As winter draws near, the thoughts of cozying up to a good book by the fireplace, or enjoying a large family get-together become increasingly vivid. But what many people don’t know is that the cold weather is actually the best time to have laser hair removal done. Laser hair removal, like the name suggests, works by using a highly concentrated beam of light (laser) that focuses on the melanin of the hair inside the hair follicle. When the hair follicle is subjected to the heat of the laser, it becomes weakened, and prevents any further hair growth.
However, a single laser treatment is not enough, and in reality multiple treatments are required to shift the follicles from the active growth stage or Anagen-stage, to the Catagen-stage (a brief pause in growth), and finally into the Telogen resting stage. With repeated laser treatments, the skin becomes very sensitive to sunlight, and risks burning; especially during the summer months. Therefore, the winter season provides us with an opportune moment to remove unwanted hair without the fear of burning or dark patches.
Frequently asked questions regarding Laser Hair Removal treatment:
1) What does the treatment feel like?
The device utilizes a cooling to preserve the epidermis and keep the pain level low. When the pulse of light is delivered, some patients experience the feeling as either a quick snap of a rubber-band or a pinch—there will be a bit of heat in the treatment area and then this heat should dissipate. The pain will differ based on the sensitivity of each individual and the treatment area. No topical anaesthetic is generally required, but can be added upon request for an additional fee.
2) Where are the most popular areas to treat?
Bikini and underarms seem to be the most popular combination, but our machines can remove dark hair from all parts of the body including the face, underarms, arms, legs, bikini, chest, and back.
3) How many laser treatment sessions are typically needed?
Most treatment areas require 6 to 12 treatments on average. However, the number of sessions required for optimal reduction depends on multiple factors – the area being treated, hair colour and density, and the hair’s growth cycle. Not all hairs are actively growing at the same time and actually go through three distinct phases.
Laser hair removal treatments work by disabling the hair follicle that is in the active growth phase (or anagen phase) at the time of treatment. Since other hairs will enter this active growth phase at different times, multiple treatments are necessary to disable most of the hair follicles in a given area.
4) What happens after the hair removal treatment?
Immediately following your treatment, the area may appear a bit red and sensitive and you may experience peri-follicular edema (swelling around the hair follicle), which will looks like small red bumps. The treated hair can take up to 21 days after your treatment to fall out and this may appear to be regrowth of hair. However, many of these hairs are being shed as a result of your treatment and are not regrowing. Between treatments you should not wax, tweeze, or do anything to the hair that removes it from the follicle, but you can shave as often as needed. Removing the hair from the follicle will change the growth cycles making your laser hair removal treatments less successful.
5) What to avoid before your first laser hair treatment session?
- Avoid waxing or tweezing—if you have recently removed the hair from the follicle, you need to wait 4 weeks prior to laser treatment as you have removed the target for the device and we need to wait for that hair to grow back. Ensure you shave within 24-hours of your first treatment, ideally the day before your treatment, leaving a small sample patch for your technician to properly assess the hair.
- Avoid direct sun exposure, tanning beds, and self-tanners, as tanning can result in unwanted patches of pigmentation under the laser; which is why the winter is ideal for laser hair removal!
- Avoid treatments that may irritate the skin for 7 days prior to treatment (depilatories, harsh chemicals, tretinoin, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic/salicylic acids, astringents, etc.)
- Notify clinic with any changes to your health history or medications since your last appointment
- History of herpes or cold sores may require an anti-viral prescription prior to treatment
6) What should I know for post laser hair removal treatment?
Avoid sun exposure and use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen
- Redness and perifollicular edema (looks like a rash/bug bites) are common and resolve with time
- Bruising and swelling are less common but may occur and will resolve with time
- Hair may take up to 2 weeks to fall out
- Avoid heat – hot tubs, saunas, etc. for 1-2 days
- Avoid skin irritants (examples below) a few days post-treatment
- Products containing tretinoin, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic/salicylic acids, astringents, etc.
- Do not wax or tweeze in between treatments
- Notify our clinic of any concerns
7) What are the benefits of laser hair removal when compared to other treatments?
Aside from the obvious allure of smooth-hairless skin, laser hair removal provides us with many additional benefits and savings:
- Long-term cost savings: with an overall reduction in the repeated purchases of waxing, razors, and creams.
- Time-efficiency: as treatment sessions in smaller areas such as the underarm or upper lip can finish in as little as 10 minutes.
- Far less invasive than electrolysis; which involves inserting small needles into a single hair follicle one-at-a-time.
- No more in-grown hairs!
Laser hair removal treatments offer permanent hair reduction for lasting results.
Now that the colder months are upon us, we have an opportunity to treat ourselves to flawless and smooth skin. If you are looking for a fast and reliable method of hair removal, please don’t hesitate to contact us to book a consultation so that one of our friendly and knowledgeable technicians can see if laser hair removal is right for you.