Here at London Premier Clinic, we’ve been specialised in laser hair removal since 2008. Our extensive knowledge and skill in the field has allowed us to expand to 10 clinics in the London and Surrey area over the years, and our expert team have answered all questions regarding laser hair removal.
If you have never had laser hair removal before and are considering getting the treatment, here’s everything you need to know beforehand!
How Does Laser Work for Hair Removal?
The laser emits a beam of light which passes through the top layers of the skin and targets and destroys the hair follicle. The laser light is absorbed by the pigment or colour in the shaft of the hair and follicle. The energy from the laser heats and permanently destroys the stem holding the hair. This loosens the hair which will eventually fall out. New hair cells are also prevented from forming.
Laser Hair Removal Video
Want to see how laser hair removal works? View our quick video about the process below:
Should I go to a clinic for laser hair removal or buy a device online?
Whilst there are now laser hair removal devices you can use at home available to buy in cosmetic shops or online, lasers used in clinics are far more powerful and effective. These devices typically start from £100, but the expertise, results and tailored plans that you get in a clinic are unmatched.
What is the Best Laser Treatment?
Laser for laser hair removal can be divided into 5 types as there is no ‘one type suits all.’ We administer a range of laser types in order to have an effective treatment for everyone’s skin type. There’s often confusion around types and brand names that make claims to be better than each other, however this is generally not the case – it’s more to do with your skin and what works best for you.
Brief Overview of Laser Types
What are laser wavelengths?
Wavelengths tell you how deep it goes into the skin. The higher the number, the deeper It goes. Nd: YAG has the highest number (1064nm) so it goes the deepest. This is important if you have dark skin, as you want the laser to go deeper, so it doesn’t change your skin colour on top by not going deep enough.
IPL wouldn’t typically be called a laser but has more features like a flashlight which does not penetrate deep into the skin. It shines light over a wide area, affecting the surrounding skin. It should not be used if you have darker skin as it can affect your skin’s pigmentation. Hair removal takes longer with this treatment as it is less effective.
ND: YAG LASER
Best for dark skin.
The Nd: YAG Laser is preferred for laser hair removal for dark skin. It is safer and its long wavelengths (1064nm) go deeper into the skin.
Popular brands include: Candela Gentlemax Pro, Cutera CoolGlide, Cynosure Elite
Best for olive skin
It operates on the wavelength of 755 nm and although it’s not as long as the Nd:YAG, it is suitable on a wide range of skin tones. It also has a larger spot size and repetition rate, so is one of the quickest treatments available.
Popular brands include: Candela Gentlemax Pro, EpiTouch Plus, Cynosure Apogee
Best for fair and medium-dark skin
The Diode operates on the 800 nm wavelength and is designed for fair to medium-dark skin types. It is still fairly new, so there is not proven like Alexandrite and ND:YAG.
Popular brands: SLP 1000, LaserLite, LightSheer, ALma SopranoXL (also known as SHR, or Super Hair Removal).
Best for very fair skin
This is the oldest type of hair-removal laser. It operates on the 694 nm wavelength, so is suitable or very light skin and light hair removal.
Common brand names: Palomar E2000, RubyStar
Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
Compared to other forms of hair removal like waxing or epilation most people would say laser hair removal is uncomfortable and not painful.
People experience pain differently and some areas of the body are more sensitive than others. Some people won’t notice a thing, others will feel a warming of the area. When asked to compare what is compares to, often you will hear it being referred to as to being flicked with an elastic band.
After your session, the treated area is quite sensitive and can appear red for a few hours afterwards
View our Laser Hair Removal Treatment using Candela Video
Does laser hair removal get less painful after each treatment?
Like most things, you should get used to the laser hair removal sensation and tolerate it better the more sessions you have. If the pain is more unbearable your practitioner can apply numbing cream over the treated area.
This will be applied, and you have to wait up to 30 minutes for it to take effect. If you are on your period, it can make your skin more sensitive to the laser so it may hurt more during this time.
View Our Laser Hair Removal Treatment Video
How many laser sessions do I need before the hair doesn’t grow back?
Laser hair removal works best when a course of treatments are performed at regular intervals. This should give you the best results. Most clinics recommend a course of treatments, and we offer a free consultation to get you a tailored laser hair removal treatment plan.
This is commonly between 6-8 sessions. Depending on how well you respond to the laser this may be more than enough or you may need to extra top-up sessions to get the results you are after.
Can I have a sauna or exercise after laser hair removal?
As the laser transfers a lot of heat energy into the skin, you should avoid anything that heats up the skin further like saunas and exercise for at least 48 hours following your laser session. This will allow your skin to continue with the healing process without interruption.
Will six sessions of laser hair removal be enough?
Depending on how well you respond to the laser treatment and the area treated, will determine how many sessions you will need.
We have treated oriental clients who experience amazing results after just 4 sessions. Other clients with darker skin tones and thick coarser hair will probably need more than 6 sessions sometimes over 10. Hormones also play a part in the treatment effectiveness, which differs from person to person.
Can I be exposed to the sun after laser hair removal?
