Laser hair removal for the body and face is a common and popular cosmetic procedure which lets our clients at Philosophy of Beauty achieve a hair-free, smooth and silky body. Although it is a very popular treatment, you might not know what to expect from your initial laser treatment session at the clinic and realistic expectations are crucial for a positive experience.
To understand what you can expect from the first session, we need to know how the laser treatment works. At Philosophy of Beauty, we use the Lightsheer Diode laser, developed by Lumenis, and a leader in laser hair removal technology, as well as the state of the art Fotona laser systems. The lasers emit a specific wavelength that is selectively targeted to melanin at the root of hair follicles under the skin. These are primarily responsible for hair growth and production of melanin which gives hair its colour. When the laser beam is absorbed by the papilla at the base of the actively growing hair, it can no longer function, yet surrounding skin is unharmed. The hair follicles that are most susceptible to a laser beam are those that are actively in the growth, (anagen) phase.
The results from laser hair removal are not immediate, which is why after your initial treatment session, you may not see a significant difference in hair aside from mild, temporary redness caused by the laser. The hair is technically still present, but the root of its growth is destroyed. Over time, the hairs which lack a living, functioning follicle within the body will fall out naturally.
You may find it tempting to tweeze or scrub your treated skin to speed this process along, but we do not advise you do this, for two reasons:
- You cannot tell which hair follicles were targeted by the laser and hence, you could be pulling out the unaffected hairs, which means a longer wait time before you can treat those healthy follicles.
- After a laser treatment, your skin will be sensitive and should be allowed to recover, even after the initial redness and swelling subsides. Applying unnecessary pressure or scrubbing vigorously is not recommended until three to five days after your treatment.
During the anagen, (growth) phase of the hair cycle, hairs fixed to the papilla deep in the follicle conduct the laser light directly to the root of the follicle to destroy it. Having laser hair removal treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart will allow for targeting of each hair in its active growth phase. Hairs should be visible in order to be treated so those under the surface, which have been waxed or even shaved very closely may not conduct the laser light effectively and will require further sessions to be reached.
An important statistic to remember regarding laser treatments for hair removal is that only approximately 20% of your hair is effectively targeted at any given time, which is why all clients require multiple visits to the clinic before achieving the results that they desire. It can be a long process but well worth the time investment. The exact number of treatment sessions needed for you will be determined by our medical team during consultation because it will vary depending on factors like skin type, hair type and the size of the targeted area.
On your second visit and those after, you can expect to see hair become sparse and then absent in the targeted areas of the body. After your initial laser hair removal session, you are well on your way to smooth, bare skin.