Laser Hair Removal FAQs
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a hair removal procedure that has been practiced since 1997. It is a procedure which is performed by a specially-trained laser specialist or doctor and is conducted by pointing a long pulse laser at a region of desired hair removal. The ultimate result of laser hair removal is disabling hair follicles from producing hair, resulting in permanent hair removal. Since hair grows in cycles, to completely eliminate hair growth, 6-8 treatments (at intervals of 8-12 weeks) are needed to achieve the desired result.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
The success of laser hair removal depends upon a number of variables, such as hair and skin pigmentation, as well as coarseness of the hair. Lasers used for permanent hair removal emit wavelengths of light that are absorbed by the pigments in the hair. If the hair is coarse, or if the surrounding skin is lighter than the pigment of the hair, the pigment in the hair will better absorb the heat from the laser, thereby destroying the hair follicle. In order to prevent the burning of the surrounding skin during laser treatments, the laser produces a narrow bandwidth, which concentrates the laser on the hair. Although, when a laser beam is emitted, heat is transferred from the hair to the surrounding skin for several milliseconds after the pulse. Because of this, some lasers have cooling attachments to surround the skin, which helps to absorb heat that is transmitted to the skin during a laser treatment.
Is Laser Hair Removal for Men too?
Yes! Both men and women utilize laser hair removal treatments for the permanent reduction of hair to all areas of the body. The most popular areas including the face, chest, abs, arms, back, buttocks, bikini, legs, feet, and hands. If you can shave it, we can laser it! We do NOT discriminate based on gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identification. All are welcome!
Why do I need multiple treatments?
Hair growth in each hair follicle occurs in a cycle. There are three main phases of the hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Every terminal hair on our bodies is in one of the three stages of hair growth.
Anagen (active) is a 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.
Vellus hair is short, thin, light-colored, and barely noticeable hair that develops on most of a person’s body during childhood. Exceptions include the lips, the back of the ear, the palm of the hand, the sole of the foot, some external genital areas, the navel, the forehead, and scar tissue. This type of hair is NOT treatable by laser hair removal.
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 Hair Removal is only able to affect hairs that are in the anagen phase of growth. Thus multiple treatments are needed in order to disable each batch of hair as it enters the anagen phase of growth. Hair cycle length varies depending on the body part. Face usually requires more frequent treatments (about 6 weeks apart) whereas legs and back need less frequent treatments (closer to 8 weeks apart). Spacing treatments no more than 12 weeks apart allows adequate time to target hair on most body areas.
What are the Causes of Excessive Hair Growth and How Can They Affect My Treatments?
The causes of excessive hair growth are varied and may include:
- Glandular and/or hormonal imbalances, (i.e. PCOS condition in women)
- Insulin resistance issues
- Thyroid problems
- Reactions to certain medications
- Normal aging processes
Before starting laser treatments, patients with excessive hair growth on uncommon areas should explore possible underlying medical reasons for it. Hair removal methods can only impact hair that’s currently growing. They cannot prevent the body from developing new hair after treatments are completed.
Women with facial male-pattern growth are advised to see an endocrinologist explore the possibility of PCOS or elevated testosterone levels. Men experiencing excessive growth can get tested for insulin resistance.
What are the Possible Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal?
Some people may experience the following TEMPORARY side effects:
- Redness for up to 3 days
- Swelling around the mouth of the follicle for up to 3 days
- Tingling or feeling of numbness
The following RARE side effects are indicative of inappropriate laser type, settings, or failure to follow pre/post care instructions:
*To help reduce potential side effects, please closely follow pre/post care instructions that are given to you by your laser technician*
- Crusting/scab formation
- Purpura (purple coloring of the skin)
- Temporary pigment change (hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation)
Can I do Laser Hair Removal if I am Pregnant?
No, Laser Smooth Company does not perform laser hair removal on pregnant clients.
How old do you have to be to do Laser Hair Removal?
Clients must be a minimum of 14 years old to do laser hair removal. If you are under 18 years old, you must have parent permission to have laser hair removal treatments.
Does Laser Hair Removal work on all body hair?
Unfortunately, laser hair removal does not work on blonde, light red, or gray body hair. It also does not work on vellus or baby fine hair. If you are unsure if laser hair removal will work on your body hair, please schedule a free consultation. Consultations are free, take approximately 20 to 30 minutes during which we will evaluate the hair and do test spots to the desired treatment area.