One of the most common cosmetic concerns today is unwanted facial and body hair. Until recently, shaving, tweezing, waxing, bleaching or electrolysis were the only options to remove hair and they produced very temporary results.
Laser hair removal works by destroying the follicle that grows the hair. Laser light is attracted to the dark pigment in hair and zeros in on the hair follicle. Laser hair removal works best on black or brown colored hair; light blonde, red, white or gray hair will not attract the laser light.
Hair passes through three growth stages:
The follicle must be treated during the growth phase, which occurs every 4 to 5 weeks. In order to capture all the follicles in a growth phase, a series of laser treatments must be spaced 4- 6 weeks apart. Our experience has been that 6 or more treatments are necessary to achieve optimal hair removal.
Patients always want to know if the hair removal is permanent. Our expectation is that the results will last for years, however hormonal changes in the body can occur later on in our lives and re-trigger hair growth. In this situation, touch-up treatments may be necessary for maintenance.
Below is a list of contraindications that may prevent you from being an ideal candidate for a laser hair removal treatment:
Photosensitizing Medications (Many different types of antibiotics can make the skin more sensitive and prone to damage. We advise clients not to take any antibiotics at least two weeks prior to treatment. Before undergoing treatment, be sure to inform the practitioner of any antibiotics or medications you are taking, so that they can schedule your laser hair removal sessions accordingly.)
Tattoos on the treated area
Sunburned skin or having a recent sun tan
Self tanners (need to be discontinued two weeks before a laser hair removal treatment)
Those who have herpes simplex virus I or II should tell the aesthetician that is performing the laser hair removal before treatments have begun. It will be necessary to take a prescription antiviral medication for several days both before and after the curative. If the hair removal is in the area of previous outbreaks, it is workable that the heat from the laser will cause a flare up of the herpes virus. If a herpes outbreak is active, either on the face or genital location, it is important to reschedule the session.
Waxing, tweezing, and using depilatory creams on the hairs to be treated is also a strong contraindication for laser hair removal and needs to be avoided about one month prior to your first treatment, and throughout the course of treatments. These hair removal methods remove the hair follicle from the root and makes laser hair removal inefficient. In addition, use of hair bleaching products also needs to be avoided, as these types of products are strong and can irritate the skin.
In addition to the aforementioned contraindications, it also recommended not to wear any makeup, perfume or lotion in the treatment area prior to a laser hair removal session, just to avoid further irritation.
Ask to schedule a consultation to determine the approximate number of treatments recommended for optimum effects.