11 things to know about laser hair removal
Thanks to innovative cosmetic procedures, you can easily and effectively get rid of almost any external flaw. So, removing body hair with a shaving machine today is almost the same as doing a manicure with a chainsaw. The problem of excess hair is successfully solved by laser hair removal, and without the daily routine and unpleasant consequences such as peeling, black spots, ingrown hairs and skin irritation.
To learn more about this procedure, we turned to the head of the Moscow studios Soft laser, Delight Laser and Epilaserman Alyona Kaigorodova.
This salon uses the latest lasers with Iplaser technology. With them, the procedure is as comfortable as possible, and the devices themselves are suitable for almost all skin types.
An experienced cosmetologist told how to prepare for laser hair removal and how not to become a victim of deception by unscrupulous clinics.1 How does laser hair removal work?
In order for the laser light energy to affect the hair, there must be special substances in the body that would attract this energy, absorb it and conduct a physical and chemical reaction. The main absorbent substance that is necessary for laser hair removal is melanin. It is he who gives color to the hair and skin.
Melanin has 3 fractions: eumelanin, which is responsible for dark shades, pheomelanin, which is responsible for light shades, and neuromelanin, which is located in the structures of the brain. Ultimately, the predominance of a particular fraction will determine the final shade of hair color. Only the eumelanin has light-absorbing abilities. The remaining fractions reflect light, so hair removal of light hair, whether it is light fluff, blonde or gray, is impossible. For such people, laser hair removal is a waste of time and money. They are usually recommended to turn to other types of hair removal: depilation or electroepilation.
When light energy is absorbed by hair rods containing melanin, various reactions occur in the subcutaneous tissues, the main of which is thermal. The hair is heated to a high temperature, which leads to the destruction of the follicle. Therefore, the process of light hair removal is called thermolysis (thermo-temperature, lysis-destruction), and from a scientific point of view, photo - and laser hair removal is correctly called photothermolysis (light-thermo-destruction). During photothermolysis, the hair is heated to 70-80 degrees Celsius. All the cells of the hair follicle die, including the cells of the hair papilla, so hair growth does not resume for a long time.
But, unfortunately, the structure of the follicles is recoverable, so it is impossible to remove the hair forever.
You also need to understand that there are different phases of hair life: the growth stage, the intermediate and the resting stage. Only those hair that is in the growth phase can be removed with laser hair removal, as they are saturated with melanin. In the growth phase, there is from 20% to 90% of the epilation zone, so after about 2 weeks, the loss occurs in sections. The transition from the sleep phase to the growth phase takes 21-28 days, which determines the interval between procedures for a maximum of 30-31 days.
But it happens that due to individual characteristics, the transition takes more than a month. In this case, a month after the procedure, you need to focus on the hairs that appear: if they are there, then the transition has occurred and you can work.
Often, after 3-5 sessions, the follicle tries to replace the lost bulbs and activates their maturation. This reaction is natural, it is called “paradoxical growth”. But this quickly passes with subsequent procedures. The main thing is to calm down, not to panic and just continue the course.
2 What is the best technology in terms of price/quality?
Today, there are dozens of lasers from different manufacturers. But they can all be reduced to several types: alexandrite, diode, neodymium, Elos, AFT, IPL, and IPLASER.
We only use lasers with the IPLASER system, as they are safe, effective and painless. Our masters are qualified doctors, as it is important to assess the risk and possibility of laser hair removal individually for each client.
3 On which parts of the body can you remove hair with a laser, and on which not?
With the help of a laser, you can remove hair on any part of the body, even on the labia in women, in the nose or in the ears. The exception is the eyes. Since the skin around the eyes is very thin, in order to avoid the risk of any damage and consequences, we do not epilate the hair under the eyebrows, but we can between and over.
4 How many procedures do I need for complete hair removal?
This is an individual question. There are many scammers on the market who promise to do this in 6, 5, and even 4 sessions, but this is a trick to attract customers, no more. Yes, there are rare exceptions when girls ‘ hair disappeared in 4 sessions, but the probability of such a result is about 0.5%. More realistic figures — 6-10 sessions. This is on average. This means that sometimes there are 12. We honestly warn our clients about this, so that they are mentally prepared.
