How Technology & Safety Procedures Combine to Give You the Best Laser Hair Removal Experience
Laser Hair Removal,
March 1, 2023
Of all the common questions asked before a Laser Hair Removal treatment, concerns about safety are among the most important to address. The experienced and highly-skilled medical aestheticians at Laserlicious want to ensure you are at your most comfortable and confident in the technology and protocols put in place before you begin. This includes an in-depth discussion of the technology, lasers, and procedures the medical aesthetician will employ to make sure your treatments are designed for you to be your safest and most comfortable.
So, is Laser Hair Removal a safe and effective way to remove unwanted hair? In a word, yes! The combination of the types of equipment used and the protocols we have enacted makes Laser Hair Removal a fantastic choice for your hair removal needs.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Before getting started on the types of laser technologies used at Laserlicious, what is laser hair removal in the first place? It’s common knowledge that a laser is used to remove hair, but how exactly? Essentially, laser hair removal works by using different wavelengths in a process called selective photothermolysis. To make it easier to understand, for efficiency during laser hair removal, the goal is to target as much of the laser energy as possible towards damaging the hair follicle to inhibit hair regrowth at the root and leave the skin and tissue around the hair as unaffected as possible. In order for this process to work, the hair follicle needs to be attached to the bulb under the skin, and not all follicles are at this stage during a single session. This is why you need multiple sessions to take care of all hair follicles at their different stages of growth. Simple right?
Safety increases when we consider the laser type; we don’t just blast any laser at your skin and hope for the best outcome! Research has found that the hair follicles will absorb high amounts of energy at certain wavelengths, but the surrounding tissue will not. These are the wavelengths that laser hair removal uses to increase the safety of the treatment by ensuring nothing but the hair follicle gets damaged by the laser.
Because there are all kinds of shades of beautiful skin and hair, it is useful to have more than one type of laser available for safe and effective hair removal. For example, darker skin will naturally absorb more energy than lighter skin, which means more than the follicles will be affected by the wrong laser. Research has found three effective types of laser wavelengths to cover almost all combinations of hair and skin:
- Alexandrite – at 755 nm, this laser is most ßeffective for lighter skin and finer hairs.
- ND: YAG – at 1064 nm, this is the wavelength with the deepest penetration into the surface of the skin and is great for darker skin tones
- Diode – at 810 nm, this laser is a good all-round technology for most skin types and hair types.
What Types of Equipment are Used to Keep Me Safe?
Laserlicious is proud to offer a number of options in cutting-edge technology for laser hair removal. Using different types of lasers ensures all skin types and most hair types can benefit from laser hair removal, keeping clients safe, comfortable, and happy while they get their treatments! While there are a variety of brand-named laser systems that deliver the necessary wavelength technology for effective hair removal, the two pieces of equipment available at Laserlicious are the GentleMAX Pro and the Soprano Ice, very popular and effective lasers from two of the biggest names in the cosmetic laser industry. They also cover the three best laser wavelengths for effective hair removal, as explained, meaning treatment is comfortable, safe, and as effective as possible for almost any client every step of the way! Below we will discuss the two types of laser equipment and how they are designed to keep your treatments easy and safe.
What is the GentleMAX Pro?
The Candela GentleMAX Pro uses the Alexandrite laser and the ND: YAG laser to achieve fantastic hair removal results. This laser is one of the fastest and safest dual laser hair removal treatment devices, and it achieves this through the method of delivering the laser, called the Shot Technique, where single and quick ‘shots’ of laser are released onto the skin service in a small area before moving onto the next area to be treated. Because the spot sizes that the handheld device treats are optimally large, with a size range of 20/22/24mm, this allows treatments to be quick and, therefore, more convenient for the client! Cutting down on treatment time also increases the safety of the client by reducing the laser exposure time on the skin.
The handheld device also sprays your skin with a cryogen burst via its Dynamic Cooling Device that cools the area being treated milliseconds before the laser ‘shot,’ which cools the area about 50% more effectively than air. These hot and cold feelings all happen in less than a second. This means that the procedure is much more comfortable for you. It also increases the safety of the procedure by decreasing any thermal damage to the surrounding areas of your skin while the laser is applied to your unwanted hair.
What is the Soprano Ice?
The Soprano Ice uses the Diode laser to achieve results for a well-rounded laser hair removal result. Because the Diode destroys hair follicles by targeting melanin, it is more effective for coarse hair and requires a shorter recovery time, which decreases discomfort for you! The handheld device emits the laser in the form of gentle heat, which can target large areas of the skin at the same time but can also be used for small delicate areas like the bikini line. This is noninvasive and doesn’t cause pain; the skin will not burn or blister.
