The latest trends in laser hair removal:

The most common areas for laser hair removal in females are regions on the head and neck, such as the upper lip, chin, sideburns and neck. Genetically, some people have more dense, thicker hair than others, whereas some have hormone abnormalities that contribute to heavier hair growth. In women, there is a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) where the abnormal hormone levels contribute to heavy hair growth mainly on the face, neck and chest. Laser hair removal is great for these women. Other hormonal changes can contribute to similar hair growth patterns such as menopause.

 

Other common areas for laser hair removal in females are the underarms, forearms, bikini, legs and buttocks. One area where the trend is constantly changing is the bikini area. At times, women prefer the entire area treated (Brazilian) and at times, women would like only the areas visible when in a bathing suit treated. These trends depend on the age category, general trends in popular culture and different styles of bathing suits. In these cases, it is important for women to know that the hair removal is permanent and cannot be changed, regardless of the potential changes in the trends.

In males, the most common places for hair removal are the back, back of the neck, ears, chest, abdomen, and the face/neck. Many males get chronic ingrown hairs on the face which can cause scarring, and can make shaving very difficult. Laser hair removal in the troublesome areas for these men can truly improve their quality of life.

The Do’s and Don'ts of laser hair removal:
Do:
- Understand that when the treatments are complete, they cannot be undone
- Shave the area to be treated 1 day prior to the treatment
- Seek advice from a physician; these machines are very powerful and physicians are trained to use them properly. Improper use of a laser can cause permanent disfiguring burns and scars
- Use sun protection while undergoing these treatments
Don't:
- Bleach, tweeze, wax, thread the area to be treated at all during the course of the treatment
- Get a tan during the course of the treatment; this can increase the risk of a burn or a scar

What to expect with laser hair removal
Depending on the area to be treated, and depending on your sensitivity level, your physician may apply a numbing cream for a few minutes to help with the discomfort of the treatment. During the treatment, you should be given goggles to protect your eyes from the laser light. The area will be treated with pulses of laser light. There are many different machines/manufacturers for laser hair removal, and all will feel slightly different. Some may require ultrasound gel to be applied to the skin prior to the treatment. After the treatment, your doctor may apply ice or a calming cream to the area. Immediately after the treatment, you may develop small bumps around the hairs, which is a good indicator that the hair was injured. With some lasers, the hair may appear to be completely gone, but over the next week the hair may seem to be growing, but the root of the hair may be in the process of being ejected. Over the course of a few weeks/months after the treatment, some hair will grow back, and now it is time for the next treatment.

How many treatments might be needed?
On average, we recommend 6 treatments to achieve approximately 80% permanent hair reduction. It is unlikely that you will ever have 100% permanent reduction. However the hair that remains will be fine, thin, and slow growing. Different anatomical sites will respond faster or slower to the treatments. The face and neck generally may require more treatments whereas the legs, and armpits may require fewer.

Who is or isn't a good candidate for laser hair removal?
The ideal candidate has light skin and dark hair. The lasers for hair removal can only target brown hair; they cannot target red, gray, blonde or white hair. Thicker brown hair is easier to treat than thin or fine hair, and baby fine hair may not reduce well.

After-care instructions:
Follow the instructions of your physician. Avoid threading, waxing, plucking, tweezing or bleaching after or between treatments. Mild gentle cleansing and mild moisturizing is helpful, and daily sunscreen is necessary to prevent a tan while undergoing the treatments.