PERMANENT HAIR REDUCTION
(Also see: Laser
Skin Rejuvenation and
long have you been offering laser hair reduction?
Almost since the technology was available. The first laser for hair
removal was approved by the FDA in the mid-1990’s. Dr. Mash’s
hair removal services began and grew with the technology, and she
now uses a state of the art long-pulse Cutera Nd:Yag laser for hair
(and vascular) removal. Today, hair reduction treatments by our
experienced staff, using the best technology available, represent
a large segment of our cosmetic laser practice
is the science behind laser hair removal?
Using the laser hand piece, the technician triggers beams of infra-red
light into the skin, automatically targeting the hair follicles,
and destroys them by the absorption and transformation of the light
dark-skinned, and my wife has a tan. Wouldn’t the laser target
the dark pigment in our skin, and burn it?
Absolutely not. The Yag laser employs a longer wavelength of infrared
light (1064nm) than is available with other lasers. It penetrates
deeper into the skin and avoids absorption by the melanin layers,
making it safe for all skin types, including dark and tanned (chemically,
we hope) skin.
much time do the treatments require?
Formerly laser hair reduction was a very slow process, but now,
with large spot sizes which target multiple follicles with each
pulse, and fast repetition rates, even large body areas can be treated
rapidly. The length of time will largely depend on the size of the
area to be treated.
many treatments are required?
The number of treatments you will need depends upon your particular
hair growth cycle, the area you wish to have treated, and the hair
density. Your hair grows in cycles which include a resting phase,
a growth phase, and a mature phase, when the follicle is fully formed
and can be detected by the laser.. In addition, the availability
of follicles for destruction is further complicated by the fact
that the laser slows the growing capacity of follicles in the growth
phase, plus which not all hairs are in the same phase of the cycle
at the same time. Because of these variables, we recommend at least
three treatments scheduled one month apart, with some patients requiring
up to six.
the treatments painful?
Improved technology has reduced the pain factor to an approximation
of an average rubber band snap. For those tender souls who object,
we offer several alternatives. One is to arrive at the office 45
minutes early and purchase a topical anesthetic which must be applied
half an hour prior to the treatment; another is the use of our independent
skin cooling system, familiar to users as the “arctic blast”,
which can be used throughout the procedure and for which there is
no additional charge; a third is the routine application of a cooling
gel used during the treatment, and the fourth is the routine use
of the cooling system built-in to the laser’s head, which
is gently pressed against the skin before the light pulse is triggered.
blonde with fair skin and light hair. What can be done for me?
Unfortunately, since the laser targets the pigment of the hair follicle,
it is ineffective for your type of hair. Dermaplaning (also offered
at our office), or over-the counter depilatories, are the way to
go for fine, light hair.
is it called hair reduction rather than hair removal?
Remember that the laser is most effective at targeting dark hairs.
As we work through the growth cycles in your treatments, it is possible
that there will be some light, residual hair follicles in the removal
area which cannot be detected by the laser. For that reason, although
we will have permanently targeted and eliminated each dark follicle
the laser detects and liquefies, a small percentage of thinner,
lighter hair may remain undetected by the laser.
laser hair reduction a good treatment for dark ingrown hairs?
Yes indeed. Tender areas of the skin which are subject to shaving,
such as men’s beards and women’s bikini areas, are frequently
areas where we are asked to perform hair removal due to the problem
of ingrown hairs. Appropriate steps are taken to preserve modesty
during the bikini procedure.
you describe what happens during a laser hair reduction procedure?
First we gently cleanse the area to be treated. Next, because you
have been asked to allow your hair to grow so that we can identify
the treatment area, it must be removed by shaving. Then the technician
establishes her settings, applies a clear gel to the hair removal
area, and begins to steadily move the laser across the area to be
treated, allowing the cooling unit at the contact point of the laser
head to cool each area before the light beam is discharged.
there any down time?
No down time is experienced. After treatment, the area is cleansed
and a protective laser cream is applied, along with sun screen in
areas unprotected from the sun. After two weeks you’ll notice
some fallout, or the hair may simply slough away with normal cleansing
of the area. No special care need be taken, except for the continued
use of a 30spf sun screen on any treated areas exposed to the sun.