several days or weeks.
Because a series of laser hair treatment is often needed to maximize results, your provider may recommend scheduling sessions every 6-8 weeks initially. Results from laser hair removal can last several months or years. If hair does eventually regrow, it might be finer or lighter in color.
- Please disclose any medical conditions that may be of significance to the procedure—such as pregnancy, cold sore or fever blister tendencies, any type of allergy, recent facial peels or surgery, or any type of medication such as Accutane, Retin-A, Glycolic Acid, etc.
- Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds prior to treatment. Also avoid self-tanning products for two weeks prior.
- Avoid topical Retin-A, any acids (salicylic acid, glycolic acids), or any exfoliants for 3 days prior treatment.
- You must be off Accutane for 6 months prior to service.
- Please shave the area 12-24 hours prior to treatment, but avoid any hair removal treatments that remove the hair follicle for 6 weeks prior to your treatment.
- If you are taking antibiotics for illness, treatment may resume 2 weeks after your course is finished.
- Please avoid caffeine the day of the procedure and drink 8-10 glasses of water daily to keep your skin hydrated.
- It’s important to avoid sun exposure after laser hair removal. Be sure to wear an SPF as well to help protect skin from damage or discoloration.
- You’ll likely experience noticeable redness, and possibly swelling, afterwards. A cool compress or cooling masque will alleviate the swelling quicker.
- Feel free to shave between appointments as this does not affect the hair follicle and will not reduce treatment effectiveness.