1. Is Laser Hair Removal permanent?
There is no laser that has received FDA clearance for a claim of permanent hair removal. However, the LightSheer™ Diode designed by Lumenis™ was the first to be cleared by the FDA for permanent hair reduction. That is defined by the FDA as 85% or greater hair reduction. It is possible that follicles in the treated area, while not being completely destroyed, will be sufficiently disabled to the point where they produce only fine, light hairs that do not respond to further treatment. This is backed up by extensive clinical studies and you should be wary of anyone who claims otherwise.
2. Why use the LightSheer Diode over other hair removal systems?
The LightSheer laser is specifically designed for hair removal. We have chosen this laser because of the extensive clinical research which demonstrates its effectiveness for permanent hair reduction. Other Laser Hair Removal systems that we have investigated cannot make this claim. We’ve used the LightSheer Diode for hundreds of thousands of treatments, so we know it works and provides the kind of long term results that our clients have come to expect from Refine Laser and Electrolysis.
3. How does the LightSheer system remove hair?
This laser targets the pigment located in the hair follicle and shaft. The light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle and this energy is converted to heat which results in damage to the hair follicle. This damage causes delayed re-growth of hair and, in most cases, permanent destruction of many of the hair follicles. Unlike electrolysis, which disables one hair follicle at a time, the laser reaches and treats hundreds of follicles at a time.
4. Is it safe?
The LightSheer system was developed from years of research at the Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, one of the world’s leading medical laser research institutions. The laser is pulsed, or “turned on”, for only a fraction of a second and the duration of each pulse is just long enough to disable the hair follicles. A unique component of the LightSheer system, the actively cooled sapphire hand piece was designed to protect the skin by actively cooling it before, during and after the laser light is transmitted. It also actively draws off heat from the skin surface, which further protects the skin from injury.
5. Does it hurt?
The cooling tip has a mild anesthetic property, which allows tender areas to be treated in a relatively painless fashion. You will feel a tingling or stinging sensation during the treatment, but most people tolerate the procedure well. Topical anesthetic is available to increase your comfort, if you choose. Following your treatment, you may experience a sunburn-type sensation in the treated area for several hours.
6. Who performs the treatments?
Our laser treatments are performed by Jan Chapman and Deb Maxa, who are trained and certified in all aspects of Laser Hair Removal. Since we have done over 250,000 aesthetic treatments, Refine Laser and Electrolysis’ staff is highly experienced.
7. How many treatments will I need?
Refine Laser and Electrolysis recommends six treatments. In fact, it is not uncommon for a person to need seven or more. There are a variety of factors that can influence the total number of treatments any individual may require to achieve the desired results. To ensure maximum results, we recommend doing a treatment once every 6-8 weeks.
8. What will I look like / how red will I be after the treatment?
Post treatment reactions vary depending on the coarseness, density and color of the hair and the area being treated. In general terms, most patients experience redness similar to mild sunburn. I have dark skin / I tan – can I be treated? That depends. The melanin content in your skin is one of the factors that must be considered when determining whether or not you are a good candidate for Laser Hair Removal. When you come in for your consultation, we’ll examine the areas you want treated, determine your Fitzpatrick skin type and discuss your desired results.
9. What about blonde / red / gray hair?
The laser energy is attracted to the melanin in your hair. The greater the amount of melanin, the better the results. White or gray hair does not contain any melanin and, therefore, does not respond to treatments. However, some hair that many would call blonde or red actually does contain enough melanin to be treatable. That’s precisely why we offer a complimentary consultation, so we can evaluate your hair and skin type and discuss your options.
10. Do I need to grow the hair out before my consultation / treatment?
No, in fact we ask that you do shave the area you want treated. We’re actually targeting the anatomical structures below the skin. Surface hair interferes with this process.
11. Do I have to stop bleaching / tweezing / using depilatories, etc?
It is best to stop tweezing but you may continue to bleach, use depilatories, or shave. Between treatments you may shave the areas being treated as much as needed.
12. How far apart are the treatments spaced?
Typically, our treatments are spaced from 6 weeks to 8 weeks. Having performed well over 200,000 treatments, we have determined these intervals to ensure optimum results.
13. How long before I see results?
You will see some results immediately. It takes up to 3 weeks for all of the hair in the treated area to fall out. After that, you will experience several weeks of no growth in the treated area. So you’re actually receiving immediate gratification while you are moving toward your long-term goal.
14. Are there any medications I should avoid before the treatment?
Yes, if you are taking medications that might make your skin more sensitive to light, such as tetracycline or St. John’s Wort, we would advise you to stop these one to two weeks before treatment. Also, if you are using any skin care products with Retin-A or other glycolic or alpha-hydroxy acid in them we would advise you to stop one week before treatment.
15. I am pregnant / planning on becoming pregnant. Can I still be treated?
That depends. Pregnancy restricts the use of topical anesthetics and may present some other challenges. While there is no evidence to suggest that pregnant women cannot be treated safely, it is our policy not to treat without written permission of the patient’s physician. When you come for your consultation, we can discuss the particulars of what you would like to have done and review your options.