Laser hair removal, a well established and rather popular treatment, is a safe and effective way to finally free yourself of undesirable hair, constant shaving, and unpleasant waxing. This method of hair growth and hair density reduction utilizes a long pulse laser to gradually achieve desirable results. It is important to note that full removal of all hair is usually not attainable (finer hair is usually not effectively removed), and internal hormonal imbalances may cause new hair growth that could not have been previously targeted by the laser. Despite this, this treatment skillfully eliminates
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laser hair removal
WHY LASER HAIR REMOVAL AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Laser hair removal has a plethora of benefits which only adds to its appeal! Not only would treated areas need to be seldom shaved or waxed again, but the laser will help clear ingrown hairs as well as heal skin breakouts. Further, this treatment is quick and easy, virtually painless, and has minimal downtime!
Laser hair removal works by targeting the melanin (dark pigment) in a hair follicle that is in the “growth phase” of the growth cycle. This may sound a bit complicated, but it is imperative to understand this cycle in order to understand the benefits and process of laser hair removal. Our hair follicles are constantly advancing through 3 different growth phases for indeterminate periods of time at a constant rate, and melanin can only be targeted during 1 of these 3 phases. Therefore, not all hairs may be treated during a given treatment, because likely not all treated hair follicles will be in the appropriate growth phase (which is one reason why multiple sessions are recommended).
The pulse of laser light would be absorbed by the dark pigment, thereby causing damage to the follicle itself. This damage, distributed over multiple sessions, will eventually prove to reduce the density, growth rate, and thickness of hair, and hair will appear to grow more slowly and more finely.
WHAT CAN THE LASER TREAT?
Any and every area imaginable can be treated by laser hair removal.
Small Areas Include: Upper Lip, Chin, Cheek, Sideburns, Nose, Feet, Hairline, Abdomen Line, Cleavage, Jawline, Unibrow, Areolae
Medium Areas Include: Full Face, French Bikini, Full Buttocks, Lower Back, Lower Arms, Upper Arms, Full Abdomen, Full Chest (women), Shoulders, Front of Neck, Back of Neck, Bikini Line, Underarms, Hands
Large Areas Include:Upper Leg, Lower Leg, Full Back, Full Chest (men), Brazilian
A wide range of skin types can be treated by laser hair removal, though with varying effectiveness. Because the laser is attracted to dark pigment in hair, clients with darker and lighter skin (due to less interference with the targeting of dark pigment) are the best candidates for this treatment. Clients with lighter hair and darker skin are still viable candidates, though they will likely need more treatment sessions so achieve optimal results.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM LASER HAIR REMOVAL TREATMENT?
It is comforting to know what to expect with a treatment that includes an intense and deeply pentrating laser, so we have detailed pre- and post- treatment instructions below so our clients can come into their appointments confident and ready.
It is recommended to consult with one of our aesthetic professionals here at Lavande prior to booking your appointment to determine the best course of action for your aesthetic needs, determine what treatment is best for your skin type, and to prepare you for your what is to come. We here at Lavande want to make sure you are a candidate for this treatment as well as confident about your decision to proceed.
In preparation, we may ask that you abstain from taking or applying any harsh medications (such as Accutane or Retinol), so as to avoid the occurrence of poor healing, pigmentation, or scarring from laser treatment. We will also ask that you refrain from getting direct sun exposure for about 2 weeks prior to treatment. Artificial tanning should also be avoided for about a month. It is imperative that clients avoid any hair removal methods that pull the hair from the root (including waxing, plucking, threading, and tweezing) for a month or longer prior to laser hair removal. This is because the laser targets the root of the hair, and if there is no root to target, treatment is useless.
Before coming in for treat, clients will be asked to fully shave the treatment area (as close of a shave as possible) in order to avoid the occurrence of any hair burning during laser treatment.
During treatment, our provider will begin by determining the most strategic treatment plan that will adhere to your aesthetic goals and needs. Both you and the treatment provider should be equipped with the appropriate eye-wear before proceeding. Next, our provider will apply a generous layer of gel onto the treatment area to act as a buffer between the heat of the laser and your skin, as well as act as a sliding agent for the handpiece. Finally, the practitioner will begin to gently glide the laser handpiece over targeted treatment areas, stopping to occasionally allow your skin to take a break from the heat of the laser.
There is little to no downtime for laser hair removal recovery. Post treatment, the practitioner will wipe off any excess gel, and if necessary apply a soothing cream and/or hydrocortisone cream to treated areas. Immediately following treatment, the treated areas may be red, slightly itchy, and exhibit little bumps known as PFEs (perifollicular edema’s, a normal and temporary condition that indicates that treatment was successful). These conditions will subside within hours, however. Most people can resume daily activities following treatment; however, it is imperative to proper skincare precautions during the course of laser treatment. You should refrain from direct sun exposure to treated areas for about 2 weeks (although ideally throughout the time you are getting laser), and apply a strong SPF at all times, because your skin will be quite sensitive. Hair may look like it is still growing for a few days, when in fact it is just being shed from the skin.
HOW MANY SESSIONS DO I NEED?
Due to the nature of laser hair removal, a good number of sessions will be necessary to see optimal results. We here at Lavande recommend an average of about 9-12 sessions for any given area, but this number could be higher or lower depending on a number of unique factors including hair color, skin color, hair type, skin type, hair density, and much more. Every clients situation is unique, and therefore no definite answer is available when one asks “how many sessions.” This determination will need to made after laser treatment commences, and our laser professionals can gauge how your body responds to laser treatment.
Laser hair removal is not generally known to be painful, but it has been described as tolerably uncomfortable. Of course, perception of pain is a unique experience for everyone, but most clients have reported only feeling a mild discomfort from laser.
For clients that are worried about the pain level, Lavande offers a strong topical anesthetic than can be purchased prior to treatment. Clients interested in purchasing numbing cream must arrive at least 30 minutes before their treatment time in order to avoid any timing difficulties.
Preparation includes avoiding direct sun exposure for a week or 2 prior to treatment, avoiding tanning of any kind (including tanning beds) for about a month prior, abstaining from taking or applying harsh products (such as Accutane or Retinol), and avoiding hair removal methods that pull the hair from the root (waxing, tweezing, plucking, threading). Further, clients should fully shave treatment areas the night before coming in for treatment (it has to be close enough to treatment time that the hair does not begin to grow back).
Clients will be able to resume daily activities immediately following treatment, but should avoid direct sun exposure, and intelligently apply a strong sunscreen at all times. There might be slight redness or irritation immediately after treatment, but this will subside within hours. Further, clients should not get facial treatments for up to 2 weeks due to skin sensitivity.
Side effects may or may not be experienced following laser treatment, but are not abnormal. Normal side effects include redness, irritation, inflammation, lingering heat, and itching. Less common, but still expected side effects include blistering, discoloration (hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation), scarring, and infection. Please contact us here at Lavande Spa if you have any concerns about side effects.