Laser Hair Removal – the skinny on being hairless.
In 2012, I completed my esthetics certification and entered the world of beauty with a passion for eyelash extensions (more about this topic later). An owner of a medical spa recruited me and kindly took me under her wing. At this point I was introduced to the amazing world of lasers. Laser hair removal, IPL photofacials, even tattoo removal done with a laser. I was amazed, but had a healthy dose of fear….You want me to take a laser to a persons skin ??? Doesn’t that hurt??? These were just a few of the questions running through my mind at that moment.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
Laser is not smart…it only knows pigment. Therefore, the bigger the contrast is between your skin color and your hair color the more effective your treatment will be. Also, the darker, thicker, courser your hair the more effective your treatment will be. If you have blonde peach fuzz, laser hair removal might not be the best treatment for you. During your consultation, the laser technician or esthetician would determine if you are a candidate or not. If you decide to move forward with your laser hair removal, the treatment itself will vary based upon the size of the area being treated. Legs, back, chest (yes men can benefit from this service also) take about 60-90 minutes. Brazillians, bikini area, arms, and faces typically take 30 to 60 minutes. Smaller areas like a lip or chin take about 15-30 minutes for treatment. Laser hair removal needs to be performed in a series of treatments that take place every 4-6 weeks. The reason for this is hair grows in cycles and you need to get the hair in its “growth phase” in order to kill the hair follicle preventing future hair growth from returning.
Consultation for Laser Hair Removal
The first thing you will notice in our office at Golden Isles Center for Plastic Surgery is how in-depth the consultation is. We discuss health history, including medications, past procedures, and health risks. Did you know that certain antibiotics make you photosensitive making you not a good candidate for laser hair removal? Most people are surprised about how the treatment zones are broken down. For example, legs can be done as a whole, or divided into upper and lower. I like this option to ensure the treatment zone fits my specific needs instead of a one-size-fits-all mentality. I have very blonde hair on the top part of my leg, making it not a good area to treat with laser. This allowed me to select treating the lower half of my leg instead of the whole leg. Your underarms are considered one area, but for more complex areas, like your bikini or face, they are broken down into zones allowing you to customize your package.
How Does Bikini Laser Hair Removal Work?
Bikini hair removal is best explained in three sizes. You have just the bikini which includes the area along the legs where the thigh and pubic area meet and across the top. Then there is the extended bikini allowing you to go further into the pubic area leaving either a small triangle or “landing strip” if you desire. Lastly there is the Brazilian, which covers everything in the pubic area and up the butt crack as well.
Now some of you may have just crossed your legs or taken a breath in through your teeth thinking “man that has to be so painful”, but I can say it really isn’t that bad. Let’s put this to a pain scale. If on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being you feel nothing and 10 being you want to jump off the bed I would say Brazilian laser hair removal is a 4-6. Like bikini waxing, the first treatment is the most painful as you have the most hair follicles at that time. As you continue with your treatment plan, it progressively becomes less and less painful. After my first treatment my thoughts were “that wasn’t that bad and why didn’t I do this sooner.” These are only some of the areas, Laser hair removal can be performed anywhere on the body that hair grows…yes even your ears!
In our office at Golden Isles Center for Plastic Surgery, we use a Diode laser called Diolaze by Inmode Aesthetics. A Diode laser is one of the strongest on the market for doing laser hair removal. A Diode laser penetrates the skin to the proper depth to damage and ultimately kill the hair follicle preventing future hair growth from occurring. However, due to its strength, it is not optimal to treat darker skin tones with this laser as it can increase the chances for a burn. The Diolaze by Inmode Aestheticis has a strong cooling agent to the hand piece. This is also beneficial in that it feels like you have an ice pack being applied in between laser pulses. Unlike other lasers, Diolaze uses clear sonogram gel to help glide the laser hand piece and cool the skin allowing for a comfortable treatment.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
In other words, it isn’t as expensive as you might think. The cost of Laser Hair Removal has significantly decreased over the years as the technology has gotten more cost effective to perform. Laser hair removal is sold in packages of 3 or 6. While you can purchase single session it is more cost effective to buy in bulk. To give you an idea, to do your full legs 6 times it cost under $1500. If you add up all the razors, shaving cream, and time it takes to shave your legs (for some of us daily) it costs a lot more than that. Not to mention the annoyance of dealing with razor burn or those ugly little red bumps….worth every penny!
At Golden Isles Center for Plastic Surgery we offer a third-party financing option called CareCredit that in most cases allows for 12-18 months interest free financing as an option for payment. We also offer discounts for multiple treatment areas performed simultaneously. For example, if you are interested in doing your legs, Brazilian (bikini area) and underarms, mention that at your consultation as you pricing will be discounted since you are buying in bulk.
Time Commitment Required for Laser Hair Removal
Because treatment needs to occur every 4-6 weeks it is important to plan accordingly. It is best to do laser hair removal during the winter months when you are not exposed to sun or tanning. The goal is to keep your skin as pale as possible (remember you want the contrast). This also includes spray tanning, tanning beds, and any destination vacation that you may want to partake in.
Some Honesty About Laser Hair Removal
Anyone who says or advertises that its guaranteed to get all your hair is lying. Remember, dark, thick or coarse hair, but not the blonde or white ones. If they say you will never have to shave again…that’s a lie. Will you have to shave much, much less?…definitely! But the blonde peach fuzz will always remain and if this bothers you then you will have to shave. If they say this will last forever…that’s a lie. Our bodies go through hormonal changes as we age. With each of these hormonal changes, like puberty, pregnancy, menopause, our hair changes and hair growth may occur. It doesn’t mean that if you get laser hair removal now, and then get pregnant, that all the hair treated will grow back. Some of it may. At Golden Isles Center for Plastic Surgery we are all about the honesty and integrity. We would rather be honest, and set realistic expectations to create a positive experience for you.
To laser or not to laser?
You will start seeing results after the very first treatment. Your hair will fall out and not grow back in quite has heavily as it did before. As the treatment plan continues, less and less hair will grow back at all. You will fell less of a “zap” or discomfort during your laser hair removal treatments. As you get to the end of your package you will not be able to remember the last time you even shaved. You will get so used to not having to worry about stubble or razor burn. Temperature changes and goosebumps from cold drafts will be things of the past. I strongly encourage you to come in for a consultation if you have ever considered laser hair removal or if after reading this you are interested. I am now 7 years hairless and really it’s very fabulous!