Also, when the wizard tells you the exact number of sessions you need, it should alert you. In real life, no specialist can say exactly how many sessions you will need for a complete hair removal. It’s one thing — it’s the color, thickness and density of the hair. Yes, we can consider them and evaluate the complexity of the case. But there are factors such as hormones and heredity, and no one can predict their behavior. And even if you pass a bunch of expensive tests, there is no guarantee that in six months the readings will not change. So is hair growth.
5 How do I take care of my skin between sessions?
What not to do before laser hair removal:
depilate the selected area (wax/sugaring/electric epilator) less than 30 days before the session. Because during depilation, the hair is removed along with the follicle, and we simply have nothing to affect;
tan 7 days before the procedure;
use peels, scrubs three days before the session.
What to do after laser hair removal:
avoid exposure to the sun or tanning beds for 7-10 days. If you are planning a vacation at the sea, you can use sunscreen (at least SPF50) and apply it every 3-4 hours to all areas of the body that have been exposed to light. If possible, try to protect the treated areas from direct rays;
in the interval between procedures, exclude any alternative methods of hair removal and depilation, except shaving;
we are waiting for hair loss from 10 to 21 days. We don’t rip them out. You can only contribute to their falling off with a washcloth or scrub.
Special cosmetics and care are not needed.
As with any cosmetic procedure, laser hair removal has contraindications. These are:
acute allergic skin reactions, in particular an allergic reaction to light-photodermatosis;
exacerbation of chronic diseases (eczema, psoriasis, lichen planus, ichthyosis, atopic dermatitis, lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, bullous dermatoses, collagenoses, vasculitis, dyschromia);
coronary heart disease and hypertension;
herpes in the acute stage;
dangerous varicose veins (taking anticoagulants should be stopped for a month);
any benign and malignant neoplasms;
acute infectious diseases;
pregnancy and lactation (lactation);
moles, nevi, pigmented and birthmarks, papillomas, we simply bypass, retreating from them by 2-3 mm;
if you have recently been injected with botulinum toxin.
After botox, dysport, xeomin, relatox, various dermafillers and biorevitalizants based on hyaluronic acid, epilation in the injection areas can be done only after 2 months. This is due to the fact that any type of energy accelerates the breakdown of the administered drugs. But in other areas, you can do hair removal as usual.
6 Is laser hair removal a painful procedure?
Depends on the laser. On Alexandrite, for example, cases of burns are not uncommon. On our laser, the maximum that you will feel is a slight tingling or a feeling of warmth. There was a case when the client was outraged by the painlessness of the procedure, worried that there would be no effect.
Unfortunately, many girls come to us with traces of burns and scars after visiting other clinics. However, it is important to understand that no technology allows you to make the client feel nothing at all.
7 Is there a risk of ingrown hairs, folliculitis, or skin cancer?
There is no risk of ingrown hairs. Moreover, the laser eliminates them as well. If the hair is not too deep, then the light reaches it, the hair dies and gradually the skin pushes it to the surface. Depending on the neglect of the case, these ingrown hairs can go away for a period of 1 to 8 months.
Folliculitis can have a bacterial, fungal, viral or parasitic etiology, but the laser can not be its source. However, in the presence of the disease, laser hair removal is not recommended, so as not to aggravate the situation. In this case, it is better to consult a dermatologist. In our studio there is such a specialist, the first consultation is free of charge.
About cancer: this is one of the most common concerns. No, the laser does not cause cancer, its light is harmless, this is officially confirmed by Rostest. The laser acts with an infrared ray, and skin cancer causes ultraviolet light. You are more likely to harm yourself by spending a long time in the sun or in a tanning salon than by laser hair removal. Moreover, it is held only once a month. Laser hair removal also does not affect the internal organs, since the light does not pass so deep — up to the lower layers of the epidermis.
8 How do I prepare for the first procedure?
Before the procedure, you need to shave the selected area. This recommendation is rarely given, because for most lasers, you need to grow hair up to 3-5 mm. For us, this does not need to be done, which is certainly more comfortable in everyday life.
