LASER HAIR REMOVAL Q & A
Q. Who are the best candidates for laser hair removal and how does the laser actually work?
A. Since light energy is absorbed by the pigment melanin, which then is transformed into heat energy to disable the follicle, those individuals with course dark hair, and light skin color respond most optimally. In those people with darker skin color (more melanin in the skin), the skin tends to compete with the hair for the light energy resulting in the potential for damage to the skin, not the follicle. That is why tanning should be avoided prior (and after) laser treatments. Our second generation lasers can be used on people with fine hairs and darker skin colors. Lasers are effective at disabling hairs that are actively growing, and at any given time not all hairs are in an active growth phase. It therefore uis necessary to treat an area again at a later time to disable those hairs that were in a resting phase during initial treatment.
*Note: if you have blonde or red hair, laser will not be nearly as affective, because the laser picks up the contrast between the hair follicle and the skin pigment. With blonde and red hair, the hair to skin pigmentation difference is much less.
We offer free consultations, so feel free to come in for an evaluation to see if laser is right for you. You can also so e-mail at email@example.com
Q. How does laser hair removal differ from electrolysis and is the treatment permanent?
A. The main difference between this technology and the traditional method known as electrolysis, is that lasers can treat multiple hair follicles at one time, no longer requiring the need to identify and probe each individual hair follicle, as is done with electrolysis. Laser hair removal is relatively new technology. The FDA has cleared our lasers for permanent hair reduction based on clinical studies with patients. Most people need an average of 4-6 treatments. Hair grows in cycles and subsequent treatments are necessary to treat the follicles that are lying dormant below the surface of the skin. The first laser treatment stimulates dormant follicles into the next phase called anagen, this is the most effective stage in permanent hair reduction. So, therefore the second laser treatment, 8-12 weeks from the first laser treatment (depending on area being treated) is an important treatment. Individual results may vary by treatment.
Q. How does GentleLASE differ from other laser systems?
A. Since the GentleLASE® is an alexandrite laser, it is able to penetrate the hair follicle deeper than the first generation ruby laser thus allowing greater destruction of the follicle. The dynamic cooling spray device effectively allows greater amounts of energy to get into the follicle without damaging the skin, by simultaneously cooling the skin as the energy is being delivered. It is important to remember that there are many lasers as well as non-laser light sources that are being used for hair removal. This is a rapidly changing area and we will revise this statement, as more data becomes available. We believe that we currently have the best technology for laser hair removal.
Q. Which areas can be treated?
A. Nearly any body or facial hair can be treated. Popular treatment areas include faces, necks, chests, backs, bikini areas, legs and underarms.
Q. How long does each treatment session take?
A. Each pulse of the laser takes a fraction of a second and can treat many hairs at the same time. The laser can treat an area approximately the size of a quarter every second. Small areas such as the upper lip can be treated in less than a minute, and large areas, such as the back or legs, may take up to an hour.
Q. What is Electrolysis?
A. Electrolysis is the practice of permanent hair removal that employs the use of a very fine probe or filament which sends a minute amount of energy/current to the follicle and cauterized the blood vessel (mother of the hair/dermal papilla) that feeds the hair.
Q. How long does each treatment take?
A. The length of each appointment depends on the amount of hair you want to remove and the area the hair is being treated and what type of temporary methods you used prior. Usually, treatments start off minimally with 15 minutes, but may last up to one hour or more depending on how much hair is needing to be removed. Initially, your Electrologist will schedule a consultation where a thorough health history assessment will be conducted to fully understand any issues that may or may not exist. It must be stressed that commitment and consistency are key elements to the success of the recommended treatment plan and is the utmost requirement in order to see the end results.
Q. What is the normal growth cycle of a hair?
A. All hairs have differing cycles of growth and are not visible on the surface of the skin at the same time. Hair normally grows in its usual cycle and then naturally sheds and replaces itself. Following active growing periods, most hair follicles go into a dormant stage. This period of dormancy may last for an indefinite period of time, however, replacement hairs from dormant hair follicles should not be mistaken as regrowth from previously treated follicles.
Q. Is Electrolysis painful?
A. Similar to most other treatments the level of discomfort clients experience depends largely on the area being treated and the clients overall sensitivity to pain.
Electrolysis treatments are described by some as feeling like a tiny shock every other second. Others report a feeling of heat or tingling across the affected area.
I usually tell my clients on the extreme side of a sensation it can feel like a bee sting when that current hits the hair follicle or on the mild side of sensation it can feel like a mosquito bite when the current hits the hair follicle. Very rarely do we have clients that can not with stand the treatment because of sensation.
After the procedure, most clients experience some minor redness on the skin that lasts for a couple of hours. Clients can apply creams to soothe the area.
Q. Is Electrolysis safe?
A. Absolutely! Safety is paramount to electrolysis. Epilators today are much quicker, utilizing current timings of thousandths of a second over the longer current applications of the past, and intensity settings can now be modulated to varying proportions, depending on the moisture content and texture of the skin, the depth of the follicle, and an individual's comfort level, thus allowing an electrologist greater control of treatments, and in turn protecting clients.
And unlike other forms of hair removal, electrolysis, is safe on all skin types and hair types. Electrolysis is safe for all areas of the body with the exception of hairs inside the nasal cavity or inside the ears.
Only pre-sterilized, individually packaged single-use probes are used during treatments. Probes are discarded immediately after use in a biohazard sharps container, and tweezers, probe caps, and electrodes are individually sterilized.
Q. How expensive is Electrolysis?
A. Electrolysis is considered very cost effective when compared to other temporary hair removal methods. A schedule is set up depending on the needs of each client which will determine the length and frequency of electrolysis treatments.
Q. Are there side effects from Electrolysis?
A. Depending on skin type sensitivity, some clients may experience some redness and slight swelling immediately following electrolysis treatment which typically resolves itself within an hour or two of treatment. Post-treatment care will be discussed with you by your Electrologist during the consultation. A good Electrologist will always make him/herself available for questions.
Q. Why not use temporary methods?
A. For the obvious reason, they are just that, temporary. These methods can irritate the skin and may cause ingrown hairs, which can be painful and as unsightly as the hair itself. You will still be left with the hairs that you want to be rid of. Temporary methods can oftentimes exacerbate the problem, and compound the hair growth. Temporary hair removal methods such as waxing, tweezing, shaving and threading are just that - temporary.
Q. How do I choose an Electrologist?
A. When choosing an Electrologist, make sure that the individual you are considering has kept current on latest industry developments. If visiting the office for a consultation, make sure it is professional and clean. You can identify an Electrologist in your area by asking friends and family first. After all, a satisfied client is the best resource for finding a professional.
Q. Can women begin or continue Electrolysis treatments during pregnancy?
A. Although Electrolysis has never been proven harmful to pregnant women, it is suggested that you seek the advice of your physician before you continue or begin treatment.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate give our office a call! 231-796-9019