Laser Hair Removal Q&A
How does the laser remove unwanted hair from my skin?
Your hairs go through cycles, and in the normal situation, most hairs are in a stage called anagen. This is the growth phase of your hair, and it is the longest stage of your hair’s life cycle. These are the prime hairs we target with laser treatment and we do so using two different laser systems. One treatment option we offer is the ProWave™ system, which can be very effective and fast at removing hair across the body. For many patients, this can be the ideal platform, however, for patients with deeper brown skin tones, we use the Cutera CoolGlide laser hair removal system. This system is still very effective and can be used more safely on all skin types.
The laser light emitted is able to almost selectively target the hair and follicles deep within the skin, effectively destroying the structures themselves. The follicles absorb the energy and are treated right then on the spot. These treated areas simply heal over and the hair production is gone.
Because the hair cycle and anagen phase is the targeted cycle that works best, it can take multiple sessions to treat all of the hairs, as we to have performed the treatment at intervals to capture the most active anagen hairs.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
Laser hair removal is a permanent treatment option, but you should know what to expect. We typically target the thicker hairs first, so you’ll see a dramatic reduction of those types of hairs in the early course of your treatment sessions. Over time, we will adjust the settings of the laser in order to target the specific types of hair that remain during your treatment journey.
Patients typically see the most benefit in the first session, as most hairs are in the targeted phase. And yes the hairs successfully treated are permanently gone, however, because of the normal aging process and hormone fluctuations, you may grow new hairs in the future that were not there at the time of your original treatments. This is not a huge problem as we can provide spot treatments later on in the future as a sort of maintenance for you if needed.
When is laser hair removal not the best option to remove hair?
If a patient has a photosensitizing medical condition (Lupus, ie) or takes a medication (Doxycycline, ie) that makes them sensitive to sunlight, concentrated laser energy is contraindicated and they should consider other therapies that can help with the issue. Laser hair removal also works best on darker hair and will not be very effective on white or gray hairs. If you do have lighter hairs you are concerned about, bring this up to your doctor as other forms of treatments may be more effective for you.
How many laser hair removal treatment sessions will I need?
It can vary by the size of the treatment area, the density of the hair, and other factors, however, most men and women require at least three to six sessions. But for patients with larger, denser areas of hair growth, you can expect to require more sessions for complete clearance. Keep in mind, through this process you’ll see a significant decrease in hair production along the way. These sessions are best performed at regular intervals of 6 – 8 weeks apart.
Is laser hair removal safe?
The short answer is yes, but it is important to have each treatment tailored specifically to the patient. The risks of laser hair removal therapy include, though not common with the proper laser and setting, depigmentation, scarring, and inadequate results.
Laser hair removal is a safe and effective treatment for all patients and you can get started today by giving us a call at Essential Dermatology Group, PLLC.