Excessive hair or hair in unwanted places has always been a problem. Until recent technological advancements in the aesthetic field, there was not a good way to address it. Fortunately, technological advances have given you an option to remove unwanted hair in an efficient, cost-effective manner. There are many methods of hair removal, but none offer a long term solution for hair regrowth except laser hair removal. Other methods will be effective in reducing visible hair, but the hair will return and have to be removed again. With laser hair removal, the treated hairs never return and the skin is visibly improved!
Laser hair removal is the process of using focused laser energy in a wavelength that targets and destroys the hair follicle. Certain wavelengths target the pigment (melanin) in the hair, and the hair then directs this focused energy to the hair follicle. The laser then coagulates the blood supply to the hair follicle. Once the follicle has no blood supply the follicle will die and no future hair growth will occur. However, hair follicles must be in the active growth phase in order for this process to be effective. Once hair has started the shedding process it is no longer attached to the follicle and thus successful damage does not occur.
Not all of your hairs on a given part of your body are growing at the same time. Most are dormant at any moment, but will eventually cycle into a growth phase. That is why multiple treatments spaced out over time are necessary for the best results. Any treatments that aren’t spaced out over time are inaccurate and will not get rid of your hair.
There are many different types of lasers. Only lasers that penetrate the skin to the hair follicle will be effective in destroying the follicle and permanently stopping the hair from returning. There is not one wavelength that is right for all people. That is why we offer lasers with a variety of wavelengths. This allows us to choose the wavelength that is best for your skin type and also allows us to vary the wavelengths based on depth of penetration needed. This choice in laser options allows us to deliver the best and safest treatment possible.
Typically clients will see results in 4-6 treatments, though this number will vary based upon skin tone, hair color and several other factors. It is also very important that the client come in at the scheduled treatment intervals. Your treatments must coincide with your next phase of active hair growth. If you do not return at the appropriate time the treatment will not be effective.
The only area that you must avoid with the laser is the area close to the eyes. Any other area with unwanted hair is an option for treatment. We are often asked to treat eyebrows. While we are able to treat the area between the brows and over the top of the brows, we will not treat the area under the brow.
People of all skin colors are candidates for laser hair removal if treated with the proper lasers. Certain hair colors, however, are not good candidates. Gray, blonde and light red hairs cannot be treated with current laser technology. If the hair is light, it will not absorb the energy in the bulb of the hair shaft and the follicle’s blood supply will not be heated enough to coagulate. Therefore, the hair follicle will not die and the hair will regrow. Frequently, patients will have had "laser hair removal" and state that it was gone for a short time and then regrew. Usually, they did not have a true laser treatment but some form of light treatment and just had the hair shaft burnt off! Genesis Medspa only uses the most up-to-date lasers for permanent hair removal.
Certain medical conditions and medications may exclude you from being able to receive laser hair removal. That is why a full medical history is taken prior to beginning a treatment series. This is essential in determining if laser hair removal is a safe option for you. You cannot start a laser hair removal series if you are pregnant, nursing or are unable to limit excessive sun exposure. Our top priority is always to provide a treatment that is both effective and safe.
You should not have any sun exposure for 2 weeks prior to the procedure. Also, the area to be treated should be shaved within 24 hours of your treatment. Having a tan will lessen the effectiveness of the treatment and we may have to reschedule you for a later time. Excessive sun exposure can increase your chance of blistering. If you have a history of herpes or fever blisters you will want to begin treatment for this condition 2 days prior to a laser hair removal treatment. You should be well rested and drink plenty of fluids before you come in. You should also avoid applying lotion or makeup to the area being treated. Some people like to take 2 Tylenol or Advil prior to the treatment, although this is by no means necessary for everyone.
Once you have checked in, the staff will take you to the treatment room. They will then clean the area to be treated as needed. You will be asked to put on protective eyewear. The machines will make many different noises, so do not be startled during your treatment. The discomfort is very minor with INFINITY laser, but some people describe it as a rubber band snapping. Once the treatment is over, soothing aloe vera gel is applied to the area.
Within minutes of your hair removal treatment you will have some redness at the treated area. You may experience a sensation similar to a mild sunburn. The most important thing you can do is protect the area from sun exposure. Sunscreen must be used daily or you will increase your risk of sunburn in the treated area. If the area is red you may find it is temperature sensitive. It is best to avoid strenuous exercise, hot baths and hot tubs until the redness resolves. You should avoid the use of deodorant for 24 hours after an underarm treatment. You should also avoid shaving or waxing the area that has been treated. You can use cool packs or aloe vera gel if the area feels hot or tender. Gentle face washing is okay, but avoid scrub brushes or a loofa. You may restart retinol, acne medicines, and benzoyl peroxides 14 days after the treatment. You may use any over-the-counter pain medicine if you are having discomfort. You can contact our staff for recommendations in the rare instance that blistering or severe pain occurs.
Most people leave the clinic with a slight redness or sunburn reaction on their skin. Dark-skinned clients can experience some lightening to the skin, but this is usually temporary. Very rarely a blister may form in the area treated. It will resolve on its own; you should not pop it. Once it does pop, a triple antibiotic ointment will help it heal.
Once the hair follicle has died, it will never return. However, there may be dormant follicles in the treated areas. These may begin to grow in the future. It is very common that this occurs during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Certain diseases, as well as some medications, can also cause dormant follicles to begin to grow. Most people will need some "touch up" treatments over time, especially if it is a large area like the legs or back.
Hair removal is considered a cosmetic procedure and will not be covered by insurance. However, we do offer CareCredit to help defray the cost. If you are interested, our staff will be happy to talk to you about this option.