Laser Hair Removal
Anybody over 16 years of age (those younger must be accompanied by a parent), who have unwanted face or body hair. Best candidates are light-skinned individuals with dark hair. Newer laser and Radiofrequency systems will also allow treatments to be performed on darker skinned individuals and patients with grey, blond or red hair.
Results are dependent on many factors: colour of the hair, exposure to the sun, energy level that can be safely used, and coarseness of the hair. All patients will require a minimum of 6 treatments, separated by approximately 6 weeks, to target hairs that might have been in the sleeping phase (telogen) at the time of the first treatment. After laser treatments, some patients notice a dramatic reduction in the number of hairs that don’t grow back and a long delay before those hairs that were not killed to begin to grow back. Permanent reduction of up to 90% can be achieved. The hairs which grow back are usually much lighter in colour and finer in thickness. Most patients notice that the maximum number of hairs which are permanently destroyed occurs after the 4th or 5th treatment. Patients then take advantage of the prolonged growth delay for the remaining hairs (which all grow in the same cycle). 50% of patients who complete 6 treatments will achieve 50-75% permanent hair reduction, but results do vary.
The laser or pulsed optical and Radiofrequency system is pulsed or turned on for a fraction of a second. The light and energy emitted by the laser is selectively absorbed by the pigment in your hair follicle or attacks the hair follicle directly. The duration or this pulse is just long enough to disable the follicle but not so long that excess heat is transferred to the surrounding skin. Further skin protection is provided by a special cooling gel. The treatment is generally a comfortable and well-tolerated office procedure. Treatment times vary from 15 minutes for small zones to 60 minutes for larger areas.
Healing & Downtime
Immediately after the treatment, the area will be slightly red and puffy. This reaction subsides quickly as the laser does not burn or cut the skin in any way. It is possible to return to normal activities right away. A “regrowth or stubble” may appear in 2-3 weeks. This is the old hair regrowth from the follicle, which will fall away from the skin easily with gentle rubbing. The area must be protected from the sun for one week and then a sunscreen should be used for two months