Laser Hair Removal
Laser Hair Removal
Getting rid of unwanted hair is so…repetitive. You shave, wax, pluck, or use harsh creams to get rid of the hair, yet there it is again in just a few days or weeks. Dr. Behr has a better way to get rid of the hair — laser hair removal with the Vectus™ laser, the latest technology in the business.
What is laser hair removal?
You may think of laser beams for their intense single wavelength of light energy. But for laser hair removal it all comes down to heat. Melanin in your hair provides its color (and in your skin, as well), and the laser is calibrated to target that color. When the light pulses hit the hair shaft, the light energy converts to heat and travels down the shaft into the follicle, damaging or destroying the follicle and preventing it from producing future hair.
What’s different about the Vectus™ laser?
The Vectus™ laser features the largest “spot size,” or treatment area, just under 1” x 1.5”. Older lasers have spot sizes of just one tenth to three quarters of an inch. What does that mean? Vectus™ can treat larger areas such as the back, legs, or chest in far less time. The spot size can also be adjusted to a smaller footprint for touch-ups or smaller physical areas such as above the lip.
The Vectus™ laser also distributes the laser energy more evenly than other comparable lasers. This makes for less variation across the treatment site, which improves results and safety.
The Vectus™ laser is the only device equipped with the Skintel™ Melanin Reader. This reader helps determine the amount of pigment (melanin) in the patient’s skin. This is important for patient comfort because while the laser is targeting the melanin in the hair shaft, it has to differentiate from the melanin in the skin. The Skintel™ Melanin Reader does this effectively for added safety and precision.
What areas can be treated with laser hair removal?
Since the Vectus™ laser is designed specifically for hair removal, it can safely treat just about any part of the body. We typically perform hair removal on these areas of the body:
- Bikini area
- Face, especially the upper lip and chin
Does laser hair removal hurt?
The Vectus laser has a chilled cooling tip that provides a higher level of comfort during our hair removal procedures. Still, when the laser energy hits your skin, some people say it feels somewhat like a small rubber band being plucked lightly against your skin. The Skintel™ Melanin Reader also helps the laser differentiate hair and skin color for added patient comfort.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
The FDA has approved the Vectus™ laser for “permanent hair reduction.” Why can’t it remove every hair? The human body has around five million hairs on it (men have a few hundred thousand more than women), and each of those hairs can be in a different phase of the hair growth cycle. For laser energy to be effective, the hair needs to be in the anagen, or growth, cycle. This allows the energy to travel down into the active follicle and damage or destroy it. But hair can also be in the catagen (transitional phase between growth and rest) or telogen (resting) phases.
In these phases, the body has already stopped providing nourishment to the hair, and is in the process of shedding the hair and then restarting a new hair. That’s why lasers don’t affect hair in the catagen or telogen phase. These hairs are already on the way out, so the energy can’t get down into the follicle. Every hair on the human body is independent, so there’s no telling what phases the individual hairs will be in across the target area. Now you can understand why multiple treatments are necessary to catch more and more hair in the growth phase.
A second thing to consider is that hair follicles can sometimes rebuild themselves, especially with hormonal changes. And if a follicle is partially damaged, it may heal and begin to regrow hair. Add it all up and numerous studies have shown the degree of permanent hair reduction is from 85 to 90 percent.
How many treatments will I need?
There is no “set” number, as everyone’s hair is different. But as a general rule, there is usually around a 20 percent reduction in hair with each treatment. It usually takes from 6-10 treatments to get the maximum hair reduction. Dr. Behr offers package rates for multiple treatments.
How long does each treatment session last?
The length of each session depends on the area being treated. For instance, treating the underarms or above the lip may take only a few minutes. Your legs or back, on the other hand, could take up to one hour.
Does laser hair removal work on grey or light blond hair?
Because the laser energy needs melanin to target, laser hair removal doesn’t work very well on grey and blond hair. This is because these hair colors don’t have as much melanin.
Laser Hair Removal Side Effects
Hair removal has proven to be a very safe procedure when done by thoroughly experienced practitioners, such as those with Dr. Behr. You may have some slight redness and swelling on the treatment sites, but this passes in a few hours.