Laser hair removal – the top 20 things you need to know
Laser hair removal is a hugely popular treatment. It’s important to know what to expect before, during and after treatment so you’re fully informed. Here are our top 20 questions detailing all the things your need to know about laser hair removal.
1. How does laser hair removal work?
Laser hair removal works by using a combination of light and heat to target and disable hair follicles. A laser machine delivers pulses of heat and light into the skin. This light is configured into different wavelengths of light. Each wavelength of light is designed to absorb into different structures at different depths in the skin. The colour of the skin will determine which wavelength is used.
Pale/medium skin tones are treated using an Alexandrite laser. Darker skin tones are treated with an Nd:Yag laser. It should be noted that dark skin types should never be treated using an Alexandrite. Due to the rapid absorption into melanin this laser is not suitable for dark skin.
It is essential that the correct wavelength of laser is used for each skin tone. In order to avoid adverse reactions to laser care must be taken during treatment.
2. Is laser hair removal suitable for everyone?
No, laser hair removal is not suitable for everyone. There are a few exceptions. Laser will only work on dark hair, lighter hair colors will not respond. Some medical conditions are also contraindicated to treatment. People with a history of healing problems, cancer, lupus, photosensitive epilepsy are just a few conditions that prevent treatment. Some medications are also not suitable as they cause the skin to become photosensitive (sensitive to light). If you have a medical condition or are taking any medication contact us so we can check these for you.
We would always recommend a consultation before you start a course. This appointment is the most important part of your treatment course. If you have an underlying medical issue we can discuss this with you to address any concerns you may have. A patch test is also recommended to avoid any adverse reactions to laser before you start.
All areas of the body are treatable with the exception of just two, underneath the eyebrow and the scalp. Because these areas are so sensitive for laser we don’t perform treatment here.
3. Reasons why people get laser hair removal, what are they?
There are many reasons why people choose to get laser hair removal these are just a few examples
Firstly, They suffer from ingrown hairs
See ingrown hairs improve quickly, these can be sore and uncomfortable especially on areas where hairs are thick. Laser is clinically proven to reduce ingrown hairs over time.
Secondly, They experience shaving rash and irritation
Skin will no longer be irritated after shaving, hair density will change from thick and coarse to fine and light, shaving will be much easier and quicker and you’ll have less of it.
Thirdly, Excess hair may be affecting their self confidence
Feel better about you, don’t limit what you do anymore because of excess hair. Wear what you want when you want and do the things you love without hesitation.
Finally, They want a longer lasting results from hair removal
If your fed up shaving daily or waxing every 4-6 weeks laser is for you. Hair free periods are much longer and unlike waxing you don’t have to let your hair grow for treatment. Results from laser will last a lifetime with just a few top ups needed a year to maintain results. Instead of waxing every 6 weeks forever, have laser for just a while for much longer lasting results.
4. What are the benefits of laser hair removal?
There are so many benefits to laser hair removal. This treatment saves you time, energy and allows you to have perfectly smooth skin all year round. Excess hair can get in the way of you doing what you want, when you want. After laser you will feel confident to go on holiday, to the gym, swimming or socializing without a second thought.
Here are just a few of the amazing benefits from laser hair removal
In short, laser hair removal can change your life. It allows you the freedom to do what you want when you want. Don’t let excess hair hold you back anymore. Start laser and see the benefits for yourself.
5. Is laser hair removal worth it?
Yes, laser hair removal is definitely a worth it. Embarking on a course of laser hair is a commitment and it can take some time. During this time you will see a dramatic decrease in hair growth. After 2-3 sessions the need to shave daily/weekly will not be necessary anymore. You may only need to shave once in an entire 4-6 week period in between treatments. Issues like shaving rash, ingrown hairs, breakouts and irritation begin to disappear also. After an initial course of 6-10+ treatments hair can reduce up to 80-85%. After this top up sessions may only be needed 2-3 times a year. With the alternative being shaving daily or waxing every 6 weeks while still dealing with the issues excess hair brings laser is the ideal solution to combat excess hair.
This life changing treatment is well worth, the time, energy and investment needed to complete a course.
6. What areas are suitable for laser?
For the most part all areas of the body are suitable for laser. Once the skin in the treatment area is healthy laser is safe and effective. If you suffer with a skin condition contact us so we can talk through this with you. Some skin conditions may limit laser is some areas so we can discuss options for you. We would always recommend you have a consultation with us before you start. We can give you advice on how best to look after your skin while having laser treatment with us.
7. What hair types are suitable for laser hair removal?
Not all hair types are suitable for laser hair removal. Hair must contain brown or black pigment for laser hair removal to work. Hairs that are blond, grey, white or red will not respond to treatment. Laser uses the dark pigment contained within the hair for absorption. Light from the laser seeks out melanin (dark pigment) and transfers heat from the laser to the hair. Darker hairs will begin to reduce after each session.
