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Laser hair removal works by disabling the hair root and impeding hair growth.
Only hairs that are in their active growth cycle at the time of treatment (about one-fourth to one-third) are disabled, which is why multiple treatments may be required.
Fortunately, with today’s laser hair removal procedures, Dr. Clinton and her staff can more effectively reduce or remove unwanted hair for months and even years at a time.
Although no treatment can destroy 100% of hair follicles 100% of the time, laser hair removal is FDA-approved for 80 to 85 percent hair reduction.
Which laser Dr. Clinton uses depends on your skin tone, hair thickness and area of concern. She uses the 1064 Nd Yag laser and the ProWave 770, because they have the longest, most deeply penetrating wavelengths, which maximizes the number of disabled hair follicles.
Even if hair does eventually grow back, it is usually finer in texture and lighter in color than the original hair, and much less of a cosmetic problem.
During treatment, Dr. Clinton or a member of her staff applies a thin coat of clear gel over the area to be treated and then quickly and evenly applies laser pulses through a small, cooled handpiece.
Some patients say the initial treatment feels like a rubber band snapping the skin and that there’s less discomfort with subsequent treatments. Dr. Clinton provides numbing cream to make the treatment more comfortable.
With the laser treatment, light energy passes through the skin, where it is absorbed by the hair’s pigment and follicle, causing selective damage to the hair root without damaging the delicate pores and structures of the skin.
Some of the hair will be immediately wiped off, and the rest will be shed in the 2 to 3 weeks following treatment.
Results vary, depending on the location, amount and thickness of hair. Dr. Clinton recommends Dermaplane for the removal of blonde, white or light red hair, which cannot be reliably treated with any type of laser.
Side effects of laser hair removal are rare, and may include redness, swelling, lip numbness, pigment changes in surrounding skin (especially for dark-skinned patients) and/or scarring.
Laser hair removal is safe for people of all skin tones and colors, although Dr. Clinton does recommend a spot test for those with more melanin in their skin so she can determine how the skin will tolerate treatment.
We also may suggest performing a spot test prior to treating a larger area so you can see the potential results before committing to a full treatment session.
Most patients can expect significant improvement in 5 to 8 laser hair removal sessions, followed by maintenance therapy.
Avoid hot water and skin irritants for at least 2 days after treatment. See complete treatment instructions.