For many people. although the hair on the body is natural, it may be unwanted, especially if hair growth is very dense or dark. However, traditional hair removal with shaving and plucking can be time-consuming and painful. Christopher Tiner M.D. in Pasadena, CA understands that laser hair removal and IPL treatments can be beneficial for people who want to slow or reduce hair growth.
What Are Laser Hair Removal and IPL Treatments?
Laser and IPL treatments for hair removal are very popular. These treatments use thermal energy to essentially damage hair follicles, which then prevents hair regrowth for several months or years. Laser treatments use more concentrated wavelengths that target small areas of the skin, while intense pulsed light treatments use multiple broad wavelengths to treat a wider area of the skin.
Which Treatment Is Better?
Choosing between laser or intense pulsed light treatments depends on a few factors, such as the pigment of your hair, the color of your skin, and the size of the area you want to treat. In general, laser treatments are safer for those who have medium and dark complexions, while using light treatments may be better suited for people with lighter skin tones who also want to treat other skin concerns.
For example, light treatments can also improve skin tone and appearance, reduce acne, eliminate sun damage, treat spider veins, and remove unwanted hair. We will help you pick the hair removal treatment that is best for your skin tone and your aesthetic goals.
How Does Treatment Work?
Both of these treatments work by causing controlled damage to the hair follicles within the sub-dermal layers of the skin. Essentially, the light wavelengths in these treatments will emit thermal energy, which then travels down the hair shaft to zap the hair follicle with heat that will damage the follicle and prevent it from growing normally.
The laser or light energy in these treatments is only activated when the technology detects the melanin in the pigment of your hair, which is why these treatments are considered safe for the skin. Each of these laser treatments can be used on multiple areas of the body, including:
- Bikini area
What Can You Expect From Your Treatment?
Each of your treatment appointments will take about 30 to 60 minutes to complete depending on the size of your treatment area or areas. Generally, your provider will use a handheld device in small areas of the body at a time so that each follicle can receive the ideal amount of energy. These treatments usually feel similar to a snapping rubber band on the skin and are well-tolerated by most people, including those who have sensitive skin.
After your treatment is complete, you will need to wear SPF 30 or greater on any treatment areas when you plan to be outside during daylight hours. It may take several weeks for the hair to fall out of your follicles, although you will still be allowed to shave between appointments. We will provide you with further aftercare instructions and expected results after your appointment.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
Most people will need multiple treatments to achieve their desired results – usually between six and eight appointments spaced four to six weeks apart is adequate. One reason why patients will need multiple treatments is that hair on the body grows in different stages and this treatment is most effective during a specific stage.
The density, color, and thickness of your hair may also determine how many treatments you will need to achieve your results. You must attend all of your initial treatment appointments so you will not lose any progress in your results.
What Should You Do Before Treatment?
There are a few dos and don’ts to follow before your treatment. For example, you should avoid any hair removal methods that involve removing hair from the root, such as waxing or shaving; this is because removing the hair root will render this treatment ineffective. You can continue shaving before and between your appointments. You may want to avoid depilatory creams, as they may cause skin irritation.
You should also avoid any activities that can trigger melanin production in the skin, such as sun exposure, tanning beds, and self-tanning products. Avoiding these activities will prevent any pigmentation concerns as a result of the laser or light treatment.
How Long Will Results Last?
The results of these treatments are generally semi-permanent. It will take several months or years for your hair follicles to heal themselves after these treatments, so you can expect long-lasting results and less overall hair growth on the body. The best way to enjoy long-lasting results is to attend your regular treatment appointments about once a year.
Who Are Good Candidates?
Laser and light treatments for laser hair removal are usually ideal treatments for most people. Both women and men use these treatments to manage the amount of hair growth on their bodies. While light treatments may be ideal for those who have lighter skin or want to treat more than one appearance concern, laser treatments are universal for people of all skin tones and types.
Attending a consultation appointment will allow us to verify your eligibility for either of these treatments. We will examine your skin type, skin tone, and your body hair to determine if this treatment is right for you. Light and laser hair removal treatments are generally more effective for people who have dark body hair, but your treatment may still be successful if you have light brown, grey, or red hair.
Eliminate Unwanted Facial or Body Hair
Whether you like your body hair is your prerogative. For some people, removing unwanted body hair with traditional methods is just another task to consume your free time. If you want to eliminate unwanted hair on the face or body, IPL treatments and laser hair removal are good options. Even people who have very sensitive skin or who have medium and dark complexions are eligible for these treatments. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.