You should cover up the area as much as possible to avoid sun exposure after your laser hair treatment. This is easier if you have had bikini line laser, but harder if your arms or face have been lasered.
The first 48 hours after laser treatment are important to protect your skin and avoid sunlight. Use a high factor sun cream with an SPF of 30+ and cover up. In the weeks following your treatment, continue to wear SPF and protect your skin by covering up as much as possible.
What body areas can you have laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal can be performed on the following areas:
- Face including ears, nose
- Pubic Area
- Bikini line/Brazilian
- Buttocks and Perianal
WHERE CAN YOU NOT HAVE LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
We receive a lot of requests to perform laser on eyebrows which cannot be done due to the dangers and risk involved of using lasers so close to the eyes.
CAN I HAVE LASER OVER MY TATTOO?
The short answer is no, you cannot have laser hair removal over a tattoo. You can have laser around the tattoo but not over it. The laser will be attracted to the colour pigment in the ink causing pigmentation issue to the skin. An experienced technician can skilfully go around your tattoo.
If you are thinking about getting a tattoo and want to be hair free, get laser hair removal done first.
HOW LONG DO YOU WAIT BETWEEN SESSIONS?
Your sessions are usually spaced about 6 weeks apart. This is so your sessions are timed with your hair growth cycle that takes about 6 weeks
That is why you will be advised not to wax or epilate in between session as it will cause disruption to your hair growth cycle.
What should I do if I miss a laser hair session?
It’s normal that life will get in the way sometimes. For best results you should try and stick to your appointments as consistency is the key to great results. As mentioned, if you are away and miss an appointment shaving is the only method you should consider. Shaving will cause the least impact on your treatment than the other methods of hair removal.
How long does laser hair removal last?
Results will vary from person to person. Hormonal changes can affect your hair growth too. You can experience up to 90% permanent hair reduction after you have completed all your treatments.
The occasional top up session may be required yearly. For most, the results have a huge impact on their lives.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
With most laser hair clinics pricing is structured to encourage you to buy packages. Clinics offering pay as you go prices will typically not give you the best results, unless you have previously completed laser and are buying a single pay as you go top up.
This is because laser hair removal requires consistency. Randomly buying pay as you go treatments is a bad idea. For the laser to work, you need multiple sessions spread evenly apart.
With finance options starting from £280 your monthly repayments can be as low as £22.
For an accurate quote please contact us for a consultation – don’t forget to mention our price matching if you are shopping around.
ON AVERAGE, HOW MANY SESSIONS DO YOU NEED FOR THE BIKINI AREA or UNDERARMS?
These smaller areas respond well to laser hair removal. For best results, we recommend purchasing a package of 8 sessions.
View our video showing a laser hair removal treatment
I HAVE VERY FINE extremely BLONDE HAIRS – WILL LASER WORK FOR ME?
Best results are usually experienced by people with darker hairs such as brown and black. Very light blonde hair does not contain enough pigment for the laser to work.
Does laser work on red or ginger or grey hair?
The laser will not work on grey hair as it requires pigment. Although lasers have advanced recently making it possible to treat red and ginger hair for the majority of red and ginger haired people it is unlikely laser will work on you.
IS LASER SUITABLE WITH PCOS?
If you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and want to have laser removal treatment you can achieve fantastic results with laser hair removal. Results are not guaranteed though as PCOS affects the body’s hair growth so continuous laser sessions may be required to stay on top of the hair growth.
It is important to do your research and have realistic expectations if you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome so you are not disappointed with the outcomes. Be careful of any clinics over-promising on results. The NHS states, one of the main symptoms of PCOS is “excess androgen – high levels of “male” hormones in your body, which may cause physical signs such as excess facial or body hair.”
Look for a clinic that will work with you, you feel comfortable with, and will set up a treatment plan where you work and communicate closely together to achieve your goals.
It is not all doom and gloom though. We have seen clients experience life changing results which impacts their self confidence and quality of life with laser hair removal.
If you have PCOS are interested in laser hair removal the next steps would be to book a free consultation and speak to an experienced practitioner.
IS LASER SUITABLE WHEN BREASTFEEDING?
No, you cannot have laser treatment while breastfeeding. There’s no particular evidence based about the effects, and therefore you don’t want to take any risks that will affect you or your baby.
IS LASER SUITABLE WHEN PREGNANT?
No, you cannot have laser treatment while pregnant. If you are trying for a baby then it is not advisable to start a course of treatments as the pregnancy will disrupt your treatment and effective your results.
I AM PHOTOSENSITIVE. IS LASER STILL A GOOD OR SAFE OPTION?
It is difficult to give general advice for specific individuals with medical conditions to follow. So there is not a one size fits all answer. We would recommend you book a free consultation to find out your suitability and options.
Missed any questions out?
We hope we have covered some of your questions. If we have missed any questions, please get in touch and our team of experts will answer any questions about hair removal treatment services.
We offer a free consultation, with 10 clinics across the London and Surrey area.
Free consultation if you live in London.
Also, our expert practitioners are on hand to talk to you, if you live in London and are near one of our 9 London clinics, with a free consultation when you’re ready.