Laser Hair Removal
How does it work? What does it do? What type of equipment do you use?
Let’s start with some info on lasers, the laser is a concentrated beam of energy when aimed over the hair shoots light into the pigmentation of the hair and destroys the follicle. There are different types of lasers on the market, we carry the Cynosure Apogee Elite Plus which combines two cutting-edge laser technologies to form a dual laser system offering both the 755-nm Alexandrite for fairer skin types and the ND:YAG 1064 wavelength that treats darker skin types. They are both extremely effective at reducing unwanted hair in almost all areas of the body to about 80%.
How does it work? What does hair growth cycle have to do with laser hair removal and how effective it will be ?
To fully understand how lasers work, you must first understand the cycle of hair growth and its pattern. The anagen phase is the beginning of hair growth. This is when the hair is still attached to the papilla at the bottom of the hair follicle. This is the most effective time for destroying the hair because the laser will attack the papilla and prevent new hair growth. The second stage is called the catagen stage, this is where the hair begins to shed. Naturally, this is not the most effective time for laser hair removal because the laser is unable to reach the hair follicle once the hair separates from the papilla. The final stage is the telogen phase which is considered the resting stage of the hair. This is where hair is considered dormant and laser hair removal proves ineffective because the length of the telogen stage is so unpredictable. Hair can be in this resting phase and then grow back anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Why is this important when deciding on laser hair removal as your preferred hair removal method?
You will require several treatments spaced out every 4-8 weeks depending on the area of the body we are treating in order to most effectively reduce the hair. Each individual hair can be at a different point in the growth cycle and we are trying to target as many hairs as possible in the active stage. You should strive to keep your treatments at consistent intervals for best possible results. We offer discounted packages of 8 treatments as we know it will likely take this many to see the results you want. You will also periodically need touch-up treatments to destroy hairs that were not in an active phase at the time of your original treatment but you will never have as much hair as you started with.
What is the difference between the 755nm Alexandrite and the Nd:YAG wavelengths?
The 755 nm Alexandrite is a short wavelength that doesn’t penetrate that deep into the layers of the skin. It is more ideal for fair to medium skin types like Caucasian skin and can be used on fine or coarse dark hair . The 1064 Nd:YAG has the longest wavelength and penetrates deeper into layers of the skin. It has the lowest melanin absorption rate and is less likely to burn the skin because it doesn’t target melanin in the skin. It is most effective on darker skin types like African-American, Indian, or Hispanic skin.
Does it hurt?
It is not completely painless, but we do our best to ensure our patients’ comfort. We utilize a Zimmer chiller system with the laser which blows cold air on the area we are treating to cool the skin down. It feels much like a rubber band snapping your skin but most say it is more tolerable than waxing to give you a general idea.
How long will my results last?
Each person is different and people are from various ethnic backgrounds where some may have started with more hair than others. We also mentioned before, that each person’s hair could be
in various stages of the hair growth cycle so it is impossible to predict exact results. However, most see an 80-90% reduction but everyone will need touch-ups for any new growth at some point. This can also be due to changes in hormonal factors such as menopause or childbirth where the body can see a resurgence in hair growth.
Are there any risks involved?
As with any treatment, there are potential risks but most can be avoided with proper pre and post care and a knowledgeable technician. There is the potential for burning, scarring, redness, swelling, hyperpigmentation (dark marks). Your technician will ask you each time if you have been on any antibiotics for a week prior to treatment or any photosensitive medications as you need to be off of them for a whole week prior. We will also ask if you have been sunbathing or tanning, which can also pose a risk for burning of the skin so it is important to answer these questions honestly for your own safety. Please make sure the area being treated is also free from lotions, fragrances, deodorants, and any makeup as they can produce adverse effects to the skin while being treated.
Can I still get laser hair removal if I have darker more pigmented skin?
Technology has advanced so much over the last 10 years that we are now able to safely treat ALL skin types. Our YAG wavelength is formulated for your skin type and is especially effective at treating ingrown hairs. Many times, ingrown hairs tend to be a problem in darker skin types or those with curved hair shafts after the hair has been cut, it can grow back into the skin causing unsightly hair bumps and infection. This problem will be almost completely eliminated with laser hair removal and will allow the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) it almost always leaves behind, to heal.
659 Auburn Ave NE, Suite 121
Atlanta ga 30312
Mon-Tues : By Appointment Only
Wed- Fri : 9am–7pm
Sat : 8am-4pm
Sun : Closed