A lot of people are troubled by excessive hair growth on their body. Different methods have been tried, such as shaving, waxing, and electrolysis, but none of these is as effective as laser hair removal, which leaves skin looking smooth and silkier.
How Does It Work?
Lasers are used to target the melanin pigment at the root of the hair follicles. The intense heat generated destroys the hair follicles instantly, and slows hair regrowth. Common treatment sites include legs, armpits, upper lip, chins and bikini lines. However, it is possible to treat unwanted hair in almost any area of the body.
As it is the root that is being targeted, excess hair on the surface will absorb the laser, preventing the laser from reaching the bottom, and reduce the effectiveness. What is more, the burnt hairs will in turn burn the skin and cause problems. Therefore it is most effective if hairs are shaved short. You can shave on the day of the procedure.
We use top of the range laser models, the GentleLASE (Long-pulsed 755nm) and Gentle YAG lasers (Long-pulsed 1064nm). They have the patented Dynamic Cooling Device, which sprays a short purge of cold cryogen just before the laser is emitted, thus offers extra protection from burning the epidermis, and adds maximum comfort. This is superior to the cold contacts of some other models.
Both are extremely effective in the hair removal. The GentleLASE is almost the gold standard these days, and can be used on skin types I to IV. The GentleYAG has less attraction to black melanin and is more suitable for people with darker skin types, from IV to VI, as it will have a much lower chance of causing skin burn.
The hair colour will affect the success of hair removal as well. Brown to black hair can be removed very successfully, while laser does not work for white, blonde, light brown or light red hair.
The skin is checked for excessively long hair for reason above, and extra shaving may be done at the clinic for you. You need to wear goggles to prevent accidental exposure of your eyes to laser light. You would feel the cold spray and then a quick snap, which is quite minimal and well tolerated. Local anaesthetic cream prior to treatments is not necessary for these machines.
As both the GentleLASE and Gentle YAG lasers have large spot sizes up to 18mm, they are very fast in conducting the treatments, typically only a few minutes for the underarms, and around 20 minutes for the whole back. There may be an odour of singed hair, which is normal. You may notice some redness and swelling, and extra cold compress may be applied. This only lasts for the first 1 - 2 hours. You can return to work on the same day. However, you should protect the treated areas from strong sunlight for the first few days.
It takes several treatments to provide an extended "hair-free" period, which can vary from several months to many years. Each treatment is separated by 4 - 6 weeks. The number of treatments required is usually between 2 - 6, as it varies with individuals, and the personal expectation. Someone who wants totally hair free for a long time would need more, while someone who is happy enough to see thick coarse hair turning into normal fine hair would require less, may be just 2. Thereafter, only one periodic maintenance treatment is required.