If the hair doesn’t contain this dark pigment no heat absorption will take place. Heat will not be transferred to the hair where it is needed and will have no effect. Lighter hairs will continue to grow as normal.
Hair density is also important, thick coarse hairs will respond quickly. Laser will find fine, light hairs more difficult to treat.
8. Are all skin types suitable for laser hair removal?
Yes, all skin types are suitable for laser hair removal with our lasers. 2 different wave lengths of laser are used to treat different skin types. Alexandrite is used to treat skin types 1-3. And Nd:Yag is used to treat skin types 4-6. If you have dark skin you must be treated using an Nd:Yag laser. Each wave length delivers energy from the laser in different ways.
Alexandrite delivers heat quite quickly into the skin and targets melanin efficiently. Nd:Yag delivers heat differently and targets the blood supply that feeds the hair.
Not all lasers/IPL devices are suitable for dark skin so make sure you do your research.
9. How many sessions of laser hair removal are needed for a full course?
8-10+ sessions are needed for a full course of laser hair removal. However there are other factors that may affect how many sessions may be needed. Underlying medical issues, hair type, skin sensitivity, recent sun exposure and consistency of treatments also play a role. People with medical conditions that cause hormones to fluctuate may also need more sessions. PCOS, endometriosis, thyroid issues are just a few. It is not uncommon for men to need more treatments, this is because of their hormone profile.
You will also need to maintain your results from time to time.
10. Why do I need so many sessions of laser hair removal?
The reason why you need so many sessions of laser hair removal is because you have so many hair follicles in different stages of growth. Hair follicles have 3 different stages of growth, Anagen, catagen and telogen. For laser to work, hairs need to be in the anagen stage. Hairs in this stage are attached to a blood supply and are actively growing. When energy from the laser is delivered into the skin it damages the interconnecting cells between the hair bulb and the blood supply. Therefore when a new hair tries to regrow it can’t reconnect to the blood supply. Over time follicles that are repeatedly targeted with laser will stop producing hairs. There are only approx up to 20% of hair follicles in this anagen stage at any one time. This is why a number of sessions are needed for laser.
11. How long does each session of laser take?
How long each session of laser hair removal takes will depend on the area being treated. We take our time so you don’t waste yours. We keep the spot sizes on our lasers small in order to use more energy from our lasers. When very large spot sizes are used treatments are faster but the downside of this is the amount of energy coming from the laser is limited. Laser cannot be rushed, your results will suffer if it is.
We treat people, not body parts. We pride ourselves on making sure we deliver a comfortable and relaxed treatment. Laser can feel a little daunting at the start for some people. That’s why we allow ample treatment time for you to ease into each treatment with us.
12. How long does it take to complete a full course of treatment?
It can take anywhere from 1-2 years to complete a full course of laser treatment. There is no set rule as everyone will respond differently to treatment. If there are extended gaps in between sessions this can interfere with this timeline. Other issues like tanning, photosensitising medications, illnesses or flare ups of some skin conditions may also increase the length of time needed to complete a full course. If and when these arise we will adjust your treatment course as much as possible to try and limit the impact on your results.
After 6-7 sessions time frames in between each session may be extended depending on results. However, it is not uncommon for people who have underlying medical conditions to need more treatments. Without doubt your initial consultation is the most important part of your course. We make sure you are fully informed about all aspects of laser before you start your course.
13. How long is needed in between laser sessions?
The area being treated will determine how long is needed in between each laser session. In order to achieve good results it is important to stick to these time frames.
Face and neck areas – treatments are needed every 4-5 weeks
Body areas – treatments are needed every 6-7 weeks
Time frames may be adjusted depending on a persons individual set of circumstances. If results are good time frames may be extended after 6-7 sessions. We monitor results every step of the way to make sure adjustments are made when needed. In general, top up sessions are needed 2-3 times a year. Timeframes for top ups will be recommended by your therapist.
14. What results can I expect from laser hair removal ?
You can expect to see a considerable decrease in hair growth after your first few sessions. You will start to see results from your very first session. Treated hairs will begin to shed around 10-14 days after your session. Then approx. 4 weeks after you will see your next growth phase of hairs coming through just before your next treatment. After each session hair will continue to become finer and lighter.
There are lots of factors that will influence your treatment outcome here are just a few.
15. Is laser hair removal painful?
Laser hair removal should not be painful. It is common for some areas to be a little more sensitive at the start of a course. However, over time treatment in these areas will become much easier to tolerate. Where hair tends to be thick, coarse and dark in colour laser will feel a little more uncomfortable. Due to more heat from the laser being absorbed by these types of hairs results will be quicker in these areas.
