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Laser Hair Removal FAQ


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What is laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is a procedure to remove unwanted hair from the body by using a “laser beam” light with different wavelengths against the skin. The limits on strength or power used on a laser is carefully designed by countless studies conducted of the hair follicle to best match the laser light and pulse duration to the follicle size, depth and location in efforts to stop hair from re-growing. Laser hair removal is performed by a certified trained laser specialist or a physician, who places the positioning of the long pulse laser onto the skin. The laser works by ultimately destroying hair follicles that are in their “active growth cycle” at the time of treatment. A percentage of hair follicles are active at any given time while other hair follicles enter this active phase at different times, therefore, several treatments are needed to destroy all the hair follicles per given area.

Am I a candidate for laser hair removal?

Men and women both qualify for laser hair removal. The process works best on light (pale) skin and dark coarse hair. The closer you are to this combination, the better the results will be. Touch of Class Laser Center’s diode laser works for all skin types (I –IV, even VI) see Question #12 below to determine your skin type. When At Touch of Class Laser Center we provide an environment in which our priority is client safety, health, and positive results. Laser hair removal targets the melanin (pigment) of hair. With this considered, laser hair removal is ineffective against red, blonde, and gray hairs due to the missing melanin factor within the hair follicle.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

The typical mindset is that laser hair removal is permanent, and the Food and Drug Administration approved this procedure calling it “permanent reduction.” Generally, this means clients shouldn’t think of laser hair removal as a procedure that will rid every single strand of hair from an area. In general, clients are educated on the aging process which may develop new growth requiring touch-up treatments 1-2 times annually after the first set of treatments. At Touch of Class Laser Center we strive for “honesty as our best policy” teaching clients to keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to judge how someone’s body system works, as we are all different in genetic makeup possible lack of results may be due to the person’s potential underlying medical condition, which may cause continuous growth and make it seem like laser isn’t working, Basically, you can’t determine this for yourself unless you try it. Also to be considered, results depend on multiple factors involved, including the technicians experience, type of laser used and how settings are set, etc. A set of at least 6-9 treatments every 4-6 weeks are generally necessary to achieve significant hair removal with any laser system. Factors that determine the length of treatment include area to be treated, the texture of hair, frequency of treatments, history of waxing, tweezing, shaving, and depilatories, etc.

What type of laser device is used?

What type of laser device is used? Touch of Class Laser Center uses the Lumenis Lightsheer Duet diode laser with vacuum-assisted technology, FDA approved for all skin types (I – VI) which is the new revolutionized gold standard for the laser market today! This diode laser covers more surface area with 3x times the speed of other laser machines. It has also eliminated the need for any gels or anesthetic creams during the procedure limiting any wait times.

How does laser hair removal work?

Our Diode lasers are designed for permanent hair reduction to produce wavelengths of light made to be absorbed by the pigment in the hair (melanin). The lighter the surrounding skin compared to the color of the hair, the more energy of the laser will be sent into the hair shaft, destroying it without affecting the skin or follicle. Hair removal lasers target the dark pigment in the hair. That’s why laser hair removal works best on light skin (so laser beams pass right through) reaching the dark coarse hair (carrying most pigment). The type of laser used at Touch of Class Laser Center has revolutionized the gold standard with its new vacuum-assist technology and by dramatically increasing the spot size to 22 x 35 mm. Creating a system 3x faster in efficiency and speed.

What should I expect before and after treatment?

BEFORE: Clients are advised to shave the treatment area completely flat and even to their skin 1-2 days before treatment (If clients cannot for any reason, please advise the receptionist that you would like this service done for you during your appointment and we will allocate the proper time necessary to perform this service for you — fees apply — If we are not advised prior to your scheduled appointment and shaving has not taken place even to your skin (no stubble) clients will lose their appointment and will be asked to return another day). No waxing or removal of any hair root is allowed 4-6 weeks before and throughout the treatment because the hair needs to be fully present to be targeted by the laser. The treatment area should be shaved as closely as possible so that laser does not waste most energy on the part of the hair above the skin’s surface but rather towards the hair follicle and not waste energy. If it is hard to see where you shaved right after, make it a bit easier on your technician not to miss the spots you want treated by shaving 1-2 days before so the outline of where hair is growing is just barely visible. AFTER: Completed clients are recommended to apply aloe vera to soothe the skin for a few days as needed. Within 2-3 weeks, you should see hair shedding in the areas treated. In the beginning hair looks like it’s growing back, but it is rather coming through the skin to shed. Shedding starts at about 1 week and can last until 4 weeks after treatment or so. Exfoliating and/or scrubbing gently in the shower with a loofa can help speed up the process. After shedding finishes, you might experience little black dots still “stuck” in the skin. These are called “pepper-spots” and will shed as well, but may take a bit longer. Exfoliate to help those stubborn hairs as well. MEANWHILE: Clients should experience a “hair-free period” for a couple of weeks, until the other dormant hairs begin to grow out. Now, come in for another treatment. This usually happens within 4-6 weeks after treatment. Clients will continue the treatment sets until they reach a significant decrease in return of hairs, or until you have reached you desired reduction.