If the client wants to remove the hair above the lip or on the hands and did not touch them there before, the master can remove the hair himself before epilation with an electric trimmer.
Well, the most important thing is not to read horror stories, but to tune in to a positive mood.
9 Is it true that the laser removes hair forever?
We need regular procedures. Since the hair on our body is in different growth phases, we can only affect those in the active phase. Therefore, a full course of laser hair removal can stretch for six months, until all the hairs in turn wake up and we do not” light up “ them during the period of active growth.
10 Are there any restrictions for girls with skin features: pigmentation, vitiligo or albinism?
Yes, there are restrictions. As already mentioned, it is impossible to remove light hair with laser hair removal. Also a difficult case – red hair (Scandinavian skin phototype). They are taken, but with a probability of 50 to 50. There were cases when the hair went no worse than dark, and it happened that the laser did not work.
It is important to determine the nature of the skin features. At the household level, it is quite simple to determine whether laser hair removal is harmful or not: imagine whether heating the skin in the problem area will be harmful? If you do not see anything good in this, then, most likely, you should not do hair removal.
Pigmentation, as a rule, we bypass the handle. In any case, it is better to consult a specialist dermatologist.
11 What should you watch out for when choosing a salon?
First of all, I would like to open my eyes to what methods of fraud there are in this area.
First, the laser. Now many salons buy cheap Chinese diodniki, which are ineffective. Very often in such salons prohibitively low prices for procedures, for example, 200 rubles for the upper lip. If this is not a promotion, but a regular price, then you should be wary.
Secondly, there is a part in the lasers (the lamp or the handle as a whole) that needs to be changed. For example, in our laser, the handle needs to be changed every 600-700 thousand flashes, as the lamp power drops, and with it the result of the procedure. But many unscrupulous salons neglect this and shine “empty” lamps. The effect is the same as at home under a light bulb.
Particularly tricky salons do the first 1-2 sessions on a normal laser, so that the client sees the effect, and then, at the 3-4 session, they can make an “empty” handle. As a result, the person is convinced that it is in its features, and not in the flaws of the equipment, because at first there was an effect.
Third, unscrupulous salons carry out procedures, despite the obvious signs that laser hair removal is not suitable for the client. Once we were approached by a girl with a request to get rid of her hair on her hands. She went to an expensive clinic for 1.5 years and did not get any effect. At the first glance, it became clear: she had white translucent hair. When we said that such hair, in principle, does not take any laser, she was shocked, said that she could already buy a car for the money that she left in that clinic.
Or another case. A very dark-skinned man with black hair on his back, stomach, and chest came in. The master noticed that they were already growing stubble and asked what they had done before. The client said that he had already gone to the laser. The master suggested that, probably, there was 1 session at most, because the hair grew quite thickly. But the man admitted that he had already done 15 sessions on Alexandrite in an expensive clinic. Most likely, in order not to burn the skin (Alexandrite can remove hair on the skin only up to the 4th phototype), they removed the power to the maximum, but it was not enough to burn the hair. As a result, the man started our course from scratch. After the first session, the effect was immediately visible, about 99% of the hair that was in the active stage was gone.
Here’s what you will not be told in any salon:
1. Laser hair removal does not remove the hair forever. Only for 12 months, in rare cases up to 5 years. You can say that forever, but subject to supportive procedures. After a while, some hairs will still wake up.
2. Laser hair removal does not happen completely without pain – unpleasant sensations will still be. The difference is only in strength: from tingling, as in electrophoresis, to burns.
3. Some lasers may cause your hair to grow darker than it was before. Our specialists have recently encountered such an effect. They were girls who, after visiting other salons, began to grow dark hair instead of a gun on their thighs. My colleagues in the shop told me that after Alexandrite, unfortunately, sometimes this happens.
4. Before you epilate the entire body, try the laser on a small area of the skin. We, for example, conduct a free test drive – this is when you can do one armpit, see what will happen in 2-3 weeks, and if the result suits you, then come to us for a serious procedure. And more. Some clients say that you need to find a laser that is right for you. So try different ones. We hope that the Soft laser salon will become your “own” place for you.