Laser Hair Removal Treatment
Innovations in hair removal treatment use selective photothermolysis to apply laser and light to destroy hair follicles and thus inhibit hair growth without damaging the skin. Through a procedure, intense light or laser beam is absorbed by the melanin in the follicles causing damage to hair in the anagen stage of growth. The darker the hair (containing more melanin) in a person, the easier and more effectively can laser destroy its target. Since melanin also occurs in the skin, laser is most effective for people with dark hair and light skin. This combination results in maximum effect on the hair follicles and minimum effect (if any) on the skin.
What are the different types of laser hair removal treatment?
Not all people who desire to have unwanted body hair removed have the perfect combination as stated earlier. Therefore, different treatment types are being offered to suit different situations and combination of characteristics.
- Alexandrite laser hair removal
Lasers are normally produced by a crystal source or medium, and this method uses alexandrite crystal to produce 755 nanometers infrared lights. Alexandrite laser beams can be produced in high intensity at short pulses, a mode referred to as Q-switching. This method of removing unwanted hair is recommended for light-skinned persons (from Fitzpatrick type I to III) with dark hair. Alexandrite laser hair removal treatment normally has the following setting: fluence of 10-40Joules/cm2; pulse width of 2-20 milliseconds.
- Diode laser hair removal
Diode is recommended for people with thick and coarse hair and those with Fitzpatrick skin types from I to III. People with darker skin types (IV-VI) can still be treated safely and effectively using this method by adjusting some factors, such as current applied to the diodes. Unlike other methods, this method has semiconductors or diodes, thus the name, as source of laser light which ranges from 800 to 810nm in wavelength. The repetition rate is 1Hz; fluence is from 10-40; spot size is 9mm; and pulse width ranges from 5-30ms.
- Nd Yag laser hair removal
Neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet, or Nd:Yag, refers to the crystal medium used in the hair removal treatment with the same name. The Nd:Yag laser hair removal treatment is recommended for people with dark-to-black skin, including Asians, Latinos and even people with tanned skin. Yag lasers operate on infrared lights at wavelengths equivalent to 1064nm, which is the wavelength recommended for dark skin. The longer wavelength allows for deeper penetration, especially for ingrown follicles. Carbon, applied as lotion, is used as chromophore instead of melanin because it is a better laser target at this wavelength. Larger body areas can be treated quicker because of the Yag’s fast rate of repetition (up to 10Hz); thus, it is preferred for treating large body areas, such as the back or legs. Fluence is from 20-100; spot size is 3-5mm; pulse width is 10-50ms.
- Electrolysis hair removal
This method uses a fine-tipped electrode or electronic probe to apply heat or chemical to the hair follicles. Hair is destroyed at the root with the application of heat or chemical. The advantage of this method is that it attacks the hair follicle itself and not other targets, such as melanin. The procedure spares the skin, which also has melanin, from damage. This is recommended for people who are not ideal for laser type treatment. Electrolysis, however, can be painful and entails multiple treatments (much more than the number of treatment sessions normally required for laser methods).
- IPL hair removal
Intense pulse light, or IPL, also operates within the principle of photothermolysis (or the destruction of a target using light and heat); it is not strictly a laser type, however. With the IPL method, light is produced by a lamp or bulb operates and applied on the skin with diffused and less powerful wavelengths from 500 to 1200nm. This method is commonly used for fair-skinned and dark-haired people.
What is the treatment process like?
In preparation for a laser hair removal treatment, the customer observes the following instructions.
- Stop or avoid waxing, electrolysis, bleaching, and plucking of hair 4 to 5 weeks prior to the treatment.
- Avoid tanning procedures 3 to 4 weeks before treatment.
- Shave the area to be treated one day before treatment and the same should be free from any chemical, cosmetics, or skin care
A test patch may be performed during the initial consultation, 2-5 days prior to the treatment to determine any adverse reaction.
- Treatment Procedure
- Goggles will be worn during the treatment
- The area is shaved and cleansed.
- Treatment area will be marked.
- A hand-held laser instrument is placed above the target area.
- A cooling gel is applied on the tip of the instrument.
- The instrument is turned on to let laser beam pass through the skin and onto the tiny follicles where hair growth stems from.
- The beam’s intense heat destroys the hair follicles.
- Post-Treatment and Recovery
The effect of the treatment varies from one person to another. Redness and slight swelling are common immediate effects that can be observed as briefly as 20 minutes after the procedure. In few cases, these effects may stay 2-3 days, especially for very sensitive skin types. The following can be done to ease these discomforts:
- Apply an ice pack or aloe vera gel to the treated area.
- Apply sunblock (SPF 30 or higher) if the treated area is likely to be exposed to the sun upon leaving the session.
- Avoid tanning beds.
- Treat the skin gently; never rub.
- Shower in tepid water, use mild soap, and pat dry with soft towel.
- Apply topical antibiotic cream for minor epidermal blistering or crusting.
- Promptly report any complication.
- Return for the next treatment session and maintenance visits.
- How long does a treatment procedure take?
A laser treatment session may run from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the area being treated. Treating the upper lip or eye brow will take only a few minutes, while treating the back or chest will stretch to an hour.
- Will it hurt?
The procedure is generally pain-free. Very rarely, some discomforts are observed but these are very mild.
- What is the normal interval between treatment sessions?
Treatments are usually spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart. A shorter interval or spacing may be recommended for light-skinned persons. The number of treatments and the period between treatments are determined by hair density, skin color and size of the area to be treated.
- My skin is dark; will laser be effective for me?
Nd:Yag laser is used for all skin types and is effective even for dark skin. It also has the advantage of treating wider areas at a faster rate.
- What options do people with blond hair have?
The problem with blond-haired men and women is that their hair does not have enough melanin to attract laser. Innovative techniques and Alexandrite laser are now used for permanent reduction of blond and light-colored hair.
Hair removal doesn’t have to be painful or ineffective. Through laser, we offer you a permanent solution to recurring hair. We know that this is too interesting to pass up, or you have more questions to ask! Why don’t you give us a call now? Simply dial our contact number and ask for the services available. You deserve this!