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Your Ultimate Guide to Laser Hair Removal Brisbane

October 22,2019 | Posted by: CMC

Laser hair removal has been around for more than twenty years, but has only become commercially available since 1995. Today’s laser hair removal treatment makes use of advanced laser technology and sophisticated treatment devices to target hair follicles for hair removal. Generally speaking, laser hair removal methods have 70% effectiveness with results maintaining a long-term, stable reduction in the number of hairs regrowing after a treatment regime. 

Laser hair removal has become popular because of its speed and efficacy, however many people still have questions regarding what it actually does. This guide provides you with all the things you need to know about Laser Hair Removal including pro tips before, during, and after the treatment. 

What is Laser Hair Removal?

Unwanted body hair is a problem for many. Traditional methods of removing hair like tweezing, shaving or using depilatory cream are ineffective as a long term hair removal solution. Additionally, electrolysis can offer a permanent solution, but it is slow, quite painful and may produce scarring. So how does laser hair removal work? 

Laser hair removal seems very technical but the science behind it is actually simple. The procedure uses laser technology to target and destroy hair follicles that are about to enter the active phase of hair growth. 

This treatment is distinct from Intense Pulse Light (IPL), which uses a broad spectrum of high- intensity light that emits light at multiple wavelengths. While both IPL and laser hair removal target hair follicles, the laser emits only one specific wavelength of light. 

Like other treatments, laser hair removal has its own sets of pros and cons. It is important to understand these advantages and disadvantages for an informed choice before getting the treatment. 

Advantages of laser hair removal:

  • The procedure is highly precise as the laser light impulses accurately target dark, coarse hairs and hair follicles while leaving the surrounding skin and tissues undamaged. 

  • It only takes a fraction of a second to treat many hairs at the same time. This makes the procedure fast. Small areas can only take a few seconds with minimal discomfort, perfect for those who may be fearful of pain. 

  • Due to the growth cycle of body hair, within only five to seven sessions, many patients experience significant and permanent hair reduction. 

  • Sessions are every 4-12 weeks depending on the area treated. 

  • It can be used on most parts of the body, except for eyebrow shaping due to scatter of light after contact with skin.  It may be used to divide a “monobrow”, however.

  • The procedure is generally comfortable. In some areas however the pain level is similar to  waxing. 

Disadvantages of laser hair removal:

  • It is a long process. Treating areas like the underarms and face may be done in around 15 minutes, however, multiple sessions are required to get the best results. The number of sessions can vary between three to eight times, each spaced out four to ten weeks between treatments. 

  • Expensive compared to other methods. Average sessions vary depending on area but can range from $30 per session of laser hair removal. 

  • Pigmentation is a factor. Laser hair removal works by distinguishing the color of the hair follicle pigment and the color of the skin. This makes it challenging and even ineffective for some skin and hair tones. While it is not a total no-no for people with very dark skin types, they need to make sure that their choice of treatment facility has all the necessary equipment to ensure that you get the best possible result. 

  • Can be risky. If done by untrained, uncertified individuals, laser hair removal can be very risky. It may leave burns and scars in the treatment area. Hence, you need to make sure that you get it from a competent, experienced, well- trained and board- certified technician. 

Who can use Laser Hair Removal?

Practically, anyone can get laser hair removal. It is a generally safe procedure that produces real results. However, there may be some cases where treatment is not advisable. 

Laser hair removal is perfect for those with light skin types or people with dark, coarse hair as it can easily be detected by the laser device. Darker skin types may find it difficult to target the hair follicles. The same can be said of people with blonde, red and other lighter hair colors. Hair removal lasers should not be used over tattoos.

People with acne, eczema and other related skin problems must consult a dermatologist first before getting laser hair removal. In some cases, it may cause acne and pimples to get worse. On the other hand, those with eczema can greatly benefit from the treatment as compared to shaving and waxing. 

Laser treatment hair removal is also inadvisable to those who have photosensitive skin. Common causes of skin photosensitivity include acne treatments, antidepressants, and antihistamines. Some topical drugs and creams can also cause some skin side effects when they interact with a laser. Make sure to inform your doctor about the medications you are taking before undergoing the treatment. 

Cost of Laser Hair Removal

In Australia, just like anywhere else, the cost of laser hair removal greatly depends on the size of the area that needs to be treated. 

The device used, the technology, and the reputation of the clinic from which you will get the service will also influence the cost. More advanced technologies and devices may, of course, cost you more. However, this is often justified by the experience and the final result of the treatments. 

What to Expect from a Laser Hair Removal Procedure?

To ensure your safety and to make sure that you are getting the most out of the treatment, it is recommended to observe the following prior to your first laser hair removal session. 

Prior to Treatment

  • Check medications. Some medications might react with the treatment. Antibiotics, acne treatment, birth control, and photosensitizing medications may interfere with the treatment. You must inform your doctor about it first.

  • Set Realistic Expectations. You need to know and understand the procedure to have realistic expectations. Communicate with your technician and ask questions about the treatment. 

