Frequently Asked Questions people ask about Laser Hair Removal
Who is a candidate for laser hair removal?
Not every person is an ideal candidate for laser hair removal. People with dark hair and light colored skin are best suited for laser hair treatments. Since it’s the pigment in your dark hair that absorbs light energy the most, it makes sense that it is easier to treat darker hair. People with red, light blond, or light colored hair may not be ideal candidates for laser hair removal. It is important that we carefully evaluate all of these factors to determine if laser will work for you. Individuals with dark tans or dark complexions may have a less beneficial result from the laser because the dark skin pigment will usually absorb some of the laser energy.
How does the laser remove hair?
A concentrated beam of light energy from the laser harmlessly passes through the skin and is absorbed by the pigment in each hair follicle. This zap of laser light lasts flashes for just a microsecond. With each pulse of the laser, hundreds of follicles are affected without damaging the overlying skin. These follicles are disabled which prevents them from growing back
Aren’t lasers all the same?
Absolutely not. Some centers may offer a laser-like machine commonly known as intense pulsed light which is not a laser. The results are dramatically inferior to a true laser. IPL machines are much slower and more painful when compared to our new state-of-the-art Alexandrite lasers that use a cryogen cooling system. Not only is non laser light therapy inconvenient, it is suboptimal in its results and the amount of clearing of hair that it provides.
What does the laser feel like?
First, a clear gel may be applied to the skin. At the same time that the laser pulses are delivered, a cool cryogen burst of air will be applied simultaneously with the laser zap to make it more comfortable for you. This cooling technique is a great advance with our latest lasers. You could experience a tingling or a slight “zapping “sensation depending on which area of the body that we treat. Results can vary, but improvement is generally is noticeable about two weeks after just one or two treatments.
How many treatments are needed?
Multiple treatments are necessary to deliver optimal results. A common misunderstanding is that only one treatment is necessary to clear all of the hair in an area. But, the truth is that the laser will only alter the hair follicles in their active phase of the growth cycle. Further sessions are usually necessary to get rid of hair follicles which are just emerging from their dormant or resting phase. Hormones, diet, age, medications, ethnicity and metabolism are important factors in the growth of hair and their growth cycles. Maintenance sessions may be necessary depending on the area of concern, your hormonal cycles, and your desired outcome.
Is the laser safe?
Properly trained and experienced professionals in a physician supervised medical facility provide the best chance that you will receive a safe treatment. Laser safety records are better when an experienced and properly trained professional operates the laser. When you inquire about any type of medical procedure, always examine the experience, training and background of the actual person who will be performing your procedures. Make sure if you will receive treatments from different people, that you know the experience, training and background of each of them. Be cautious and suspicious. Some unscrupulous laser businesses under the guise of having physician directors who are actually not on site, spas, and national laser franchises may be compromising your safety for the sake of profits.
Will the results be long lasting?
Lasers treatments provide great results and long term solutions for hair removal if the laser is used in the right hands. Because laser affects only hair in the active phase of their growth cycle, follicles which are lying dormant cannot be affected by the laser. But later as these dormant hair follicles become active once again, periodic maintenance may be necessary.
What do I need to do before the treatments?
Do not wax, pluck, or use depilatories for at least four weeks before a treatment. You must have short stubble of hair at the time of the laser treatment to get the best results. If possible, men need to shave their back around three days before each treatment. You should not tan for at least a month before your laser procedure.
What can I expect afterwards?
After a treatment, your treated area will become a little reddened almost like you were in the sun a little too long. This subsides within a few hours but in some people with sensitive skin, this could last up to a day. Avoid tanning for a week. You should use a sunscreen on your treated areas that could be exposed to ultraviolet light or the sun. Results can vary; you should see significant improvement approximately fourteen days after your treatment.
Does health insurance cover laser hair removal?
No. Even if there may be underlying medical conditions that causes your hair, no insurance company will pay for this service. Laser hair removal is classified as a cosmetic procedure by health insurance companies no matter what the cause of your unwanted hair.