The method by which the handheld device delivers the laser bursts are called the Super Hair Removal (SHR) Technique, as the applicator is passed over your skin back and forth almost like a paintbrush, and the laser is applied about 10x per second! This causes a gradual build-up of energy over the treated area. The medical aesthetician also applies a cooling gel to the area before passing over the handheld in the SHR technique, which reduces feelings of heat even more, leading to more comfort and safety for you! You may guess here that the technique of the medical aesthetician plays a big role in the comfort and safety of the procedure, and you’re right! The more education, training, and experience the technician has, the better…but more about that later!
It should be noted that both the GentleMAX Pro and Soprano ICE have been FDA- and Health Canada-Approved, which means they have undergone rigorous testing, re-testing, and examination and have passed as some of the safest methods of laser hair removal out there! We are sure to keep your skin safe while we remove all that unwanted hair!
What Other Protocols are Put in Place to Ensure my Safety during a Laser Hair Removal Treatment?
Safety doesn’t stop at the type of technology or wavelength of the laser used in your hair removal treatments. There are other procedures and protocols any reputable medical aesthetician will follow to ensure your experience is the safest it can be.
One of the most important steps in the process is the in-person consultation. Here, the medical aesthetician will be happy to explain all the steps in the laser hair removal process, show you the equipment available and how it’s used and, most importantly, expertly assess your skin type, hair type, and which laser would be most suitable for your treatments. This increases the safety and efficacy of the entire procedure, and most reputable laser clinics will have a variety of laser types and equipment available for this very purpose.
A properly trained laser technician will also know through education and experience how to prep your skin and determine what areas to treat and when, so there is no repetitive laser action over the same area during the same treatment. This makes the procedure more efficient and, therefore safe for you. A great technician will also know when to increase or decrease the energy applied to your hair during your treatments. If the energy is too high, there is the risk of burns and blisters. No reputable medical spa will have untrained technicians near your skin or the equipment.
During the actual procedure, your safety is increased by being provided with a comfortable, sanitized space and being given safety goggles to protect your eyes from the laser treatment. Also, during the procedure, a reputable medical spa will have well-trained medical aestheticians who continually update their knowledge, skills, and techniques to ensure the experience is the safest and most comfortable it can be. This is very important if the treated area requires precision, like the delicate areas around your eyes, nose, and bikini areas. Safety and comfort-conscious technician may also opt to help numb the areas being treated with ice to decrease discomfort during your session. The less you move and wiggle, the faster the procedure will be, which of course, increases your safety!
What Can I Do to Prepare for a Safe Laser Hair Removal Appointment?
As with any procedure, you can always increase your safety and comfort by listening to the experts and properly preparing yourself for pre-and post-procedure care. Below are outlined some things you can do to keep yourself safe!
Preparing your skin can be very important to increase the efficiency of the laser hair removal treatment and decrease exposure time to the laser technology.
- Avoid Waxing – Any procedure like tweezing or waxing that removes the root of your hair should be avoided as it interferes with the laser treatment. You can still shave beforehand, but keep it to at least 24 hours before your treatment.
- Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock! – Keeping your skin safe from the sun is very important, whether receiving laser hair removal treatments or not! But a tan, or sunburn, may increase photosensitivity and redness or feelings of burn during a treatment. Some products like retinoids and salicylic acids can cause photosensitivity. As these are found in many products we use on our skin, be sure to tell your technician what you use so they can advise you properly.
- Clean your skin – a surface free of oils and dirt will help the process be smooth, comfortable, and quick!
Post-procedure, you should understand the process. Over a week, the treated hair will fall out. This skin should be kept from excessive heat at least 24 hours after your treatment, so no hot tubs for you for at least a full day. Avoiding tanning beds for a couple of weeks is also wise, and keeping that sunscreen handy when you head out into the natural sunlight!
Know that while 6-8 treatments have been found to be effective for the treatment of most hair, visits may always be necessary from time to time for maintenance. Time, hormones, and other lifestyle factors can lead to hair growth. A proper care routine will ensure these times are handled safely and comfortably.
So, is Laser Hair Removal Safe for Me?
Yes! The combination of approved technology, the application of correct laser wavelengths that match your skin and hair type, and the expertise and knowledge of your laser hair removal technician will ensure that your experience is as comfortable, efficient, and safe as possible. Laser hair removal is a long-standing, well-researched, and often-chosen option for permanent hair removal, and it is always worth your time to ask for a consultation with an expert to have any and all questions you may have answered and have help developing a treatment plan that works for you!
At Laserlicious, we have made it our duty to have the most up-to-date technology, the best possible health and safety procedures, and the most well-trained and knowledgeable laser hair removal medical aestheticians available in the area. To learn more about how we aim to keep you safe, comfortable, and happy, contact us and let us know how we can help you with your hair removal journey!