Laser hair removal

Laser and IPL – what is the difference?

The main difference between Laser and IPL for hair removal purposes is in the technology that each use to generate light.

Laser is monochromatic meaning that the light emitted from a laser is of one wavelength (or colour).

IPL, in contrast, emits ordinary white light which is a combination of many different wavelengths (or colours).

Both IPL and Laser provide the correct wavelength of light that is absorbed by melanin in hair, which converts to heat and permanently disables the hair from growing.

Both systems have been proven to be effective in permanent hair reduction.

Why laser hair removal…?

  • You want silky, smooth, hair-free skin.
  • You want to give up shaving and waxing forever.
  • You want to be free from menacing ingrown hairs.
  • You want hair removal that saves you time and money in the long term.

 

Do…

  • Shave the area in the 24 hours before your treatment. If you’re using hair removal cream, you can use this more than 24 hours before treatment.
  • Make sure your skin is not irritated, inflamed, cut or infected.

 

Don’t…

  • Use bleach on the hair you want removed in the weeks before Laser treatment.
  • Sunbake or use tanning beds, self-tanning creams or chemical peels for at least 4 weeks before your treatment.
  • Wear perfumes, deodorants or any potential irritants in the area being treated before your appointment
  • Wax, tweeze or pluck in the 4 weeks before your treatment. If your face is being treated, allow 2 weeks without doing any of this.

What happens during laser hair removal…?

  • Your therapist will conduct a skin assessment and determine your skin type using the Fitzpatrick skin type scale.
  • Your therapist will determine your treatment parameters and record them in the Laser machine.
  • Your therapist will begin the treatment. Keep your protective eyewear on for the entire treatment.
  • During treatment, you will feel the hand-piece on your skin. This aims a flash of light at your skin and your therapist will work methodically over the entire area, making sure it has all been covered.

 

If you feel one of these steps has been missed or hasn’t been done well, please stop your therapist and let her know. When you work together with your therapist, you will get the best possible results.

Do…

  • Expect your skin to be sensitive and a little red. Because the treated follicles have been heated, the area may be inflamed for up to 3 days.
  • Use a cold compress to help reduce swelling. The swelling is caused from the heat, not infection. This is normal and expected.
  • Consider taking an over the counter pain medication, such as Panadol, to help with any pain or discomfort.
  • Use a soothing lotion, such as Cool Gel, if your skin feels irritated or itchy in the immediate days after treatment.
  • Wear clothing and sunscreen (SPF 30+) to protect the treated area(s) from direct sun exposure at least 4 weeks after treatment. Be sure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. This is very important for your skin’s health and to ensure the success of future Laser treatments.

What happens next…?

  • Around 2 or 3 weeks after a Laser treatment 10 to 20% of the treated hairs will fall out. During the healing phase, the area must be treated delicately. Do not rub or scratch.  If a crust develops, let it fall off on its own. Apply a thin layer of Cool Gel to the treated area several times a day to keep it moist. Pat the area dry. Do not shave the area if is swollen or crusting.
  • Immediately following treatment, the area may show erythema (redness and some swelling) around the follicles which looks similar to large goose bumps.
  • Apply ice when swelling occurs. Wrap the ice in a clean soft cloth. Discomfort or stinging may be relieved with Paracetamol. Do not take Ibuprofen or Aspirin as these medicines may react to the Laser light. If you need to apply makeup on the area, you must apply and remove it delicately. Excess rubbing can open the treated area and increase the chance of scarring. Avoid sports and strenuous exercise for two days following the treatment for Laser hair removal. Walking is encouraged though.
  • Avoid very hot baths, showers, steam baths or saunas, and don’t swim in strong chlorinated water for two or three days. Don’t use bleaching creams or perfume products for 24 to 48 hours. Avoid exfoliating or peels for one week. Try to avoid wearing tight clothing for two or three days. And if there are signs of infection like pus, tenderness or fever, contact your nearest Essential Beauty salon. Post treatment skincare instructions must be followed to prevent any complications.

What types of skin can be treated?

Nearly all skin types can be treated. This table can help you decide if your skin type is suitable for Laser Hair Removal. If the answer is yes, book in today to see one of our hair removal specialists.

Fitzpatrick Skin TypeCharacteristics of the Skin Skin ColourIs Permanent Hair Reduction suitable?
1Burns easily/does not tan White/Pink Yes
2Burns easily/tans a little WhiteYes
3Burns sometimes/tans slowly White/Brown Yes
4Burns rarely/always tans BrownYes
5Burns rarely, naturally dark skin BlackNo

How many sessions will I need?

You should see a result after your first treatment. You’ll also see significant improvement if your treatment is repeated at regular intervals. After treatment, it will appear that your hair has continued to grow. What is actually happening, is that the hair is still being gripped by the skin and is slowly being expelled from the follicle.

This table shows you how many treatments you are likely to need.

Colour of your hairYour skin colourApproximate number of treatments
Dark1, 2 or 36
Medium1, 2 or 35 – 7
Light1, 2 or 36 – 7
Dark46 – 8
Medium48 – 9
Light/Grey/RedAny skin colournot suitable