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Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal


How does laser hair removal work?
The laser works by a principle called Selective Photothermolysis. The laser is pulsed (turned on) for a millisecond emitting a beam of light on to the skin. The light energy passes harmlessly through the skin, but is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle and hair shaft. By absorbing this laser energy, the hair follicles are disabled, impairing their ability to grow. Hair does not actively grow at the same time, and has three stages during the growth cycle. The hair follicles in the first stage of growth are the darkest and absorb the most energy. A patented Chill Tip cooling handpiece protects the outer layer of skin, and has a mild anesthetic property allowing areas to be treated as painlessly as possible.

What is the difference between IPL and laser?
IPL is a wide range of light that can target colour of different wavelengths and therefore can treat lighter brown to dark black hair well.  Laser has one wavelength and is thus most effective on hairs that have a specific wavelength of colour.  IPL is usually a faster treatment session than laser.

Does the laser treatment hurt?
Most clients describe it as a little uncomfortable, similar to a rubber band being snapped on the skin. Because some areas of the body are more sensitive, you may want to use a topical anesthetic. Applying this anesthetic prior to treatment will lessen any discomfort.
How long is the treatment?
Treatment time can vary based on the area. The upper lip takes only a few minutes while the back or legs can take up to an hour. Results vary based on skin tone, hair follicles, and growth stage. Multiple treatments may be necessary to achieve desired results. Post-treatment effects also vary depending on individual circumstances and stage of treatment.

How many treatments does it take?
The laser works by disabling hair in the active growth stage (anagen) at the time of treatment. Because not all hairs are in this stage during treatment, additional treatments will be necessary to disable all the hair follicles in the treated area. Treatments are usually given at intervals of 4-6 weeks, or when new hair growth is noticed.

What happens to the skin after treatment?
Within about 30 minutes of treatment, the area may become pink or red. Clients describe it as mild sunburn, and this reaction usually subsides within a day or so. Because the laser does not damage the skin, no bandages are necessary. If necessary, Dr. Matta may prescribe a topical cream to apply to the treated areas.

What should I do after I am treated?

Following treatment, you can return to your normal activities, and treated areas should be handled with care. Avoid: Retin-A, alphahydroxy acids, glycolic acids, and astringents. You may clean the area using mild soap and water. You should avoid tanning and use a sunscreen on any treated areas exposed to the sun. See the pre and post treatment page for more detail.

What should I expect?
Around 3-10 days after treatment hairs will begin to surface. Most of these hairs were treated and are “falling out.” It is not regrowth. The hair follicles need to purge the hairs that remained under the skin. Please refrain from waxing, plucking, or bleaching between treatments (shaving is okay). You may want to use a loofah or glove to help remove the hair as it falls out.

What about the risk of burning?
There is a very small chance of local first degree buns with any treatment (including waxing).  To reduce any chance of burn or hyper pigmentation it is imperative that you do not go in the sun unprotected or use tanning beds or self tanning lotions for 4-6 weeks prior to therapy and during your whole treatment program.  We usually give treatment a break in the summer months and resume in the fall.

Can you treat dark skin?
Yes.  Our laser treats skin types 1-6 (very pale to black skin).  Darker skin usually requires more sessions than lighter skin.

Can you treat light, blond or thin (peachfuzz) hair?
No.  Laser requires the hair to have colour.  Thin hair does not respond well either. 


