Are you tired of dealing with unwanted hair? At Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX, we use the Icon laser because it’s the best and most comfortable option, delivering superior results. We want you to know just how successful it is at hair removal and why it works so well.
How Successful Is Laser Hair Removal?
In short, laser hair treatments are the most successful and efficient way to be rid of unwanted hair. There are some important things to know about what creates this success:
The Way a Laser Works Is Key
Most ways of getting rid of unwanted hair simply address the hair itself, which means they’re always a temporary solution. The hair comes back, and you have to wax, pluck, epilate, or shave over and over.
Laser treatment is completely different. It addresses the root of the problem–the hair follicle–and uses the hairs only as a way to reach that follicle. The laser’s energy is attracted to the melanin in the hair shaft. It then travels down the shaft until it reaches the follicle, where the heat from that energy damages the follicle so it can’t grow hair for a long, long time, and sometimes forever.
Lasers Are More Effective Than IPL
You may have heard of intense pulsed light, or IPL, as an option for removing hair that works similarly to lasers. The methodology is similar, but the laser removal method is far more successful. The difference between IPL and a laser lies in the type of light they use. IPL devices use a broader wavelength, which is less effective in targeting the hair. Some of the light is “lost” along the way, which creates two big problems.
First, some of that lost light may hit the skin instead of the hair, which is one reason IPL can’t be used on as wide a variety of skin tones and hair colors as a laser hair treatment. The second problem with IPL’s more scatter-gun approach is that less energy reaches the follicles, meaning it could take more treatments to disable them.
Hair Grows in Stages
Laser hair treatments are most successful when they target hair in the active growth cycle. Our hair is constantly moving between three phases. The first, anagen, is when hair is actively growing. For most people, the hair on their bodies grows for a few months at a time before entering the next stage: catagen. During this phase, the hair slows its growth until it stops completely. This stage typically lasts about 10 days. Then the hair enters the resting, or telogen, phase.
This final stage lasts anywhere from three weeks to three months, depending on the person. When you come for treatment, the laser will be most effective against hairs in the anagen stage.
You’ll Need Multiple Treatments
Understanding the cycle of hair growth helps in understanding why successful laser hair removal requires multiple treatments. Although the exact number of treatments you’ll need will be unique to you, everyone needs several to get the best results. As you wait between treatments, some of your hair will cycle out of more dormant phases and into the growing phase. The next treatment you receive will thus be able to target them more effectively.
Most treatment sessions get between 25% and 50% of the hair in the treatment area at any one time. Say, for example, that you have 1,000 hairs in your target region and that your first treatment addresses 30% of the hair, leaving you with just 700. At your next treatment, the laser gets another 30% of your remaining hair, meaning you now have 490.
Your third session will get another 30% of the remaining hair–30% of 490–meaning you will now have 346. By the time you’ve had three sessions, you will have only about a third the amount of hair you had initially and will be seeing a big difference. But it’s also easy to see from this example how it will take a few sessions to get rid of all the hair effectively.
Maintenance Treatments Might Be Needed
Once you’ve attained your final results, you may need an occasional maintenance treatment to keep them up. Once the hair follicles have been damaged, any hair they grow later will usually be thinner, lighter, and slower-growing.
Between six and 18 months after the last treatment, you will likely want to get a single maintenance treatment. The good news is that that these maintenance treatments can keep your skin entirely hair-free for months at a time. And with enough of them, some of the follicles that were only damaged may eventually be completely destroyed.
Your Hormones Are at Play in Hair Growth
You may wonder why you need any maintenance treatments, and your hormones have a lot to do with this. In general, disabled follicles won’t grow hair for a long time, and completely destroyed follicles never will. But our hormones can re-activate hair follicles or even generate new hair growth in places it has never appeared before.
If you’re suffering from a hormone imbalance, treating the underlying imbalance will make your laser removal even more effective. And even for those who have an imbalance, laser treatments are still far more effective than other methods.
