What is laser hair removal?
The Diode laser is safe and efficient for hair reduction or removal. There may be some adverse pigment effects, but these are transient. The Diode laser is the best overall laser for all six skin types based on long term use and safety and is especially effective in people with skin types 1 to 4.
How does laser treatment work?
Lasers emit a wavelength of light with a specific single color. When targeted to the skin, the energy from the light is transferred to the skin and hair pigment melanin. This heats up and damages the surrounding tissue.
But to remove hair permanently and to minimize damage to the surrounding tissue, the laser needs to be targeted to specific cells. These are the hair follicle stem cells, which sit in part of the hair known as the hair bulge.
Will it remove hair permanently?
Laser treatment can either permanently reduce the density of the hair or permanently remove unwanted hair.
Permanent reduction in hair density means some hairs will regrow after a single course of therapy and patients will need ongoing laser treatment.
Permanent hair removal means none of the hairs in the treated area will regrow after a single course of therapy and no ongoing laser therapy is needed.
Whether hair is removed permanently or just reduced in density is influenced by:
the color and thickness of the hairs being treated
the color of the patient’s skin
the type and quality of the laser used, and
the competence and training of the person operating the laser.
However, if you have grey hairs, which have no melanin pigmentation, currently available lasers don’t work.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments you’ll need depends on your Fitzpatrick skin type. This classifies your skin by color, its sun sensitivity and its likelihood to tan.
Pale or white skin, burns easily, rarely tans (Fitzpatrick types 1 and 2) People with dark hair can usually achieve permanent hair removal with 4-6 treatments every 4-6 weeks. People with fair hair will generally only achieve permanent hair reduction and after an initial course of treatment may need 6-12 treatments a month apart.
Light brown skin, sometimes burns, slowly tans to light brown (type 3) People with dark hair can usually achieve permanent hair removal with 6-10 treatments every 4-6 weeks. People with fair hair will generally only achieve permanent hair reduction and after an initial course of treatment may require 3-6 repeat treatments a month apart.
Moderate brown to dark brown skin, rarely burns, tans well or to moderate brown (type 4 and 5) People with dark hair can usually achieve permanent hair reduction with 6-10 treatments every 4-6 weeks. Maintenance will usually be required with 3-6 monthly repeat treatments. People with fair hair are unlikely to respond.
Re-treatments must be long enough apart to allow new hair growth to reach the level of the bulge.
What side effects or complications should I be aware of?
You will be advised to wear goggles during the treatment to prevent eye injury. With the use of a diode laser pain is minimal to non-existent. If you do experience pain it's mainly due to not removing all hair in the area to be treated before the procedure. Hairs missed while shaving absorb laser energy and heat the skin surface. Therefore make sure you shave completely prior to your treatment.
There may be redness and swelling for up to 24 hours. More serious side effects include blisters, too much or too little skin pigmentation, or permanent scarring. These generally occur in people with a recent suntan. Alternatively, these side-effects can occur when patients are taking medications that affect their skin’s response to sunlight. No antibiotics or accutane prior to treatment.
How much does laser hair removal cost?
The cost varies from $150-$750 and depends upon the area treated.