Laser hair removal is one of our most popular treatments here at Pariser Dermatology Specialists. The laser industry has improved over the years to increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of this procedure. The specialized laser works to safely destroy hair just about anywhere that hair grows on the body.
Who Benefits from Laser Removal
Both men and women seek laser hair removal for a variety of reasons however, the treated areas tend to vary. Men who want to reduce the amount of hair on their back, stomach or chest are great candidates. Laser hair treatments will also remove hair from the ears and reduce how often they have to shave their face. Laser hair removal can also reduce the chances of getting ingrown hairs.
In addition to removing unwanted hair on their chin or upper lip, women prefer laser hair treatments on their legs, underarms or bikini area. The laser is even able to efficiently perform a Brazilian laser hair treatment where all of the pubic hair is removed.
In some cases, patients who suffer with medical conditions such as Hidradenitis Suppurativa or Folliculitis might see improvements in their condition after receiving laser hair removal treatments.
Regardless of the reason for seeking laser hair removal, one criterium must be met: the hair must have some pigment. The only hair we can’t treat with laser hair removal is either white or gray. Patients who want to remove white or gray hair are referred to seek other treatments such as electrolysis.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
The laser uses a concentrated beam of light to remove unwanted hair from different parts of the body. The laser instrument beams highly concentrated light into the hair follicle. The pigment within the hair absorbs light and converts it into heat. The heat is transmitted to the hair follicle and destroys it without damaging the skin. Laser treatments make it difficult for the hair follicle to produce new hair. For optimal results, treatments should be repeated every 6 weeks. After each treatment, hair growth will become softer and less noticeable.
Types of Lasers that Remove Hair
We offer a variety of lasers to remove unwanted hair. Both skin type (light to dark) and hair type (light to dark) are considered when choosing the most effective laser for each patient. In the past laser hair removal was limited to treating dark hair on lighter skin. Advancements in technology brought more options to the market including the alexandrite laser for lighter skin and the YAG for medium/darker skin. The Candela GentleMax Pro™ provides safe, fast and effective laser hair removal with high patient satisfaction and comfort.
Additional types of hair removal devices include Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), diode and Nd:YAG . IPL is not actually a laser, but can remove hair in some cases. The diode laser targets chromophores in the skin, such as melanin. Diode lasers damage the chromophores by selectively heating them while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed. The Nd:YAG laser is the gold standard for treating patients with darker skin, due to reduced scatter and deeper penetration of the laser.
Our aesthetician will analyze your skin type and hair type to determine the laser that will be most efficient for you. Most of our patients schedule a series of treatments every 4-6 weeks, resulting in a reduction of terminal hair with each treatment.
Preparing for Your Laser Hair Treatment
Our aestheticians will ask you to adhere to the following guidelines before your laser hair removal treatments:
- Do not pluck, tweeze, wax or use a chemical depilatory (such as Nair®) for a month prior to your treatment.
- You should shave the area to be treated the day before your treatment, but not the day OF your treatment. Some hair needs to be visible in order for the laser device to work effectively.
- Don’t arrive for your appointment with a suntan. Wear sunscreen whenever you’re out in the sun.
- If you are preparing for laser hair treatment on your face, do not use retinol or a skin lightening agent during the week prior to your treatment.
What to Expect During Your Treatment
Before the treatment, the area to be treated will be cleansed. Some patients receive a numbing gel. Numbing the area to be treated helps when a small area will be treated and the skin is very sensitive. It takes about 30 minutes for a numbing gel to work.
Our treatment rooms are set up specifically for laser treatments. Both the aesthetician and the patient in the room are required to wear protective eyewear during the procedure. To perform the procedure, the skin is held taut and the skin is treated with the laser. Many patients say that the laser pulses feel like warm pinpricks or a rubber band being snapped against the skin.
How long your treatment lasts depends on the size of the area being treated. Treating the upper lip takes minutes. If you are having a large area like the back or legs treated, your treatment may last more than an hour.
After Your Laser Hair Treatment
While there might be some tenderness immediately after your laser hair treatment, the results are instant and most of the hair treated is gone. After your treatment you should:
- Refrain from working out, sweating or overheating yourself for a few days
- Stay out of the sun for a week, or wear SPF 30+ sunscreen and protective clothing
- Avoid hot tubs, Jacuzzis or saunas for a few days
The number of treatments required to keep the growth under control varies by patient, but most patients reach maximum results with 6-8 treatments scheduled 6 weeks apart.
Not sure if laser hair removal is right for you? Check out a firsthand account of one of our real patients. Read how laser hair removal changed Christina’s life.
If you’d like to learn more about laser hair removal or any of the other cosmetic treatments we offer at Pariser Dermatology Specialists, make an appointment for a consultation with one of our aestheticians.
Call us at 757-313-5813 or request an appointment online.