Laser hair removal - start now for a hair free summer!

NaomiCrain|Unwanted hair
17 July 2018

As these chilly mid-winter days have us layering up beneath blankets, it’s easy to forget that warmer weather will be here in a few short months.

But if you want to your legs to be summer-ready, now’s the time to start laser hair removal treatments.

Here are the important things to remember when considering laser hair removal:

  • Lasers work on dark hair only. They can’t detect blonde hair, however some fair hair that still has colour pigment can be treated
  • Most hair will take multiple treatments, think 4-6 for body hair and 10+ for facial hair. However, marked improvement should be seen after two or three treatments
  • Treatments must have at least four weeks between them, so starting now will see you 2-3 treatments in by the warmer weather of mid-September
  • Laser hair removal can be less successful on darker skin, because the laser seeks pigment so where skin is heavily pigmented (dark in colour) we must take special care and user lower strengths
  • While fantastic results can be achieved, 100% permanent removal is unlikely. However, with the occasional “touch up” treatment ever couple of years, your great results are maintainable.

Common questions about laser hair removal

Here are some common questions we get asked about laser hair removal:

Is laser hair removal painful?

We describe the feeling of being lasered as similar to a hot elastic band flicking your skin. Now, that isn’t a bad pain, but when you’ve got repeated flicks on a sensitive body part, it can get uncomfortable. 

Because our clinic is a medical clinic, we have the full range of pain management options available to us. Our goal is to make your treatment as comfortable as possible, so if our standard pain management options for laser hair removal are not working for you, we can take further action. 

Generally patient find that the cooling gel applied before treatment, along with cooling air blown onto the skin being treated, is enough for them. 

But always let your treating nurse know if the pain is too much. We can take a break from treatment or find a better pain management option for you.

Are all laser hair removal processes the same? 
(or, is there really much  benefit in paying extra to have my hair removed by medical professionals?)

This is a common question, specially as we see more and more cheap laser clinics offering what seems to be the same service at appealingly cheap prices. 

But as this happens, there are also more and more incidents of burns, scars, skin depigmentation (faded colour in dark skin) and poor outcomes being reported. 

Not all hair removal lasers, and not all laser operators, are the same. 

At Neutral Bay Laser and Dermatology Clinic, we have over 15 laser and light-based therapies available, which is the largest collection of such therapies in NSW. With such an extensive range of lasers, we are experts in understanding exactly what each laser can do – and what it can not do. 

All the problems we mentioned above are caused by using the wrong laser type on the wrong skin or hair type, in the wrong way, without appropriate safety precautions. 

As medical professionals, we find that unconscionable. We’re here to increase your health, not detract from it!

We wrote a blog about how to choose a laser hair removal clinic here. It’s worth a read if you’re wondering whether this is the right option for you. 

Whatever your decision, we recommend you value your health and put the safety of your skin at the top of the priority list!

Why does laser hair removal take so many treatments? 

This is a hard question to answer because the truth is – your body will respond to lasers uniquely. We give all patients an estimate of treatment numbers but we just don’t know how your unique hair and skin will respond. 

Hair removal lasers seek dark pigmentation, so darker hair generally responds better. However, hair that is particularly course and tough can take many more treatments than paler hair that is thin and soft. 

Hair that is “hormonally influenced” such as some facial hair, can be very resistant to laser hair removal, which is why it can take many more treatments on parts of the face than other body parts. 

Lasers seek to neutralise the hair follicle, so it will cease to be able to produce a new hair. Some patients seem to have follicles who are easily convinced to give up the hard work of growing hair, and others have very committed follicles who seem to like their job and take it seriously! 

So we simply can not accurately predict the number of treatments you’ll need, but when convincing the body to change what it’s doing, you may need patients and commitment. 

How soon after a treatment will I know if there’ll be a visible change to hair growth?

While this, too, can be unique to the patient, in general it takes about two weeks to discover whether the most recent treatment has resulted in a noticeable reduction in hair growth. 

This is primarily because patients are requested to shave the area the night before treatment. This will give the laser the best chance of success. 

But this also means that the hair has roughly two weeks of growth already existing beneath the surface. So, much as you would if you were shaving without the laser treatment, the hair will continue to “grow” and need shaving for whatever time it takes the hair it to work it’s way out of your skin.

When your laser treatment has been effective (usually at least the third treatment) you’ll shave for about two weeks and then suddenly there simply wont be regrowth.

Need more information?

If you’d like to know more about laser hair removal at Neutral Bay Laser & Dermatology Clinic, why not review the information we have on our website:

Unwanted hair

Laser hair removal

Alternatively, you can call our friendly receptionists on (02) 9953 9522.

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Written by Naomi Crain.
Naomi has a great general knowledge of our clinic and its treatment options after working as Dr Poon’s secretary and running our office. She now manages our website and social media.