Skin Color No Longer Matters So Much In Treatment Success
In the past, laser treatments and IPL couldn’t be used on those with darker skin. It was even a problem for tanned skin. The state-of-the-art laser we use, however, can treat a much wider range of skin colors successfully. If you have been told at some time in the past that you aren’t eligible, come talk to us about whether the Icon may be able to help.
Hair Color Is Less Important, Too
Early laser technology and IPL could only “find” the melanin in the darkest hair colors, and they did this best for thick hair. Today’s lasers are much more efficient and can provide good results even for those with lighter shades of hair. It may take a few more treatments to address lighter hair than darker hair, however.
Successful Treatment Is Less Painful Than Ever
Older laser technologies could be quite painful. People had them done anyway in order to address their hair removal needs, but the process wasn’t much fun. The modern lasers we use have been vastly improved. While the experience always varies from person to person, most people find treatment to be virtually painless: certainly less painless than removing hair with a wax treatment!
Treatments Are Faster Than Ever
The modern laser solutions we use have been designed to speed up treatment and get you back to life as fast as possible. The Icon laser comes with multiple handpieces, which allows us to choose the right size for your target area.
Removing hair from a smaller area, like the upper lip or underarms, takes just a few minutes. It will take longer to remove hair from a large area or multiple areas at a time, but you still don’t need to spend more than an hour at a treatment.
Almost Nowhere Is Off-Limits to Treatment
If you have hair in a place you don’t want it, we can get rid of it. We are able to treat all the obvious places, like the legs, underarms, face, and bikini area, but we can also treat the stomach, arms, back, and more. The only place you can’t have a laser treatment is right up around the eyes.
Laser Treatments Are Successful for Men and Women
In the past, far more women than men sought hair removal treatments, but that is changing. Today, men account for nearly 40% of all laser hair removal treatments.
For women, the most common treatment areas are the underarms, face, and legs. For men, it’s common to remove excess hair from the chest, stomach, or back. Some men also like to use laser treatments just to thin out their facial hair. This allows them to still grow a beard if they wish, but it can make shaving less difficult and razor burn less likely.
There’s Not Much to Do After Treatment
After a laser treatment, you won’t need to take off several days from work or worry about looking red and blotchy. The only important aftercare is to pamper your skin a bit with moisturizers and avoid the direct sun for 24 hours after treatment. We’ll help you with anything that might be specific to your unique situation when you come to see us for your initial consultation.
You Can’t Do This at Home as Successfully
At-home devices can’t begin to match the power and effectiveness of the Icon laser. At-home devices must be made less powerful to ensure consumer safety, meaning that even in a best-case scenario, you’ll need many more treatments to achieve your results.
These devices also can’t match the Icon for speed and comfort, and they work on a far narrower range of skin and hair colors. They can seem like a bargain compared to professional treatment, but in the end, they’re a false economy.
Lasers Are Better Than Waxing or Epilating
A wax treatment leaves your skin smoother for much longer than shaving, and that’s because it takes the whole hair out rather than just addressing the part that appears above the skin. For some people, depending on hair growth rates, waxing and epilating can deliver smooth skin for weeks at a time.
The problem is that it always grows back. And perhaps the worse thing of all is that you have to allow the new hair to grow a certain length above the skin before you can effectively grab it with an epilator or hot wax. This means there will always be times when you have to cover up as you wait for visible hair to grow long enough to be treated. One of the benefits of laser hair treatments is that you can keep shaving right up until the day before treatment.
To Be Successful, the Laser Needs a Target
You can shave as much as you like up until the day before your laser treatment, but pulling the hair completely out will render the laser ineffective. The laser needs the hair to target the follicle effectively, so pulling it out leaves the laser without a path to the target. For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid anything that pulls the hair out completely for about six weeks before your laser treatment.
See How Successful Laser Hair Treatments Can Be
There’s no reason to waste another moment on hair removal that just has to be repeated over and over. Contact us at Le Reve Skincare & Laser Center in Fort Worth, TX today to set up a consultation to discuss how laser hair treatments can help you achieve smooth, silky skin for life.