Excess facial and body hair is a major concern to millions of people around the world. Billions of dollars are spent yearly on hair removal products, which provide at best,very short term improvement. Laser technology now allows superior treatment of unwanted facial and body hair by modifying and reducing hair growth, permanently. Laser treatment is fast, relatively painless and can be performed on large areas.
Excess hair growth is often hereditary, or racial, and is often cosmetically embarrassing both in women and in men. In some cases it may be hormonal, especially in women who have an excess of male type hormones eg Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
The laser beams are attracted to brown or black colours which are present in the hair bulb, or the growing part of the hair follicle. The laser beam then selectively destroys the hair bulb leading to a permanent reduction in hair growth. At the same time there is relative preservation of normal skin, as long as the skin colour is lighter than the hair bulb. The laser beam works best for hairs that are in the growing phase of the hair cycle. However hairs that are in the resting phase of the cycle are less affected by the laser beam. At any one time approximately 60% of the hairs are in the growing phase of the hair cycle, so these growing hairs will be get the full effect of the laser during any one treatment session. In order to get all the hairs to respond, several treatments are needed, so that the different hairs will move into the growing part of the hair cycle. Lasers work best for brown or darker hairs, but work poorly for blonde, white and grey hairs. To minimize damage to normal skin, it is best to have the skin is as pale as possible ie non suntanned. People with darker skin types can also have laser hair removal, but cooling of the skin is necessary, and lower laser energies are used to avoid/ minimize laser effects on the skin.
Nowadays many lasers and IPL devices are used for hair removal. Most have been shown to be effective. The Alexandrite laser is considered to be most effective for coarse darker hairs. Generally lasers can produce hair reduction in fewer treatments than IPL devices. For people with darker skins, generally lasers with cooling devices are preferable to IPL machines, in order to minimize skin pigmentation.
Laser is successful in reducing hair growth. The more treatments the greater the reduction in hairs. Dark hair is the easiest to treat. Lighter or finer hair is more difficult.Lasers generally are more efficient in reducing hairs than IPL devices and require less treatment sessions.
Most people require a treatment once every 3–6 weeks, although this will vary from one individual to the next. Most people require at least 6 treatment sessions. Lighter or finer hairs need more treatments. There is a permanent reduction in hair growth with each treatment session in most cases. People with hormonal abnormalities, may need more treatments and in some cases also require medications in addition to laser hair removal.
It is easy to treat large areas in one session. eg Whole back, chest, tummy,face etc
Laser hair removal produces some discomfort, but generally less than electrolysis. Most people describe the sensation as being like a flick from a rubber band. With the newer lasers and cooling devices, treatments are faster and minimally painful.
It is rare to experience significant side effects, although the following may occur; 1. Redness. Mild redness in the area treated is not uncommon. It usually lasts 1-2 days, and may be covered with makeup. Severe redness is unusual. 2. Blistering of skin. This is very uncommon, and will usually resolve by itself. 3. Pigmentation. Temporary pigmentation may occur in some individuals and this will usually resolve without any treatment. Sun exposure should be avoided for four weeks after treatment. Some patients may require the use of a bleaching cream if pigmentation persists. To minimize the risk of pigmentation, suntanning should be avoided prior to treatment and for at least 4 week after. People with darker skins, can have test patches prior to treatment to work out the correct laser settings for their skin type. 4. Loss of pigmentation. This is rare. 5. Scarring. Rare.
It is best to do the following prior to laser hair removal: 1. The hair should be as short as possible on the day of treatment. 2. Do not pluck or wax for 1 week prior to treatment. The laser needs to “see” the dark hair bulb. You can shave or use depilatory cream any time before treatment. 3. Avoid sun-tanning immediately before or after treatment. Laser hair removal works best on non suntanned skin.
Costs vary according to areas being treated. Exact cost can be given when you enquire by phone, email or in person. Discount packages are available for multiple areas. Discounts of 10-15% apply for bookings of 5 or more sessions.
1. Electrolysis- mostly for light hairs that are not suitable for laser hair removal 2. Hormone therapy- can be used in conjunction with laser hair removal. 3. Vaniqua cream- can be used in between laser hair removal treatments.