IPL Laser Hair Removal
Many people have hair that they remove themselves or thin out on various parts of their bodies. Over the past 10 years laser hair removal has advanced to the point where black and brown hair can be reliably and safely treated. However there is no laser treatment yet that is very effective for the removal of white, blond or red hair.
Hair Removal – the facts
- It is a very common myth that shaving makes hair grow back faster, darker or thicker. This is simply not true.
- The thickness and colour of your skin, and the colour of the hair to be removed, will determine which lasers can be used and how successful the treatment may be.
- Blonde hair is the hardest to remove.
- You should wait two months after waxing before undergoing any laser treatment to remove hair.
- Most people need between 4 and 8 treatments for substantial long-term hair reduction.
Before the Procedure?
The hair shaft is the treatment target so it is important to stop waxing / sugaring or plucking your hair for approximately 8 weeks prior to your laser treatment. If you remove the hair shafts there will be no target for the laser.
During the Procedure?
The procedure can take from several minutes to several hours depending on the area of the body involved. Laser hair removal uses a low-energy laser that passes through the patient’s skin and is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle. A percentage of the follicles are instantaneously and permanently disabled with each treatment. In most cases no anaesthesia is necessary.
After the Procedure?
You may experience a mild sunburn like sensation which may be accompanied by minor swelling. This usually lasts for approximately 2 – 24 hours and can be soothed with a cold gel pack or ice pack. The treated hair will continue to appear for 7 – 30 days after your treatment as the hair is being expelled from the skin.
The laser hair removal kills the hair follicles but does not harm the skin. The surface of the skin is soothed and cooled by the laser head just before the laser energy is delivered.
Benefits of laser hair removal
- A non-invasive technique that leaves skin smoother and silkier.
- Treats larger areas as the laser treatment removes more than one hair at a time.
- Minimal discomfort.
- Replaces waxing, electrolysis or shaving.
- Immediate return to normal activities.
During each treatment as many hair follicles as possible are killed. Follicles which are not killed are usually crippled by the laser energy so just about all the pigmented hair falls out during the week or two after laser treatment.
What are the Potential Complications?
Complications in laser hair removal are rare when the procedure is performed by an experienced consultant plastic surgeon. You should, however, expect a small degree of pain, swelling or redness around the hair follicle after each treatment session. These symptoms typically disappear 24 hours following your procedure.
Strict sun avoidance is recommended immediately after laser treatment.
For satisfactory, long-lasting hair removal most patients may require from three to six treatments.The interval between treatments varies between 4 and 12 weeks.
For additional information regarding this procedure please contact your consultant plastic surgeon.