Laser Hair Removal Treatment
First you will need to schedule a consultation in our professional London aesthetic clinic to determine the right treatment program. The consultation is free and without any obligation to proceed. During the consultation, a trained laser hair removal specialist will discuss the pros and cons of the unwanted hair reduction process and any precautions you may need to take before your procedure to best avoid any side effects.
The skin expert will determine your skin tone according to Fitzpatrick chart through a clinical examination of the desired treated area. They will then examine the color and thickness of your hair to see if you are eligible for laser hair removal treatment. They will ask about your medical history, check if you have any allergies and ask you about your last major sun exposure.
Following a discussion with you, the consultant will propose a realistic treatment program to meet your expectancy. They will decide whether the ND:Yag or Alexandrite laser machine is appropriate for your skin type. As the number of sessions varies from patient-to-patient, they will suggest how many treatments you will need and how often you should come in. In addition, they will conduct a laser hair removal patch test on the area or areas of the body you wish to treat. Before leaving the clinic, you will receive a full list of recommendation for your laser treatment including the required cost and the length of a session.
About Hair Growth Cycles
You will need a various number of sessions to achieve permanent laser hair removal. This is because the life cycle of a hair follicle is divided into three phases. The first phase is called the anagen phase, this is when the hair starts to grow. At the time of the second phase, called catagen, the hair will have detached from the bulb and then enters the third phase, called telogen. This is the point at which there is a loss of hair. The length of the entire cycle is between 8 to 18 months, however it varies depending on the area treated and the personal characteristics of each individual. During the 2nd phase, when the hair becomes detached from the bulb, hair removal will not be effective because the laser light energy is not conducted to the bulb. As a result, the hair will not be destroyed, and new growth can be expected.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
The number of hair removal sessions depends on the treatment area, skin type and hair growth rate of each patient. Generally, 6 to 10 sessions spaced over 4 to 8 weeks is required to permanently remove all the hair within the treated areas. During your consultation we will advise you on how long to wait between laser hair removal appointments. The final cost of the treatment will depend on the number of sessions, we offer many affordable packages to match any budget.
Before your appointment you must conform to the following strict medical protocols and precautions:
- Your skin must not be tanned. 2 months prior the session you must avoid UV exposure. This includes direct sunlight, UV exposure from UV tanning beds, self-tanning treatments, tanning supplements or medication (especially those containing beta-carotene), and photosensitisers.
- 5 weeks before the session waxing or plucking using tweezers is strongly discouraged.
- 10 days before the session you must avoid saunas, hammam, body scrubs, and swimming.
- 2 days prior we recommend shaving the area to be treated and moisturising to ensure the skin is well hydrated.
- At any point you must not be taking any medication, or have had any medical treatment, which has a contraindication with laser hair removal.
At the start of each session, you will be given a set of goggles to protect your eyes from the light energy generated by the laser.
Laser hair removal can be slightly uncomfortable. Many patients report sessions get less painful after the first treatment. If you are worried the treatment will hurt, you can apply an anesthetic cream two hours before the session. This cream should be applied on all shaved skin on the full treatment area. The duration of the session doesn’t take too much time, as long as you prepare your skin before by shaving it. Approximately one hour will be enough to treat lower legs, bikini and underarms.
At the end of each session a moisturizer will be applied to soothe the skin, especially in areas where the skin is thin such as the inner thighs and bikini line.
For body hair removal it is imperative to leave at least 7 to 10 weeks between sessions. If these intervals are not respected, you may end up needing more sessions than originally planned and agreed.
For facial hair removal it is generally advising to have a treatment immediately after shaving, therefore we recommend waiting to shave until right before your first session. After that you should wait 4 to 5 weeks for your next session. You can stop the program during the summer or when tanning.
After the treatment you must continue to avoid UV exposure. This includes direct sunlight, UV exposure from UV tanning beds, self-tanning treatments, tanning supplements or medication (especially those containing beta-carotene), and photosensitisers.
In between your laser hair removal sessions, you can use a razor and depilatory cream if you experience re-growth. However, under no circumstances should you use tweezers, pluck or use an electric epilator. Throughout your laser hair removal program, in order to avoid skin irritation, we recommend that you moisturise your skin thoroughly and regularly.
During the course of treatment you should closely monitor the treated area. When you get home, you may feel a warm sensation or redness of the skin immediately after, both are quite normal and should not last long. If redness, heat sensation, and irritation last for several hours, a day or even days following your treatment you can reduce the discomfort by applying a soothing body cream on the treated areas. If it happens you are experiencing prolonged redness, irritation, warmth, or swelling which doesn’t improve you should seek a medical examination to diagnose the cause and the appropriate remedy.