FAQS - Laser Hair Removal 

What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a procedure by which hair is removed from the body by using a long pulse laser. The laser works by disabling hairs that are in their active growth cycle at the time of treatment. Since other hairs will enter their growth cycle at different times, additional treatments are necessary to disable all of the follicles in a given area. An appropriate treatment program will be developed to meet your individual hair removal needs. 

How does the laser work?
The Candela GentleLASE® and GentleYAG® systems, are revolutionary lasers that emit a gentle beam of light  passing through the skin to the hair follicle where it is absorbed. The laser energy is transformed into heat, which destroys the hair follicle leaving the surrounding skin unaffected. The skin is further protected during treatment by a Dynamic Cooling Device™ where cryogen is sprayed onto the skin cooling the upper layers and providing clients with increased comfort. 

Who is a candidate for laser hair removal? What areas of the body can be treated?
Unwanted hair is a challenge to both men and women. Traditional means to remove it, such as shaving, waxing, or plucking, last only a few days or weeks and cause pain and irritation. For men, the most popular areas to treat are the back, shoulders, upper arms, and neck. For women, the upper lip and chin are the most common areas followed by the bikini line, legs, and underarms. Any part of the body can be treated with the exception of eyelashes and shaping of eyebrows due to the proximity of the eye and the danger of eye injury with the laser. 

How many treatments does it take to clear an area?
The average number of treatments is 6 to 8. This is because the first few treatments only eliminate the active hair follicles. Everyone has hair that is in an inactive or ‘resting’ state. These hairs will generally start growing after the initial active hair is eliminated. Approximately 4 to 6 weeks after the initial treatment, additional treatments are required to eliminate the remaining hair shafts that are in the growth state. Most clients experience an 60-90% reduction in the amount of hair in a given area after a series of treatments. 

Is laser hair removal permanent? 
Laser hair removal has been proven by the Food and Drug Administration to offer permanent hair ‘reduction’. It is spoken it terms of ‘reduction’ rather than ‘removal’ since removal denotes 100% and that is not realistic. The three main advantages of laser hair removal technology are comfort, speed, and accuracy. 

 

Does treatment hurt? 
There is a stinging sensation felt during treatment, however most patients who have waxed or had electrolysis report that it feels less painful than those types of treatments. If the patient thinks it is too uncomfortable, then the practitioner may provide a topical anesthetic prior to treatment. Most patients have no residual pain within 20–30 minutes after treatment. 

Why does the laser not work well on blond, gray or red hair? 
The laser energy interacts with pigment or ‘melanin’ in the hair root. These hair colors either do not have much or any melanin in them or it is a type (pheomelanin) that does not absorb light as well as the other form of melanin (eumlanin). 

Why must any form of epilation be avoided for 2 weeks prior to treatment? 
The hair root has to be present for the laser to work. If the hair has been removed with waxing, plucking, or electrolysis, then there is nothing for the laser energy to interact with. 

Why must tanning be avoided for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after treatment? 
Melanin formation in the skin as a response to sun exposure decreases the effectiveness of the treatment. It also makes it more likely that the client will experience hyperpigmentation (darking of the skin), hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin), or blistering from the treatment. 

What are the risks and side effects of laser hair removal?
Side effects can include blistering, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, or scarring. Risks of these side effects are minimized if treatment instructions are closely followed by the patient. 

Why must the area to be treated be shaved just prior or up to 2 days before treatment? 
Surface hair, if present, will be singed off. This increases the risk of a burn, as well as taking up energy that does not get to the root of the hair follicle. 

Why must everyone in the treatment room wear protective eyewear?
The GentleLASE and GentleYAG are high-powered laser systems and can cause eye injury if proper eyewear is not worn while the laser is used.