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.