Laser Hair Removal: Everything You Need to Know
Both women and men can be afflicted with unwanted hair growth. Maybe you were born with coarse, dark hair on your face, legs or back. Or perhaps new hair has sprouted in places you’ve never had it before. The popularity of laser hair removal treatments proves that it’s a cosmetic concern that affects a large number of people.
Laser hair removal is a blanket term for a procedure that permanently reduces unwanted hair on the face and body. Most people are surprised to learn that there are several different devices that can accomplish this task. In fact, some of them are not lasers at all but use different technology.
Which Laser Hair Removal System is Right for Me?
There are three main methods currently used for hair removal and each one works a little differently. One of the original laser hair removal devices is the deep-penetrating ND: Yag (which has the longest wavelength of 1064 nm) but features the least melanin uptake. It’s ideal for darker skin but it’s not necessarily effective on fine or lighter hair.
Then there’s the diode laser. The diode emits both short and longer wavelengths, so it has good melanin absorption and penetrates deep into the hair follicles. The biggest drawback of the diode laser is the high pain factor and its affinity for darker and thicker hair.
Finally we have the IPL or Intense Pulsed Light. It’s not technically a lasers but rather an equivalent in light frequency that targets melanin in the skin. The advantage of IPL for hair removal is that its broad spectrum wavelengths, energy and pulse duration can be customized based on patients’ skin and hair type. At Brockville Medispa we prefer the IPL device for hair removal because of its reliability, versatility and impeccable safety record.
What are IPL Hair Removal Treatments Like?
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and relatively pain-free IPL sessions can be. First, a cold gel is applied to the skin then your technician carefully glides the IPL handpiece over the treatment area. Most people report a gentle ‘snapping’ sensation on the skin. Afterwards the skin can be pink and feel warm but this normally subsides after 20-30 minutes.
The treatment is also faster compared to most lasers. Typically, smaller areas such as half arms or lower legs take under 30 minutes to complete. Larger areas, however, such as full legs and backs can take a little longer, closer to an hour.
Am I a Suitable Candidate for IPL Hair Removal?
Absolutely! The biggest advantage of IPL is that almost anyone, male or female, with light skin or dark, can be successfully treated with IPL. Of course if you have more melanin in your skin we’ll need to adjust the settings accordingly. The only contraindication is having a sunburn or sun tan which can increase your chances of getting burned. For this reasons we recommend waiting 2-3 weeks until your skin has recovered until starting your IPL sessions.
Is Laser Hair Removal with IPL Permanent?
Yes and no. It’s very difficult to guarantee that the results of your hair removal will be permanent. In fact, no hair removal system, laser or even IPL can guarantee 100 % removal forever. What we have noticed is that for majority of people the hair will never return. For others some it may grow back thinner or more sparse. That’s because everyone is different and there are many different factors affecting hair growth.
Now, although we cannot guarantee 100% permanent removal, our patients here at Brockville Medispa are always happy with their results. Once patients have achieve their desired level or hair reduction the best way to maintain it is with follow-up session every 6-8 months after completing a course of treatment. We typically sell packages of 4 treatments to get people started.
Give us a call at 613-342-0220 to find out more about IPL Hair Removal and any special offers here at Brockville MediSpa. We invite you to book a personalized consultation with Dr. Steyn. Look better without looking different!