  • Avoid Spray tanning and Deodorant. Having a spray tan increases the risk of skin lightening and other side effects. It is recommended for the tan to fade first before scheduling your first  session.

  • Shave your skin. Shave the skin the day before your appointment.

  • No Waxing, Plucking, or Electrolysis. Shaving is okay but other types of hair removal procedures may disturb the hair follicles and affect the laser hair removal treatment. Some doctors may advise you to shave the target areas with a new, clean razor prior to treatment. 

  • Be Wary of Skincare Products. Some ingredients found in some skincare products may cause irritation during and after the procedure. Make sure to talk to your dermatologist or the doctor you are getting laser hair removal treatment from if the products you are currently using are safe. 

  • Cleanse Your Skin. Prior to the treatment, make sure that the target area of the skin is free from cosmetic products, lotions, and others. This is to ensure that the laser penetrates your skin efficiently. 

  • Wear the Right Clothing. On your way to your first treatment, make sure that you wear the right clothing. This means wearing comfortable clothes that allow areas to be treated to be easily exposed. 

During the Treatment

  • A qualified and experienced technician will guide and walk you through the whole laser hair removal process. 

  • You will be provided with protective eye gear. The technician will also be needing to wear eye protection. Exposure of laser light to eyes can cause damage to ocular tissue, particularly the iris. A cold gel or a special cooling device might be applied or used over the skin surface’s target area for protection. This will also help the laser light penetrate the skin more efficiently. 

  • A hand-held laser device is pressed against your skin. As the device is activated and the laser targets the hair follicles, a slight discomfort can be felt.  In most cases, it is no more than a tiny sting or vibration on the skin that is telling you that the procedure is working. The pain level is very low in general, but some may experience a higher level of discomfort. 

  • The length of treatment varies on the target areas, upper lip hair removal can take only a few minutes but large areas like hands, back, and legs can last up to an hour. 

After the Treatment:

Immediately after the treatment, you may still feel a bit of discomfort accompanied by redness, but this will easily go away. You may use a soothing cream to ease the discomfort.

After the treatment, you will be advised to avoid sun exposure, as well as the application of certain creams and skin products. 

Results may not instantly show on the first session but they gradually become noticeable as the sessions progress. Sessions are scheduled four to ten week apart, depending on the area.  During that time, prolonged exposure to sunlight should be avoided, as well as some forms of topical medications and creams. 

Hair may start to fall out 5-14 days after the treatment. Do not pull them. Use a washcloth for removing hair.  You can also shave, but avoid doing anything that involves pulling hair from their follicles. Laser hair removal is not a permanent solution to unwanted hair. After the treatments, some hair may grow back but they are expected to reduce growth after several sessions.

Succeeding sessions are usually scheduled six weeks after the other and sessions stop when your hair stops growing, typically after around five to seven sessions.

Myths About Laser Hair Removals

In spite of being around for quite a while, laser hair removal procedures are not immune to misconceptions and myths. These fictional takes on the treatment can affect the expectations of someone who is yet to get it. 

Here are some of the most common myths behind laser hair removal and the truth behind them: 

1. It causes wrinkles and accelerates aging eventually.

No. The treatment does not lead to skin infections and skin problems. The only side effects such as redness in the treated area which eventually goes away shortly after treatment.

2. It causes skin cancer.

No. The laser only targets  the hair follicles. There is no evidence that supports skin cancer developing after getting treatment. Laser light is NOT like X-rays and doesn’t have the potential to alter DNA.

3. It causes acne.

Just like the myth on wrinkles, there is no evidence to suggest that laser hair removal can cause acne, however excessive use of occlusive creams may clog the pores, so always check what you’re using on your skin with your doctor.

4. It is not safe in the abdominal area of women because it can affect fertility.

Only the hair follicles are targeted during the treatment so it has nothing to do with and will not affect the fertility of women. It is safe to be used in any part of the body. The laser light does not penetrate to any internal organs.

5. It is not recommended during pregnancy.

Pregnant women can still get the advantage of this hair removal procedure without endangering the fetus or affecting the pregnancy, however the skin of pregnant women is prone to developing pigmentation in certain areas and if this is an area where hair is needing treatment, it may be better to wait until this settles.

6. It damages skin and can cause skin darkening, hyper-pigmentation, and scarring.

These risks are only present if the one administering the treatment is not trained to do it or the patient has sun exposure, fake tan, etc or other undisclosed conditions or medicines. Aside from certain levels of discomfort, the only side effect is skin redness which goes away easily.

Things to Keep in Mind

Laser hair removal is a generally safe and effective procedure. However, the experience and the success greatly depends on where you get the treatment. This means that you have to be careful in choosing the clinic you will get the procedure from. Do away with clinics that offer suspiciously low prices. 

Choose a clinic that has the reputation of providing quality, safe, and excellent service. Ask recommendations from your family or friends. You can also search the internet for the best clinics that offer the service in your area. Do not forget to read reviews and feedbacks from their past clients.