How does Laser Hair Removal work?
Since lasers target pigment, treatments are most effective on coarse hair because it has a lot of pigment and can absorb a lot of heat. Fine hair cannot absorb much heat.
Intense Pulse Light (IPL) machines are not lasers. These machines use a highly concentrated beam of traditional incoherent light, often in conjunction with a cream or gel, to burn the hair shaft. A serious flaw with these systems is that they lack the laser’s ability to produce a selective bandwidth of light that will only affect the hair shaft (selective photothermolysis). IPLs produce a wide bandwidth of light that can heat up all of the surrounding tissue, making it less effective in disabling hair and putting the patient at a higher risk for burns, especially on darker skin.
CYA Laser only use true hair removal Alexandrite Lasers.
How Many Laser Treatments will I need and How Far Apart are they scheduled?
Because hair grows in cycles, several sessions are necessary in order to affect all hair on any given area. Hair cycle length varies depending on body part. Face usually requires more frequent treatments (about 4 weeks apart) whereas legs and back need less frequent treatments (closer to 6-8 weeks apart).
Shedding of all treated hair should be expected within 2-3 weeks of each treatment. The hair that doesn’t shed and is growing as usual after 3 weeks has likely been either missed or not affected due to inappropriate settings. If this is the case, a touchup treatment is necessary at that time. All 6-8 treatments should be good effective treatments in order to achieve good results.
Once the hair sheds, patients should experience a hair-free period for several weeks. Once new hair comes in again, patients should come in for their next session.
Is Laser Hair Removal painful?
*It should be noted not feeling any pain during treatments may be an indication that the laser is set too low to produce permanent results.
Are their any Laser Hair Removal Side Effects?
- Redness for up to 3 days
- Swelling around mouth of follicle for up to 3 days
- Tingling or feeling of numbness
The following rare side effects are indicative of inappropriate laser type and/or settings:
- Crusting/scab formation
- Purple coloring of the skin
- Temporary pigment change (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation)
What should I expect before and after treatments?
Patients should not wax, epilate, or remove hair with the root using any other hair removal method for at least 6 weeks prior to their first session and throughout their course of treatments. The hair needs to be in place in order to be targeted by laser as laser devices targets the pigment in the hair.
The area to be treated should be shaved 1-2 days prior to treatments so that the energy is targeted towards the hair follicle and not wasted it on the hair above the skin’s surface. Treating unshaved skin can result in burning of the skin by singed hairs.
After your treatment?
Apply ice packs and cooled pure aloe vera gel to help soothe the skin.
All hair should shed within 3 weeks* following the treatment. Sometimes, shedding doesn’t start until about 10 days after the session. During the shedding phase, hair may look like it’s growing, but it is actually coming out to shed. Exfoliating and/or scrubbing gently in the shower with a loofa can help speed up the shedding process.
After 3 weeks, some patients may see small black dots remain in the hair follicles on some areas. These are commonly referred to as “pepperspots”, which eventually shed on their own. Exfoliating may help speed up the process. Regardless, they will be singed off in the following session.
Once the hair sheds, patients should experience a hair-free period for several weeks. Once new hair grows in, patients should come in for their next session. For most people and on most body areas, this happens about 6-8 weeks after the previous treatment.
Patients should continue treatments until remaining hairs are too fine for laser to target, or until they’ve reached their desired reduction.
*Shedding of all treated hair should be expected within 3 weeks of each treatment. The hair which doesn’t shed and is growing as usual after 3 weeks has been either missed or not affected due to inappropriate settings. If this is the case, a touchup treatment is necessary at that time. All 6-8 treatments should be good effective treatments at aggressive settings in order to achieve permanent results.
What are the Hair Growth Cycles?
Anagen (active) is the growing phase or when the hair fiber is produced.
Catagen (club hair) is the period of controlled regression of the hair follicle. This phase is when the lower part of the hair stops growing, but does not shed, and the follicle is reabsorbed.
Telogen (tired) is the last of the hair growth cycle. In this resting phase, the old hair falls out in preparation for the development of a new anagen hair.
Normally this cycle of hair production will continue for the duration of the individual’s life. However, various factors can influence, promote and inhibit hair production.
Laser affects hairs when it’s in its anagen phase of growth. Thus, patients need multiple treatments in order to disable each batch of hair as it enters the anagen phase of growth. Hair cycle length varies depending on body part. Spacing treatments 6-8 weeks apart allows adequate time to target hair on most body areas.