Laser Hair Removal
I don't offer laser hair removal in my lifestylesurgery clinic however my other clinics run with partners do. We have clinics in London, Birmingham, Manchester and also Bristol. To be helpful I have included some information here, but I recommend you visit one of my other clinics for treatment. Links on this page
Depending on the area being treated, the process may take anywhere from several minutes to several hours to complete. The most commonly used lasers utilize a low energy laser beam. This beam passes through the patient's skin and is attracted to the pigment of the hair. The energy passes down the hair shaft and is absorbed by hair follicles that are in the active growth phase, thereby disabling the hair follicle in the deeper layer of the skin. The hair follicles that are in dormant phase are not affected by the treatment. In most cases, minimal pain should be experienced and no anesthesia is required.
Laser Hair Removal Benefits
- A non-invasive, gentle technique that reduces undesirable hair from most parts of the body
- Treats larger areas effectively because it disables more than one hair at a time
- May make skin color and complexion more uniform
- Minimal discomfort
- Replaces waxing, electrolysis, shaving and bleaching
- No downtime
Laser Hair Removal Considerations
- Laser hair removal is an ongoing process that requires multiple sessions because it only affects actively growing hair, and not all hair follicles are active at the same time. In addition, high energy levels are avoided so as to minimize the risk of injury to the adjacent skin
- Occasionally patients may experience slight redness of the skin or mild swelling around the hairs
- Sunscreen is recommended for any area treated that may be exposed to the sun
- Patients with darker skin may not respond well due to inadequate discrepancy between skin and hair colors
How Many Laser Treatments Would I Need?
Most areas require a minimum course of 5 treatments.
The number of treatments varies depending on a multiple of factors: the thickness of the hair; the area being treated; and your hair's growth cycle.
To ensure hairs in each stage of the growth cycle are disabled there tends to be a five to eight week interval between each course of treatment.
Will The Laser Treatment Hurt?
No. Laser hair removal is safe, fast and effective.
The procedure is fast, effective and mostly painless, leaving you with fabulously smooth skin every day. Mild redness may occur on the treated area but this will only last for a short period.
Technical information on laser Hair Removal:
Laser and light based hair removal systems all depend on the selective targeting of melanin in the hair shaft and follicle, while sparing epidermal melanin.
As wavelength increases, absorption by melanin in both hair and epidermis decreases. Epidermal melanin content drives the selection of the most appropriate wavelength in a given clinical situation. Patients with fair skin and dark hair may be safely treated with any available wavelength; patients with dark skin and light hair are poor candidates for laser hair reduction. Additional epidermal protection can be achieved by cooling the epidermis.
- Ruby Laser light at 694 nm has the highest absorption by melanin, making its use problematic for darker skinned patients, but useful for the treatment of fine, light, or blond hair. Although the ruby laser was the original laser used for light-based hair removal, the devices tend to be bulky, relatively slow, and their use is limited to fair skinned patients without an unacceptable risk of epidermal blistering.
- Alexandrite Laser: The most popular laser for laser hair removal, the Alexandrite laser emits 755 nm light, just at the limit of visibility. Although slightly less well absorbed by melanin than ruby laser light, the 755 nm wavelength offers the best balance between efficacy for all hair types and epidermal safety for darker skinned patients. Alexandrite lasers are capable of high repetition rates, reducing operator and patient fatigue, and large spot sizes, allowing lower effective fluences and increased epidermal safety.
- Diode Laser: Consisting of little more than an 800-810 nm laser diode with regulated power supply, the diode laser is mechanically the least complex hair removal laser. The slightly longer wavelength offers slightly more epidermal safety than the alexandrite laser, to some extent offset by the higher fluences necessary to achieve an effective fluence at the hair follicle. Treatment is somewhat more painful than with shorter wavelength lasers.
- Nd:YAG Laser: The 1064 nm wavelength is poorly absorbed by melanin, but the amount of melanin in hair versus epidermis allows this wavelength to be safely used even in the darkest skin types, although at the expense of efficacy for fine, light, and red hair. Nd:YAG lasers are capable of large spot sizes and high repetition rates, although discomfort during treatment largely negates these advantages.
- IPL devices: When used for hair removal, these broadband light sources use a cutoff filter to limit the spectrum to wavelengths longer than 640 nm, minimizing absorption by chromophores other than melanin. IPL devices typically have large spot sizes but slow repetition rates, and are more likely to cause epidermal injury than laser devices. Recent peer-reviewed articles comparing IPL to Alexandrite laser treatment for laser hair reduction demonstrated greater efficacy and patient satisfaction with Alexandrite laser treatment.
- ELOS (electro-optical synergy) devices: Because these devices rely on bipolar RF as well as optical energy, theoretically there should be less dependence on melanin absorption. One manufacturer claims effciacy for treatment of white/gray (unpigmented) hair.
Laser hair removal is an increasingly popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure. It is a non-invasive, convenient method to reduce hair growth.