How many laser treatments will I need and how far apart are they scheduled?

Most clients are treated at least 6-9 initial times, spaced 4-6 weeks apart. This is because hair grows in 3 phases and is destroyed in the first “anagen” active growing phase. Several treatments are needed to effectively kill all hairs in the active growth phase. Approximately 4-6 weeks after every treatment, additional treatment is required to get rid of the hairs that came out of the dormant phase and are now active. After 6-9 treatments or so, clients will see a considerable percentage of hair reduction. Depending upon hair type and genetic factors, some clients may require additional treatments beyond these initial treatments. If for any reason it seems the treatments aren’t working AT ALL after 6-9 treatments, Touch of Class Laser Center advises clients to look into possible underlying reasons. Usually, treatments are spaced 6-8 weeks apart to start, and gradually move to 8-10 weeks apart after the initial 2-3 treatments. Instead of following an arbitrary schedule, wait until you have experienced shedding of the treated hairs (should complete within 2-3.5 weeks) and you see enough hair come in after the hair-free period to justify the next treatment.

Is laser hair removal painful?

In one pulse, Touch of Class diode laser can remove all the hair on a patch of skin with the largest surface area on the market today with the “head” of the laser at an amazing 22mm x 35mm spot size. Everyone’s pain threshold is different, but generally laser hair removal is LESS painful than waxing, with the revolutionized vacuum-assisted technology clients report it as “Virtually Pain Free” on a pain scale of 0-5 calling it “0-1” (see our video section for a preview). It resembles a rubber band snapping against the skin for a quick second with each pulse. Most people do not require an anesthetic cream (like EMLA), but for some clients with very sensitive skin/areas such as the face if it makes them more comfortable we will apply the creams.

What are the possible risks and side effects of laser hair removal?

The possibility exists that some side effects or complications can occur given various variables, including: Normal Itching, during treatment Redness for up to 3 days Swelling (around the mouth) up to 3 days Pain, tingling, or feeling of numbness Rare Crusting/scab formation (on ingrown hairs) Bruising Purpura (purple coloring of the skin) on tanned areas Infection Temporary pigment change (hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation) Side effects occur infrequently and, as a rule, generally are temporary. If any of the above last for more than 3 days, make sure to contact your technician and/or doctor. The technician needs to know in order to adjust settings on your following treatment.

What are the causes of excessive hair growth and how can it affect treatments?

The causes of excessive hair growth pattern are many and varied, including: Heredity Pregnancy Glandular and/or hormonal imbalances (possible PCOS condition for women), including diseases causing these effects Insulin resistance issues Reactions to certain medications Normal aging processes Excessive temporary removal methods like waxing, tweezing, creams and depilatories, etc Every laser candidate should check for possible “underlying reason” for excessive hair growth before starting laser treatment because if there is something in the body consistently triggering hair growth, laser treatments might seem ineffective because the body will keep developing new hair. So, it will always seem like there is not reduction, when in fact it’s NEW hair your body is producing that you are seeing, not that treated by laser growing back. Once the condition is control through treatment/medication, laser hair removal can then be performed. Laser can affect the hair that’s currently present, but cannot prevent NEW hair from developing.

What is the hair growth cycle and how does hair growth work?

There are three phases of the hair growth cycle: Anagen (active) is the growing phase or when the hair fiber is produced. During anagen, the hair contains a great quantity of melanin, the pigment which gives your hair its color. This is the phase during which laser hair removal treatment is most effective. Catagen (club hair) is the period of controlled regression of the hair follicle. This phase is when the lower part of the hair stops growing, but does not shed, and the follicle is reabsorbed. It will be difficult for permanence to be achieved when the hair is in the catagen growth cycle. Telogen (tired) is the last of the hair growth cycle. In this resting phase, the old hair falls out in preparation for the development of a new anagen hair. Permanence cannot be achieved when the hair are in the telogen growth cycle.

How do I determine my skin type?

TYPE I: Highly sensitive, always burns, never tans. Example: Albino TYPE II: Very sun sensitive, burns easily, and tans minimally. Example: Fair-skinned, fair-haired Caucasians TYPE III: Sun sensitive skin, sometimes burns, slowly tans to light brown. Example: Darker Caucasians, European mix TYPE IV: Minimally sun sensitive, burns minimally, always tans to moderate brown. Example: Mediterranean, European, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian TYPE V: Sun-insensitive skin, rarely burns, tans well. Example: Hispanics, Afro-American, Middle Eastern TYPE VI: Sun-insensitive, never burns, deeply pigmented. Example: Afro-American, African, Middle Eastern