A Concise Guide To Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal and Skin Types

As far as it concerns laser hair removal, there is hardly any ‘one size fits all’ options or solutions that are available. As such, consultation is usually needed to determine the specific laser treatment that will be needed for a given client. For starters, the settings on our lasers can (and should) be adjusted to suit your hair and skin colour.

Importantly, the laser is designed to pick up on the contrast between the pigment in the skin and the fair’ follicle. As such, persons with blond or red hair may not find laser hair removal treatment to be very effective as the contrast between skin and hair pigmentation is significantly less than in persons with other hair colour types.

Laser Hair Removal Q & A

1. Is it painful?

One of the most common questions we get about laser removal is “does it hurt?” In a nutshell, the answer is no. That is not to say you will not feel anything, however. Many patients who do laser hair removal report feeling a tiny snapping feeling for the most part. This is known as the laser sensation. Still, this sensation is covered for the most part by the ice that comes out of the laser when it is in use.

2. How often does one need to be treated?

Generally speaking, patients undergoing laser hair removal will need several sessions. This is due to how hair grows. Each hair on your body does not enter its active growth phase at the same time. As such, some hairs can be in their active growth phases while others remain dormant and have to ‘catch up.’ In order to get all the hair removed, we may need multiple sessions to catch the active cycle for all the hair you want to be removed. On average, it requires approximately 4 to 6 laser hair removal treatments to get the job done. These treatments are spread out over a 4 to 6-week period.

3. How does it work exactly?

The lasers used for laser hair treatments use electric and light pulses to destroy the hair follicle by destroying it as its roots. Importantly, it does this without damaging the skin or any surrounding tissue. By getting the job done at the roots, the procedure ensures that future hair growth is inhibited.

4. Where on my body can I use laser removal treatments?

With the exceptions of the eyebrows (due to being in such close proximity to a sensitive organ like the eyes), laser hair removal can be safely used on just about any part of the body. Waxing is the safer option for the eyebrows.

5. How long after waxing do I have to wait before I can laser?

The recommended wait time between waxing and laser procedure is at least six weeks, and DO NOT TWEEZE.

6. Is there any downtime or recovery period for laser hair removal?

No. Generally, patients are able to go on with their day right after having a laser procedure done. The only expected side effect is that of hair falling out during and after the treatment. This is a symptom that can last for up to 21 days – at which time you will be ready to schedule your next appointment.

In rare cases, some patients may experience redness of the treated areas or other discolouration. This, however, can be likened to being exposed to the sun without sunscreen and should not in any way be debilitating.

7. How do I prepare myself for my laser treatment sessions?

As you get ready for your laser treatment sessions, it is important to:

Avoid waxing for at least six weeks before (shaving is okay, tweezing is not)
Stay away from sun exposure and tans (this is because a tan can result in post-treatment pigmentation of the skin)
Avoid caffeine within 24 hours of your session if you easily get nervous or jittery

Shave with a new, clean razor on the day before your treatment (a new razor ensure that there are no bacteria to contend with which would result in post-treatment contact dermatitis).

8. What steps should I take post-treatment?

After you have had your laser hair removal done, be sure to do the following to stay healthy and not have any adverse effects:

Avoid unprotected exposure to the sun. Before heading outdoors, be sure to apply sunscreen with Zinc as well as 20 SPF or higher.
Between laser hair removal sessions, be sure to abstain from waxing or tweezing. Instead, opt to shave any remaining hair until your next appointment.

Seeing as how avoiding direct exposure to the sun is recommended, you can opt to try our fake tan option that goes on smooth and looks healthy as opposed to orange and streaky. Doing so will help you maintain a healthy glow and avoid looking pale after your laser session but are unable to get enough sun.

The ESPA aims to provide a variety of services to laser hair removal involved in permanent hair removal, including coordination the organisation of an annual international congress on laser hair removal by local organisations, establishing guidelines on the training, organisation and practice of laser hair removal and acting as a centre of expertise for laser hair .

We would like to remind you of the many benefits of ESPA-membership including, among other things:

  • close contact with colleagues in Europe and all over the world;
  • reduced registration fee to the annual ESPA congress;
  • reduced subscription rates to the journals Pediatric Anesthesia and
  • Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine.
  • access to the members’ section of the ESPA website with many useful
  • learning resources

Regional laser hair removal is such an important and beneficial technique it should be considered for all appropriate cases, balancing the advantages against the potential risks. However, it can only be utilised by those with the correct anatomical knowledge, suitable training, equipment and assistance. We aim to provide laser hair removal clinics with an up to date concise guide to techniques.

The format for each block will cover all aspects from indication through to complications of each technique. At the end of each section you will be able to access a self assessment section. We will not be covering every possible way of performing these blocks.