Laser Hair Removal
Are you, like so many others, tired of the constant chore of shaving, tweezing, or painful waxing? If you’ve wondered how to get the ultimate in smooth, silky skin without the regular hassle, laser hair removal is your answer. Having gained popularity over the last few years, laser hair removal is now a household term, just like Nair. Popular with both men and women, the latest technologies in laser hair removal are safe, gentle, and effective. Since no patient recovery time is needed, treatments can easily fit into a busy lifestyle.
At Laser Esthetica, we offer multiple state-of-the-art lasers to meet a variety of hair removal needs. Dr. Prasad is a specialist in laser hair removal, having performed treatments for over 10 years, since the establishment of Laser Esthetica. She has an understanding of differences in skin and hair texture and condition that will determine what medical equipment will achieve the best individual results.
How does laser hair removal work?
During treatment, the lasers produce a bright beam of light that is absorbed by the pigment in your hair, called the melanin. This causes damage to the hair shaft and follicle without hurting the surrounding tissue. The laser does not see hair, so to speak, but only color. For this reason, laser hair removal is not effective on blonde or white hair.
Who is a candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
At Laser Esthetica, everyone is a candidate for laser hair removal. Because of how lasers work, the ideal candidate is a patient with light skin and coarse, dark hair, but due to recent developments in technology we can achieve great results in patients with darker skin as well. For these patients, specialized lasers must be utilized, the most advanced of which is the Nd:Yag laser. We carry several different lasers in our office to ensure that patients of all skin types are as comfortable as possible. All areas of the body can be treated with laser hair removal, which is very popular with men as well as women. With today’s technology, however, treating blonde or white hair is not effective since lasers only recognize pigment, not the hair itself.
What are the advantages of laser hair removal compared to other hair removal methods?
Shaving, tweezing, depilatories and waxing are all temporary, whereas laser hair removal offers a permanent method to remove unwanted hair. Side effects of waxing include the potential for allergic reactions, burns, ingrown hairs, scarring, and a sometimes painful experience. Depilatories can cause skin irritation and burns and must be performed weekly. Plucking and tweezing are impractical for large areas, can be painful and may lead to pigmentation problems and scarring, especially in patients with darker skin. Electrolysis can take years of treatments in sizable areas because it treats one hair follicle at a time.
How many treatments will I need?
Depending on the hair density, hair color and hormonal factors, the number of treatments required varies from 4-8, spaced 4-6 weeks apart for the face and 6-8 weeks apart for the torso and legs. Each treatment lasts about 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the area. With each treatment there is cumulative damage to the hair follicle, so the amount and thickness of hair regrowing progressively reduces. There are also several stages of hair growth, and hairs in the active growth phase are more responsive to the laser. This explains why multiple treatments are necessary.
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
The FDA has cleared lasers for permanent reduction of unwanted hair and the results are excellent. Four to six treatments will give an approximate 90% reduction in most patients for non-hormonal areas of the body. Though no one can guarantee complete and permanent removal of unwanted hair, we can assure you that laser hair removal is the most advanced and effective procedure today and patients are extremely content with the results.
Does laser hair removal hurt?
Laser hair removal is tolerated quite well. Patients describe the sensation as similar to the snap of a warm rubber band. We do not abide by the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. We believe in just the “no pain” philosophy. For that reason, we have very effective anesthetic creams that can be used prior to treatment to numb the skin. We also use the Zimmer Chiller (a cold air device) for greater patient comfort.
What are the possible side effects?
Permanent complications from laser hair removal are quite rare. Temporary skin darkening (hyperpigmentation) can occur, especially in those with darker skin tones and/or tanned skin, but this is uncommon at Laser Esthetica because we use specialized lasers for darker skin. Hypopigmentation (lightening of skin color) is a rare complication of laser hair removal and would be more common if tanned skin was treated with a non-specialized laser. The risk of scarring with laser hair removal is quite rare as well. Other side effects that would arise are because of unexperienced practitioners, but at Laser Esthetica you’re in the hands of Dr. Prasad, who has been performing laser hair removal treatments since its beginning over a decade ago.
What areas of the body can be treated?
All areas of the body, including face, neck, underarms, bikini line, legs, back and ears are treatable. Eyebrows should not be shaped with the laser but the area in between the eyebrows can be treated.
How will I look and care for the treated area?
Though laser hair removal requires no downtime, the treated area may appear minimally red in color immediately after the procedure. This reaction generally subsides within minutes to hours, during which time sun avoidance is advised. Ice compresses can hasten the resolution of the redness, if necessary. It is not necessary to put antibacterial cream on the treated area.
What can be done for patients with light blonde, silver or grey hair? Does laser hair removal treat ingrown hairs?
Laser hair removal is not effective for individuals with light blonde, grey or silver hair. Laser hair removal is very effective for problematic ingrown hairs.
Does hair need to be long to perform Laser Hair Removal?
No. It is preferable for hair to be short, no more than 1-2 mm (1-2 days growth) at the time of the procedure. Hair can be clipped or shaved prior to the treatment but waxing or plucking should be avoided for 1-2 weeks beforehand to enhance effectiveness. It is essential that back hair be shaved one to two days prior to treatment.
Are there different types of systems used for laser hair removal?
There are several types of systems used for laser hair removal including the Diode and ND/YAG lasers, as well as the intense pulsed light systems. Several companies make lasers, and they vary in terms of cooling methods, treatment spot sizes and also comfort and treatment times. During your consultation, Dr. Prasad can discuss with you the specifics of the laser system recommended for your treatment.
What areas do men regularly treat?
Many men come in to get laser hair removal. The back and shoulders are the most common areas to get done, though men also treat the chest, abdomen, ears and neck. Some men like to just thin the hair out, rather than remove all of it. The wide array of hair removal lasers that we have here works well for a man’s back as it is not uncommon for us to use several different lasers during a man’s treatment program. Men should know that it is important to have their back shaved either the day prior to, or the morning of the treatment.
What are the medical issues that may cause excessive hair growth?
Someone may have excessive hair growth because of abnormal male type hormone levels (androgens). Though other symptoms, like abnormal periods and acne, might be present, sometimes they are not. During your consultation, Dr. Prasad can discuss with you the details of the abnormal conditions that exist and then outline a plan for diagnosis and treatment.
Why choose Laser Esthetica for Laser Hair Removal?
Aesthetic and laser medicine is the only focus at Laser Esthetica. We begin the process of laser hair removal with a complimentary consultation with Dr. Prasad and encourage patients to ask questions. We want the experience at Laser Esthetica to be as enjoyable as the outcome of the treatment. Because we have multiple state of the art hair removal systems, we are able to tailor a quality program specific to your needs. This is in sharp contrast to the majority of facilities offering laser hair removal that rely on only one system to treat all patients.