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The Facts about Laser Hair Removal

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Why would you Laser?

Laser can bring peace of mind by ending the repetitive nature of hair removal using other methods.

  • Facial Hair. Plucking and sometimes waxing, if not done properly, can cause hair to grow back more strongly eventually creating hairs so deep even laser can’t reach.
  • Bleaching looks good from a distance but needs redoing. Electrolysis, where a needle is inserted into the hair shaft delivering an electrical charge to kill the hair, works well when there are only a few hairs to treat. Laser removes the most hair quickly but don’t wait until you are too old because once the hair turns grey it’s often too late.
  • Body Hair. The biggest problem with shaving body hair such as under arms, legs or bikini is stubble and sometimes ingrown hairs (pseudofolliculitus barbea). Waxing lasts longer and the hair grows back softer but it needs to be long enough, becoming untidy, before it can be re-waxed. Laser hair removal stops the hair growing back, eliminating the stubble and untidiness forever*. Laser is also medically recognised as an effective permanent treatment for ingrown hair problems.
  • Cost. Shaving, plucking or bleaching are the least costly methods of hair removal but also have the most problems, i.e. fast regrowth (1-2 days), irritation from stubble and ingrown hairs and development of stronger facial hairs. Waxing costs more and gives excellent results but only for up to 6 weeks. Laser is expensive due to the very expensive equipment required however, it can cost less than waxing e.g. regular Brazilian waxing over 20 years can cost up to $8,600 while permanent laser can be under $2,000.*New hair, from previously dormant follicles, can grow in treated areas most likely due to hormonal changes.

How does it work?

  • Laser permanently stops hair growing back by destroying the hair follicles that grow hair.
  • The various types of machines called “laser” range from true lasers (Diode, NdYag, Alexandrite, Ruby etc) to non-lasers called IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and also described as SPL or VPL (basically marketing terms to try and differentiate identical technologies). However true lasers and IPL all essentially work the same way…
  • That is, a highly concentrated energy in the form of light passes through the skin and is converted to heat by the pigmentation in the hair follicles, much like sunlight warming a dark wall. The heat is sufficient to destroy the follicle.
  • Laser hair removal technology has been proven to be so effective that international medical authorities have approved some manufacturers to sell and promote machines for permanent hair reduction.
  • Three things can reduce the effectiveness of hair reduction:
  • Darker skin can stop some energy reaching the hair follicles.
  • Light coloured hair (blonde, red or grey) doesn’t heat up enough.
  • Deeply set follicles (particularly in men) can’t be reached.

These problems can be overcome with the latest laser technology using specifically targeted laser wavelength, much more powerful machines and additional “non-light” energy called RF to home in on blonde, red or grey hair.

But don’t waste your money.

Certainly get competitive quotes and second opinions when deciding where to go for hair removal treatments but at the moment there’s no regulation in New Zealand and an increasing number of poorly trained operators with inadequate equipment, extravagant claims and “cheap” prices.

Ask where their laser or IPL equipment was manufactured as currently the New Zealand market is being flooded by Chinese manufactured copies that are not certified and can be very dangerous to your health by causing burns and permanent scarring or very dangerous to your wallet by not working.

The New Zealand Beauty Association suggest the following dangers:

  • IPL is often used for hair removal as the equipment is much cheaper for the clinic to buy and maintain but IPL is better suited to skin rejuvenation than hair removal.
  • There are reputable beauty and medispa businesses in NZ using the good quality, more powerful IPL machines available and these have a good record for hair removal.
  • However “true” lasers designed specifically for hair removal provide the fastest and most effective treatments and the Elos diode lasers used by Diamond Laser are medically proven as the best in the world.

How many treatments do I need?

The number of treatments you may require for optimal long-term benefits depends on the area you wish to have treated, the hair density and your hair’s growth cycle. Your hair grows in cycles and many factors influence its growth; age, ethnicity, weight, hormones, diet, medication and metabolism all play a part in your hair’s location, thickness and resilience.

Laser hair removal slows the growing capacity of follicles in their growth at the time of the treatment. Since some hair follicles may enter their growth cycle after your treatment, three or more treatments may be required to deliver optimal results. Note: Removing hair does not make it grow back thicker, darker or quicker. The opposite is usually the case. Laser treatments may cause hair to come back slower and thinner.

Treatments can last from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the size of the area being treated. Laser Hair Removal treatments are coupled with the cyrojet pain management system that uses super cooled air to numb the treatment area before and after treatment ensuring the process is almost pain free.

After your treatment, the area is cleansed and you can return to your normal activities immediately. Your therapist may recommend that you use a specially formulated skin care product line or prescribe a skin care regime especially formulated for your skin type. After the laser treatment, the use of sun screen is recommended on any treated areas exposed to the sun.

Want to know before you start the journey? We’ve put together an article to help you know more about the complexities of hair growth.

Posted by Website Admin on February 10, 2015