Pre treatment Instructions for Laser Hair Removal

  • Full hair growth is preferred for proper assessment and documentation photos, but not for treatment.  If your hair is not heavy, avoid shaving for up to 2 weeks.  After this initial examination, you may shave throughout the treatment period.
  • Avoid waxing, plucking, depilatory creams or electrolysis for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment and at all times in between treatments.
  • Avoid using exfoliant creams ( Retin-A and alpha hydroxyl creams) for 1 weeks prior to treatment
  • You must shave the area the day before treatment. 
  • Avoid tanning, including self-tanning lotions or significant sun exposure, for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment.  Do Not intentionally tan or spend a significant time in the sun without total sunblock (we suggest SPF 45, the higher the better).  Your skin should be as light as possible before treatment.
  • On the day of your treatment do not apply any type of body lotion, oils, creams or perfumes. Keep the skin clean and free of any products

Post Treatment

  • A mild heat-like sensation may be anticipated.  This usually resolves within 2-72 hours of treatment.  Mild swelling and/or redness rarely accompany this treatment and shoud resolve in 2-3 days.
  • Apply cool or ice compresses immediately after the treatment for 15 minutes every 2-4 hours on the day of treatment to reduce any redness and provide comfort.  A steroid cream or aloe gel may help.
  • Treated lesions may initially appear raised and/or darker with a reddened border.  Apply ice or cool compresses for 10-15 minutes every hour for the next 4 hours or as needed. 
  • These lesions will gradually turn darker over the next day or two, scab and flake off by the second or third week.
  • Bathe or shower as usual.  Treated areas may be temperature sensitive for a day or so, cool showers will offer relief.
  • Avoid aggressive scrubbing and use of exfoliants, scrub brushes and loofa sponges until the treatment area has returned to it’s pre treatment condition.
  • If blisters, scabs or irritation occurs, apply an antibiotic ointment (polysporin) to the area twice a day until healed.  Do not pick, scratch or remove any scabs should they occur.
  • Until redness has completely resolved: avoid applying cosmetics on or near the treated areas, avoid hot tubs and Jacuzzis and avoid activities that cause excessive sweating.
  • Avoid sun exposure to treated areas.  Apply sunscreen of SPF 45 or more daily to sun-exposed skin between treatments and 4-6 weeks after treatment.
  • Appearance of stubble may appear in 1-3 weeks post treatment.  This is not hair regrowth, but the treated hairs being purged from the skin.
  • Hairs that were in the resting phase at the time of treatment may enter the active phase in 1-6 months depending on the body area.
  • If you have been given a skin care cream program resume using it after 5 days.
  • You may apply makeup as desired

Coming Soon

Many men and women spend time and money on shaving, waxing or threading unwanted body hair. Laser hair removal was approved in 1996 and has grown steadily with improvements in laser technology. Fear of pain is a common reason given by patients for their hesitancy to try treatment. While it isn’t quite as relaxing as a day at the spa, newer technologies and cooling methods have reduced the pain significantly. In fact, most patients find waxing and electrolysis much more painful than laser.

At our clinic, we can treat almost any area of the body and any skin color. The most common areas are underarms, bikini and face. In general, thick, coarse, dark hair responds best to laser energy. On average, most areas respond within 6-8 treatments, slightly more in dark skin. Areas with fine hair can take much more, since there isn’t a lot of pigment in the hair to target. Multiple sessions are usually required because hair goes through three phases: growing, resting and dying. Laser is most effective when the hair is treated in the growing phase.

The process is quite easy. You simply shave the area to be treated one day before your appointment and ensure that you come in without any body creams or lotions. Before treatment you need to avoid the sun for six weeks. Tanned skin is actually at higher risk of burning than naturally dark skin. Also, it is important to stop using any medicated creams over the area to be treated for a couple of weeks prior to treatment.

The most common description of the sensation is that of an elastic band “snap” on the skin. The procedure takes anywhere from 5 minutes to over an hour depending on how large the area is to be treated. After the treatment, the skin feels warm, like a mild sunburn and post cooling is generally recommended for comfort and to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen and sun avoidance is very important during the whole hair removal process.

Risks and complications can be reduced significantly by following the pre and post recommendations.

Laser hair removal has now become the standard treatment approach for hair of color. While it is still unable to address the concerns of light, grey or fine hair, laser hair removal is generally regarded as the treatment of choice due to it’s long term results and safety profile.

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Call the office at 905-790-6644 to book your assessment and develop a personalized treatment plan.

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