Laser Hair Removal – Your Questions Answered
Almost anyone with brown or black hair is suitable for Laser hair removal. Fair skin and dark hair are the ideal combination and the closer you are to this combination the better your results are likely to be. However, with the Candela GentleMax, we can also safely treat up to a skin type 4 (Asian Skin) with excellent results.
Lasers use specific wavelengths of light which are designed to be selective in targeting the pigment of a hair follicle. Light skin and dark hair is perfect for laser as all of the energy pulsed onto the skin is absorbed by the dark pigment. The skin being lighter does not compete for this energy as it cannot absorb it. This also means that the skin is virtually unaffected in every sense with no undesirable side effects. Once the follicle has absorbed all of the light energy it accumulates at the root of the hair creating heat. This heat causes thermal damage to the hair root rendering it permanently inactive and unable to grow again.
A minimum of 6 treatments are required for each area treated. Each treatment is carried out between 4 -10 week intervals depending on the area of face or body being treated. This is a general guideline and it should be noted that results vary from client to client and maintenance treatments may be required. We can be very sure of the performance of the laser due to the extensive clinical trials carried out with it, but we cannot be 100% sure of how each individual will respond to treatment.
Waxing and plucking hairs between treatment will result in a prolonged treatment plan as you will interrupt the natural cycle that the Laser is trying to work with. Depilatory creams are also not desirable to use between treatment. Shaving or cutting hairs between treatment is perfectly acceptable and will not interfere with the Laser process.
Some laser centres make it sound that you’ll never have to be reunited with your hair again, just by getting the right amount of visits with their machine. As to date, there is no laser equipment that has been approved by the FDA for permanent hair removal. However, the FDA has approved laser hair removal machines with permanent hair reduction because it can rid hair on the right candidates for long periods of time, with multiple treatments. Generally, this means that you shouldn’t expect laser to remove every single hair from an area. Many patients find that maintenance sessions done once or twice a year are ideal for keeping hair at bay after completing the initial treatment protocol.
No. Lasers are very specific machines and they vary depending upon what they are used for. For hair removal, lasers such as Ruby, Diode, Alexandrite and ND Yag are used. Of these Lasers, Alexandrite and ND Yag are considered the Gold Standard.
It should be noted that machines such as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) which are commonly used for hair removal are not Laser machines. These devices use a highly concentrated beam of traditional incoherent light, often in conjunction with a cream or gel, to burn the hair shaft. They are much more superficial and most of its light energy is lost on the surface of the skin which greatly reduces the level of energy absorbed by the hair root. These devices are not efficient for permanent hair reduction and in the wrong hands can do a lot of damage. When enquiring about permanent hair reduction look for a medical grade laser which has the FDA stamp of approval and employs the gold standard Alexandrite or ND Yag wavelengths. See About Candela for more information on Medical Grade Lasers.
Yes. It is important to take a full medical history to ensure that there are no contraindications to Laser treatment. It is also important to assess the hair & skin to determine if you are a suitable candidate. Within a consultation the Laser therapist will explain the nature of the procedure, possible side effects and expected outcomes. A patch test is then carried out and the candidate will generally wait 24 hours before proceeding with treatment.