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Laser Hair Reduction

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light to remove unwanted hair. During laser hair removal, the laser emits a light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the tube-shaped sacs within the skin (hair follicles) that produce hairs. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.

Results vary significantly and are difficult to predict. Most people experience hair removal that lasts several months, and it might last for years, but laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. When hair regrows, it’s usually finer and lighter in colour. You might need maintenance laser treatments for long-term hair reduction.

The basic principle is that the pigment of the hair, but not the pigment of the skin, should absorb the light. The laser should damage only the hair follicle while avoiding damage to the skin. Therefore, a contrast between hair and skin colour — dark hair and light skin — results in the best outcomes.

Prior to treatment

Before treating the selected area, care must be taken to closely shave the area being treated. This allows the laser to focus on the follicle below the skin surface and improve overall results. We would advise patients not to wax or use depilatory creams to get rid of unwanted hair as these can completely remove hair root from the follicle meaning the laser has no hair root to target. Patients are also advised to refrain from tanning and the application of fake tan prior to treatment.

What happens during treatment?

As with photorejuvenation, cold gel is applied to the skin and as light pulses are administered, you may feel moderate stinging or heat. As the gel is removed following treatment, much of the hair comes away with it while the remaining hair in the treated area, will shed over the following several weeks.

How many sessions are required?

The IPL hair removal treatment is generally recommended in courses of four to six sessions to achieve the best long-term results. Many report significant hair reduction after just one session.

Following Treatment

You may experience some redness and swelling of the area immediately following treatment. This is a positive indication that the hair follicles have responded to the laser treatment. Although you may resume normal activities straight away, we do advise remaining out of direct sunlight for several days and applying sunscreen for added protection.