Excessive or unwanted hair is a problem faced by both women and men. Almost everyone has experience in using various methods, unfortunately not effective and durable enough – shaving, waxing, electroepilation, as well as non-professional epilators using flash lamps with questionable results.
Laser hair removal is a method that has proven its undeniable efficacy. Quality laser hair removal outperforms all methods by offering a medically proven, DURABLE solution for removing unwanted hair. What’s more, this method is faster, less painful, more comfortable. The result is visible after the first procedure, and after a few the problem is already in the past. The skin is smooth and soft.
The principle on which the laser hair removal is based is called “selective photothermolysis”, carried out through a highly precise technology – laser / “LASER” – stimulated emission of light with high energy. The laser produces light concentrated in a thin, coherent optical beam with a single wavelength, i.e. with particles moving in one direction. The effect of these beams is precisely measured and the emitted energy remains stable. The wavelength allows the light to be absorbed by the pigment melanin, a constituent of the hair follicle, rather than by the surrounding tissue, focusing the laser’s energy on the specific target. The energy, in turn, thermally destroys the follicle.
Choosing the right type of laser from the proven manufacturers of this type of equipment is paramount to achieving good results from the laser hair removal procedure. There are several types of laser systems that deliver light of a specific wavelength and pulse duration for absorption by the follicle’s melanin. The wavelength and pulse duration play a determining role in the precision of the method and the effectiveness of the procedure.
The Alexandrite laser is the “heavy artillery” of laser hair removal – the lowest number of treatments required and an unattainable end result of up to 97%. Since its creation in the USA in 1997 and its patenting in 2001 by the American laser hair removal company Cynosure, this type of laser has established itself as the most widely used type of laser and synonymous with the “laser hair removal” procedure in the world’s largest aesthetic markets – USA, UK, Italy, Germany, etc. With the efficient new generation alexandrite lasers, the shortest single treatment time is achieved as no gel application is required before the treatment and no clean-up afterwards. It is the only laser that achieves successful results in treating even light, fine and thin hairs. It is suitable for treatments on all skin types except dark skin and tanned skin (1-4 phototype). Due to the specific wavelength of 755nm, which is absorbed to the greatest extent by the melanin in the hairs, the Alexandrite laser manages to achieve the best results at the lowest energy levels, which is why its treatments are the most painless.
Its wavelength corresponds to the infrared region of the light spectrum, emitting stable energy. An advantage of Nd:Yag is its ability to identify the difference in melanin concentration in hair and skin, making it effective for all skin types but ineffective for fine and thin hairs. It also successfully treats darker skin (phototype 5 and 6). It is used for laser hair removal most often when the Alexandrite laser is unable to treat the area – in the darkest skin types – phototypes V and VI. As a disadvantage can be pointed out more painful sensation during the procedures.
The diode laser is generically different from all others, being composed of diodes or semiconductors which in combination provide the light source of the laser. This system is specifically designed and aimed at the mass user – most often cosmetic centers. These laser systems are characterized by lower power, do not require medical training of the operator, which makes the procedures very safe and less effective. Diode lasers cover all skin types (1 to 6). It is effective in treating hard and thick hairs (usually the first laser hair removal treatments) and ineffective in facial areas and on fine and thin hairs.
It is the first laser that is already in history. Its capabilities are quite limited to the treatment of dark hairs and light skin (phototype 1 and 2).
Hair growth is cyclic and asynchronous. There are 3 different growth phases – anagen, catagen and telogen. Laser hair removal destroys the follicle only when it is in an active growth phase (anagen). Therefore, in order to achieve a lasting and good effect and to treat all hairs in this phase (anagen), it is necessary to perform several procedures. They are carried out every 3 to 5 weeks. The number of treatments is individual. Already after the first procedure, a significant number of hair follicles are destroyed and the remaining ones atrophy. In addition to hair reduction, after the laser hair removal procedure, the hairs become thinner and less pigmented (light) and slow down their growth significantly. With each treatment, growth is slower and slower, resulting in a gradual increase in the period between laser hair removal treatments until maintenance treatments are performed one to two times per year. It is of utmost importance to respect the intervals between treatments so that the maximum number of hairs can be treated in their active phase. A longer interval between treatments would increase the number of treatments required, which for permanent hair removal is between 6-8 treatments for body areas and 8-10 treatments for the face.
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure and when working with Alexandrite and Nd:YAG lasers is performed by a trained and experienced medical professional. In Skin Line clinics in Varna and Sofia the laser hair removal procedure is performed only by medical professionals.
The main difference between laser hair removal and photoepilation used for hair reduction is mainly in the technology – both produce a beam of light that in laser systems is concentrated and emits the exact wavelength needed to treat the hair, while photoepilation produces a broad spectrum of wavelengths that are less effective.
Laser systems work with energy that is many times stronger than that of photoepilation. Because the heat is absorbed by the follicle, there is minimal risk of burning with laser hair removal, whereas with photoepilation, there is a risk that the light will be absorbed by surrounding tissue, causing the skin pigment to heat up and burn darker skin types.
Unwanted or excessive hair is a problem faced by both women and men. Unfortunately, most known methods of hair removal – shaving, waxing, electroepilation, as well as non-professional home photoepilators or home laser hair removal devices are not a permanent solution to the problem.
Professional laser hair removal outperforms all methods by offering a LASTING hair removal solution
It is extremely important to know that laser hair removal is a medical method that must be performed by a trained and qualified medical professional. In this regard, make sure that the specialist who performs the procedure has the necessary knowledge and experience before trusting him.
