Laser hair removal works by sending light through the pigment in the hair. This creates a sharp but slightly gentle tingling sensation which is caused when the hair follicle and hair bulb are damaged.
The laser can cause slightly more discomfort on areas with thinner skin such as the nose, chin, and temples. To put it into perspective, in terms of pain laser hair removal is a lot less painful then waxing and less painful then tattooing or the dentists so there is really nothing to worry about.
Some of our clients at Premier Laser have described it as having an elastic band playfully flicked against their skin. Something that most of us can tolerate!.
Does technology make a difference to the pain levels and what are the best machines for Laser hair removal ?
With the latest medical grade equipment that we use here at Premier Laser your treatments will be more effective and less painful as medical grade equipment is more powerful and they have a built in cooling system which cools the skin as the laser works away. Other older machines use a messy cooling gel on your skin which then has to be washed off and is not as effective as the air cooled machines.
Clinic machines are also a lot more powerful then machines that are sold on the high street. So less sessions are necessary and you will get quicker, longer lasting results then other clinics which are not using the latest medical grade technology.
If you are thinking about laser hair removal for the first time ask the clinic what machines they use. The top of the range machines costing over £100,000 are made by a US firm called Candela. There are also service costs every year to make sure the machines perform at their best. This cost and the ongoing servicing cost can be an obstacle for many smaller or independent clinics so they opt for cheaper versions. Cheaper versions can be bought on the internet for £3,000 ! are not reliable, potentially dangerous and can damage your skin if you are not careful. At Premier Laser our clinics use the latest Candela technology.
Having the machines in place is great but it takes skilled technicians with many hours of training to use them effectively. With other clinics using inferior machines and only do laser hair along with many other treatments staff may have received minimal training and are not busy enough to gain the experience to build up their skills so there is a huge risk for anyone going to a smaller non specialist clinic.
Also it is worth bearing in mind that sometimes when other clinics have lower prices that seem too good to be true , you now know why !. It is a risk that not many take once they realise that they are being treated with inferior cheaper machines and inexperienced, untrained staff.
How Many Sessions Will I Need?
It is worth knowing that the results of laser hair removal do take a few weeks to become apparent. After your first treatment, you will be looking at two to three weeks to see a notable difference, whilst it will take around 8-12 sessions to ensure you see the very best results.
The reason that many sessions are need and that it can not sadly be done in one session is that the best lasers in the world can only destroy hair in the growth phase. Hair grows in 3 phases over a 6 week period. You can read more here about the growth phases so to catch all the hairs in the right phase to destroy it you need multiple sessions over a longer period. Off course results and number of session vary from person to person
So patience is the key and realistic expectations from the outset. This should be made clear to you during any consultation and when going through a treatment plan that is common in clinics before starting any laser hair courses
Everybody is different so if a friend says they saw immediate results and yours take a bit longer it is probably to do with a number of factors as after all we are all unique. These factors could include your skin tone, hair type, hormonal levels and medical history which all play a part in the effectiveness of the outcome.
Most of our customers would never go back to shaving or waxing once they have discovered the benefits of Laser Hair Removal. After your course has completed most people then return every now and again for a top-up session.
How long does laser hair removal take ?
Unless your having a full body laser hair removal which can take up to an hour, most appointments normally take less than 30 minutes. So you will be in and out in no time ready to get on with your day.
Many customers who are nearby to one of our 8 clinics in London and Surrey book sessions during lunch hours and are back at their desk within the hour. Before every session you will also be spoken to by the practitioner who will brief you on what to expect and there is also time for you to prepare i.e removing of makeup etc. Some areas like under arm, which are smaller, can take 10-15 minutes.
After the treatment
The laser emissions used during the treatment stay within your skin for a full 24 hours. This is perfectly normal and safe. In order to avoid bacteria multiplying you will need to avoid anything that would increase your core body temperature, such as going to the gym, saunas or hot baths or bikram yoga.! So you have the perfect excuse to take it easy for a day or two and in most cases it is well deserved downtime, just go easy on the ice cream!
Whilst having the treatment, the dermatologist will advise about how best to protect your sensitive skin. However, you may want to avoid exposure to the sun and sunbathing in general which is not too difficult when living in the UK but can be a bit more trickier during the summer months. Just cover up the areas being treated, so a hat or long sleeves or trousers or long skirt depending on which areas have been treated.
If you have recently been on holiday or developed a tan, you will need to wait for this to fade before beginning treatment we usually recommend around four weeks, you are able to come in for a patch test though if you are thinking about laser hair removal for the first time.
Some treatments may cause hair to develop elsewhere
One possible side effects of laser hair removal is other types of hair may grow longer. However, this should not be too much of a concern as the practitioner will be able to advise you if your hair is not suitable for the treatment or if there could be possible side effects. That’s why we perform a patch test before any treatment is started so that you have peace of mind that the treatment will be right and suitable for you.
You may need to alter your beauty regime
Certain beauty products have chemicals that could cause complications during the treatment process and therefore scrubs, retinol creams and glycolic acid should be avoided for two days before and after treatment. So a simple change in your routine in preparation for your laser hair removal sessions will guarantee you get the best results possible for your treatments.
Also you should refrain from any chemical peels for around two weeks before and after the laser process and wait 1-2 weeks after until you apply a fake tan. The same advice goes for tattoos if you are thinking about having any speak to your consultant if you have any questions as they will be able to advise you.
Don’t wax or dye your hair
During the process, you may feel more comfortable being hairless so we would recommend shaving rather than plucking, waxing or bleaching any hair. Plucking and waxing can damage the skin and cause complications with the potential success of laser hair removal treatment.
Does laser hair removal treatment works on darker skin ?
Treatments only requires the hair to be dark enough to draw the laser. So if your hair is very fair, white then laser hair removal may not be for you. Also is you have red hair then laser hair removal will not work for you. There is a different type of laser used for people with darker skin. It is called an Nd:YAG laser and is as effective and safe for people with darker skin.
How long does laser hair removal last ?
For the majority (around 90%) of people, they see a permanent drop in the growth of hair on their targeted area however fluctuations in an individual’s hormones can sometimes cause further hair growth which might require additional visits. You should consult with your practitioner during your initial meeting who will be able to give you more information.