Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
No, results from laser hair removal are not 100% completely permanent. You will not achieve a complete reduction in growth after 6 sessions. You will definitely see a significant reduction in the growth of unwanted hair after your initial course, however results need to be maintained from time to time with top-up treatments. The majority of people will see anything from 80-85% reduction in growth after 6-10 sessions. It should be noted that some people will need more sessions than this. After this initial course, hair will become much finer, lighter and will grow at a much slower rate. So why is laser hair removal not completely permanent? You have hundreds of hair follicles to target each one of these after a course of 6-10 sessions would be impossible. Firstly, there is no way of knowing how much of your body hair is in the correct growth phase. And secondly, we don’t know how much heat is being absorbed by each hair.
The level of results you will achieve from laser hair removal treatment depends upon a number of critical factors. These include the colour of the hair in the treatment area, the area of the body that is being treated, skin colour, and the type of laser used. Also issues like hormone imbalances and any underlying medical conditions. Genetic and hereditary factors also play a part.
Factors that affect how permanent your laser hair removal will be
Laser needs dark pigment within the hair to attract the heat of the laser to the follicle. This heat is used to disable the hair beneath the skin. If hair is blonde, grey, or red it is not visible to the laser. Therefore it will not attract the heat necessary into the hair follicle and cannot be successfully treated. See our article on how laser hair removal works for more info on this.
Genetics play a big part in your body’s ability to grow excess body hair. Chances are if your parents have excess hair growth then you may have a similar hair growth pattern. Laser can give a permanent lasting solution to excess hair. Top ups are needed after your initial course to maintain your reduction.
Skin Colour and The Type Of Laser Used
Skin colour will determine the type of laser used during treatment. We use 2 different wavelengths of laser in our clinics. We have used Cynosure lasers in our clinics for the last 10+ years. Our Alexandrite laser treats pale -med colour skin and our Nd:YAG treats darker skin. Both lasers are extremely safe to use for each skin type group. The different wavelengths use different absorption techniques to disable hairs. On paler skins, the Alexandrite will use melanin within the hair as a target. Because the contrast of pale skin and dark hair is so evident it is easy for the laser to reach this target. When laser is pulsed over the skin the laser sees this target clearly and rapid absorption takes place.
When treating darker skin the contrast between hair and skin is less defined. Alexandrite delivers energy into the skin rapidly and is too targeted to pigment so it will damage the skin. Because of this a slower softer approach is needed. Instead of absorbing rapidly into pigment, this wavelength targets the blood supply to the hair instead. Because of this approach, more sessions are needed with YAG to see results.
Underlying Medical Conditions
It is difficult to achieve permanent removal of hair for clients with underlying medical conditions such as PCOS. Almost all clients with an underlying condition enjoy life changing reduction in excess hair growth and find that laser hair removal is a permanent solution to their problem. Again results will need to be maintained on a regular basis.
How to maintain your permanent reduction in hair growth
You simply have maintenance sessions after you have finished your course. The number of maintenance treatments people may require after 6-10 sessions depend upon a number of factors. The area of the body being treated, areas where hairs are finer will need more top-ups. Facial hair often takes more maintenance sessions than other areas. On average most people require between 2 to 4 maintenance sessions per year. Read more about our laser hair removal maintenance here.
At Urbana we always have an honest approach when giving clients the full facts about how laser hair treatment works. If we feel that you are not an ideal candidate for treatment we will let you know from the start. Although laser hair removal is an amazing treatment for the majority of client’s there are some limitations.
It is always best to have a consultation to assess your suitability in advance to make sure laser will work for you. If you would like to chat with one of our team about laser hair removal please contact us. All of our consultations are free of charge and take approx 3o minutes.