For areas where hairs are mid brown in colour and lighter in texture laser will feel much more comfortable. In contrast less heat will be absorbed by these hairs so it may take longer to see these hairs reduce.
Our highly trained team of hair removal experts will ensure you are comfortable throughout your session with us. They have different techniques to help minimise the sensation from the laser. During treatment laser will be performed at your pace so you feel at ease. Our dedicated therapists perform laser treatments all day every day so know exactly how to get you through your session. Of our top 20 questions this is one of the top questions people ask when finding out what you need to know about laser hair removal.
16. How much does laser hair removal cost?
Costs for laser hair removal treatments vary depending on what areas are treated. Small areas start from as little as €40 for an area like the underarm. To save have multiple areas treated at the same time. Price is important but it shouldn’t be the only thing to consider. Of the top 20 things you need to know about laser hair removal this is a very important one. Laser is a long term investment not a quick fix treatment.
Other things to consider are
- The amount of time spent on each session
- Spot size used during treatment
- Settings used during treatment
- Experience level of therapist performing treatment
- Type of laser used
17. Is laser hair removal permanent?
No, results from laser hair removal are not 100% permanent for the rest of your life after your initial course. Top up/maintenance treatments will be required from time to time. The reduction you will achieve from your initial course will depend on a number of factors. Were your treatments carried out in the recommended time intervals, did you expose your skin to sun, did you prepare your skin properly before each session, do you have an underlying medical condition etc. these are important elements that will determine the outcome of your treatment course.
Results from laser can be life changing, our highly trained team of hair removal experts use medical grade lasers to ensure you see results fast.
18. Is laser hair removal safe?
Yes, laser hair removal is indeed a safe treatment. We have 15 years experience performing laser hair removal. Our dedicated team of hair removal experts perform laser all day, every day. We use FDA approved medical grade 4 Alexandrite and Nd:Yag lasers. All skin types are treated safely and we operate under strict safety guidelines. Our therapists are fully trained and certified to perform laser. All of our lasers are fully serviced and maintained to the highest standards.
We insist on a consultation and patch test before you start. This is to ensure the safety of your skin. We won’t take any risks, your skin is safe with us. Again this is one of the top most commonly asked things people need to know before they start a course of laser hair removal. We put your safety first.
19. How to prepare for laser hair removal treatment
To ensure the safety and success of every treatment you have with us it’s vital you prepare your treatment area properly. Laser works best on skin that is healthy, hydrated and prepared well for treatment. During each session it’s important to look after your skin. Regular light exfoliation and hydration are key to keeping skin is good condition for laser. If skin is dry and dehydrated laser will not be as effective. This may lead to irritation after treatment as heat from the laser may aggravate dry skin.
Keeping your skin tone stable throughout a course will also improve the success rate of your sessions. By doing this we can safely increase settings for the duration of your course. If you develop a tan during a course this will lengthen the duration of your treatment timeline.
Follow these simple steps in order to prepare for your sessions
20. Why is a consultation and patch test necessary before you start a course of treatment?
A consultation and patch test is the most important part of your course of treatment. For laser to work successfully hair in the area must be checked to confirm it is suitable. It’s more like a friendly, relaxed chat where you get to meet us and chat through any concerns. We also check any medications you may be taking and run through your medical history. We think it’s only right you should be fully informed about treatment before you start.
This appointment is really beneficial to you and does not involve a sales pitch to tie you in to a 6 treatment deal for the ‘best price’. Laser is a process that can take some time, by coming in to meet us first you get to see our salon and feel the sensation of the laser before you start.
A patch test is essential for your safety and results. Don’t start laser without one.
A patch test is performed on your treatment area. This will allow us to check your skin tolerates laser well and no adverse reactions occur. Laser uses heat and energy on the skin so for safety it is vital that the correct setting be selected for your skin type in order to avoid a reaction. A patch test also allows us to start you off on an effective setting so you see results fast. Settings are important with laser so it is essential the correct one is chosen for you. Some people may feel a little nervous about starting laser, after you feel the sensation of the laser you will be much more relaxed coming in for your first treatment as you will know what to expect.
Book your consultation with us today
Consultations take approx 30 minutes and are free of charge. Ask as many questions as you need during this time. We will make sure you feel at ease at all times when you are with us.
We have compiled the top 20 things you need to know about laser hair removal for you here. As you can see their is a lot to know about this treatment. It’s important you are fully informed before you start so you know what’s involved. Treatments can take time but are well worth the time and effort needed to complete a course. Contact us to book your free consultation with our friendly team.