In the hands of a competent specialist and following his instructions before and after the procedure, and any possible risks of laser hair removal will be minimized – discomfort, redness, swelling.
With older laser devices and photoepilation, the procedures were more painful, requiring the application of numbing gel in more sensitive patients. With the advancement of laser technology, this is no longer necessary.
With them, laser hair removal is accompanied by minimal discomfort. Most patients feel a slight burning sensation. Usually, in addition to/built into the laser system, a cooling system also functions, which contributes to a more comfortable procedure.
Extremely fast modern laser systems and respectively fast procedures make the procedures imperceptible and accessible even for people with an extremely low pain threshold.
To achieve a lasting effect of laser hair removal procedures should be performed every 3 to 5 weeks, and after achieving the final result – permanent hair reduction, maintenance procedures are done – once or twice a year. The time interval between laser hair removal treatments also has an impact on the total number of treatments – extending the interval may increase the number of laser hair removal treatments required.
Laser hair removal kills the hair follicle only when it is in the growth phase (anagen phase). In a given period, up to 20-25% of hairs are in this active phase. This is why several treatments have to be carried out and the number of treatments is individual. Already after the first treatment, a significant number of hair follicles are destroyed, but for a lasting result, an average of 5-6 treatments are needed. Areas such as pubic and underarms and other areas of the body are affected more quickly, while fine facial hair requires more treatments.
Before the procedure, the area needs to be prepared depending on the type of laser system – in the case of laser systems such as Alexandrite and Nd:Yag lasers, the area needs to be shaved the day before or on the day of the procedure, and on the day of the procedure it is recommended to have a hair length of about 1- 2 mm maximum.
Regardless of the type of laser system used, 2-3 weeks prior to the laser hair removal procedure, the hair should not be plucked (removed with tweezers, waxing or epilator) in order to be able to process the hair follicle during the procedure.
The duration of the laser hair removal procedure depends primarily on the size of the treated area – usually from a few minutes for small areas of the face to 40-60 minutes for larger areas of the body – legs, back, etc.
The type of laser and the experience of the specialist performing the procedure can also reduce or increase the duration of laser hair removal.
The laser hair removal procedure is performed in a room specially designed for laser procedures and takes place in 10 steps:
Results, skin reaction and satisfaction with the previous procedure are discussed.
A form is filled out by the patient to make sure that they have not been exposed to the sun, tanning bed, or taken any medications to increase their skin’s photosensitivity.
Check that the area to be treated is smooth shaven or has the required hair length as required by the laser system as well as tanned
The area to be treated is cleaned and disinfected
The patient lies down and puts on safety goggles, which are mandatory for everyone in the room
The parameters of the laser system are set, taking into account the skin complexion and data from the previous procedure – parameters used, skin reaction, satisfaction with the result
The laser treats the desired area step by step, and the specialist carefully monitors the skin’s reaction during laser hair removal
In case the skin is more sensitive, a soothing cream is applied, and for the facial areas – a sunscreen with maximum protection factor SPF 50+ is mandatory
The parameters of the procedure are recorded
The laser is cleaned and disinfected before the procedure
No! Laser hair removal does not require recovery time. Occasionally, immediately after laser hair removal, it is possible to experience slight redness, burning or slight swelling in the treated area, which subsides in a few minutes to 1-2 hours, in rare cases more if the skin is more sensitive, which does not require specific treatment.
Apart from this, most people return to their daily activities immediately after laser hair removal.
Skin care after a laser hair removal procedure is extremely important. About a week after the procedure, it is advisable not to expose the treated area to strong and prolonged sunlight or solarium.
It is mandatory to apply a photoprotective cream with a maximum protection factor of SPF 50+ to the areas exposed to direct sunlight for 2 weeks after the procedure. This eliminates the risk of pigmentation after the laser hair removal procedure.
The results of laser hair removal are individual for each patient. The colour and thickness of the hair, the area treated, the type of laser and the type of skin affect the results of laser hair removal.
Most often, you can expect a maximum of 20-25% hair reduction after the first treatment – the treated in-growth phase hairs are killed and usually fall out between 7 and 20 days after the procedure.
In addition to hair reduction, a significant slowing of hair growth is also noticed.
Hair growth is significantly slowed between treatments, and with each successive treatment, hair growth decreases. Treating the hair between treatments is not recommended, but if it is done it should be by shaving, depilatory cream or other method that reduces the length of the hair to skin level. The application of methods that remove hair with the hair follicle – waxing, epilator, plucking with tweezers, etc. – is excluded.
As procedures progress and hair growth slows, removal will only be necessary prior to the actual laser hair removal procedure due to the hair length requirements of laser systems.
Laser hair removal, compared to all other methods, is the only one that offers a LASTING solution for removing unwanted hair, but not guaranteed in all patients and 100%. Factors such as age, hair color and thickness, skin type, hormonal balance, medication intake, etc. influence the final result and the number of treatments required.
Most patients achieve permanent hair reduction or even disappearance, which can last 1-5 years if 1-2 maintenance treatments are performed per year.
In addition to guaranteeing the achieved result, maintenance treatments affect the new fine hairs that, due to the physiology of hair growth, appear to replace the old ones.
Although price is essential when choosing a laser hair removal clinic/centre, it should not be the leading factor!
This is the place to mention the dubious laser and photoepilation outlets with misleading advertisements about “quality equipment”, “low prices” and “good specialists” that mislead people leaving them with wrong impressions and unrealistic expectations that compromise the laser hair removal procedure.
The most important thing is to be satisfied with the quality of service and the effect of the procedure.
In this regard, trust a clinic/center with a tradition in performing laser hair removal and specialists with medical training who have proven their competence.
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