LASER HAIR REMOVAL – PART 2

How many treatments are needed ?

Generally between 6 – 8 treatments are required. Don’t expect an immediate result. Approximately 10 – 25% reduction in hair growth can be seen after the first treatment. This is due to the different stages of hair growth and how much energy the hair follicle has received. Hair that grows back will be thinner and generally lighter. It is very important to avoid the sun after treatment as hyperpigmentation can occur and skin is extremely sensitive after treatment and can get burnt. When it is safe to go in the sun ensure that you are well protected with at least a sunblock of 50, applied minimum of twice a day.

 

Hair growth stages:

There are 3 different stages in the life of a hair.

1)      The growth phase – Anagen

2)      The resting phase – Catagen

3)      The falling out phase – Telogen

Only hair in the Anagen (growing phase) are affected by the laser as the hair is in the follicle and the follicle is closest to the skin during this phase. Thus the laser can target the pigmented hair, reach the follicle, heating it up and destroying it. This is why several appointments are required.

 

hair growth phases

Avoid the following 4 to 6 weeks prior to treatment:

  • Waxing
  • Hair removal creams
  • Tweezing
  • Bleaching
  • Sun tanning /tanning beds/tanning creams

 

LASER HAIR REMOVAL -PART 1

Laser Hair removal

As I have a new DIODE laser hair removal system, I’ll spend a little time talking about this. Us girls and some guys all know the irritation or aggrevation of having to shave, wax or pluck on a regular basis and the in grown hairs thar some of us experience. Just as you’ve had your session of waxing and weeks fly by before your next appointment. Not to mention that you can’t reveal your prickly self while it’s growing out is another great reason to look into laser hair removal.

There is a big difference between laser and IPL. Laser is a beam of light of one wavelength only that is directed in one direction only and thus directly targets the hair follicle, whereas IPL systems have multidirectional beams of different wavelengths and may not target the hair follicle directly.

Diode laser -

How it works

Laser works by targeting the pigment in your hair and uses the hair to guide it to the follicle. The pigment in a hair follicle absorbs the light of the laser, becomes overheated and is destroyed. A long laser pulse is needed as there is a slight deflection from the actual hair to the follicle. It is very important to go to someone with the correct equipment for successful permanent hair removal results. To make an appointment contact me on 011 616 4040.

Laser works best on a lighter skin with dark hair; however newer technologies are available that allow treatment on dark skins and people with blonde or grey hair.

laserbeam

Don’ts of laser hair removal:

We do not advise to have laser if you are pregnant. If you’ve waxed or plucked it’s advisable to wait for 6 weeks to allow your hair follicles to recover to enable the laser to target them. You can shave as this doesn’t affect the hair follicle. Moles must be avoided as the laser can change their colouring which may lead a doctor to miss the signs of a cancerous growth. xx

What to expect:

New technology has helped to make this treatment less painful. There are machines that advertise that they are painless. This newer technology is still in development and in my experience has not yielded good results. My machine has a built in cooler. If you are a bit anxious about the treatment a topical anaesthetic such as EMLA can be placed on the area an hour prior to your appointment and this really makes it pain free.

The procedure may take a while if a large area such as legs or chest is being treated; otherwise it is quite a quick and relatively painless experience.

Common side effects include swelling, discomfort and redness that may last 1 – 3 days. Areas of darker or lighter patches of skin may appear which are usually transient. As with any treatment very rare side effects may occur, these include: blistering, burning of the skin, bacterial infections or herpes simplex out breaks. If you are having the upper lip treated and suffer from cold sores an antiviral must be taken one day prior to treatment and must be continued for 4 days thereafter.

Any area of the body can be except for the eye brow as the close proximity of the eyebrow to the retina may damage the retina. Skin that is thinner responds better to laser treatment such as your underarms as opposed to your chin. Hormonal hair growth also is more difficult to remove permanently and may require more sessions. Fortunately this is generally on the face and is not too expensive to treat.

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