LASER hair removal, or reduction, refers to the permanent reduction of unwanted hair by the use of various forms of LASER and light energy. An individual’s hair type (course/fine), skin type, and color determine what LASER is most ideal for their hair removal treatment. Longer wavelengths of light should be used to safely treat darker skin types and coarser hair. Shorter wavelengths of light are used to treat lighter skin types as well as finer hair. LASERs or light energy targets pigmented molecules, also known as chromophores, and causes destruction of those molecules. Melanin is the brown pigment that laser hair removal devices target in order to allow for the loss of the hair follicle. When the hair follicle is in the active phase of growth, the melanin in the hair attracts and absorbs the LASER energy the best. Energy absorbed by the hair follicle concentrates down the shaft to the bulb, where growth factors and nourishment for the hair is stored. As the light energy is absorbed, it is converted to heat. The heat produced kills the bulb and bulge, the hair follicle becomes nonviable and cannot regenerate hair.
Expected LASER Hair Removal Results
- Permanent reduction in hair
- Slower regrowth of hair that remains
- Hair that is softer and finer than before
Ideal Candidates for LASER Hair Removal
Good Candidates for LASER Hair Removal
- Have darker hair, since LASER technology currently targets dark hair types best
- Desire a permanent reduction of facial and/or body hair
- Understand that LASER hair removal requires multiple treatment sessions and touch up treatments as we age and the body undergoes different hormonal changes
- Will not be tanned or sunburned
LASER Hair Removal Techniques
At The Naderi Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology we consider the Candela® Gentle Max Pro™ the gold standard for hair removal. The Candela® Gentle Max Pro™ can treat all skin types and almost all hair colors. The Candela® Gentle Max Pro™ is one of the safest and most effective laser hair removal devices on the market today. Patient’s are relatively comfortable throughout the duration of their treatment because as the skin is being heated by the LASER it is also delivering a burst of cool air (cryogen) with each pulse of energy. We can customize each patients’ treatment based on their hair color, skin color, and the coarseness of the hair being treated. Unfortunately, with the current LASER hair removal technology, treatment for patient’s with red, blonde, white, and grey hair is not great.
The two technologies used widely today for LASER hair removal are traditional single wavelength LASERs as well as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) devices. The difference is in the spectrum and wavelength of light energy delivered. The 1064 YAG LASER is the safest wavelength available today for darker skin types, and that is what we use at The Naderi Center.– Dr. Shervin Naderi, The Naderi Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology Founder
Years ago, LASERs to treat darker skin colors such as African Americans, were not available. The problem was that since the “target” for the LASERs was melanin and melanin was abundant not only in the hair follicles but also the skin layers above the hair follicle, the skin was also “targeted” by these LASERs and thus the skin was “burnt” in darker skin patients. However the Candela® Gentle Max Pro™ system has the ability to differentiate dark skin from dark hair. The longer 1064 wavelength light energy passes through the skin to the deeper layers where the hair follicles reside, destroying the hair follicle without any trauma to the actual skin even in the darkest of skin colors!
Cost of LASER Hair Removal
Small Area – Single $150 Package of 6 – $720 ($180 Savings)
Uni-Brow, Upper lip, Ears, Sideburns, Chin, Hands & Fingers, Areola, Linea Negra, Feet & Toes
Medium Area – Single $250 Package of 6 – $1200 ($300 Savings)
(Female) – Front/Back Neck, Underarms, Abdomen Line, Bikini Line, Face, Peri Anal, Knees
(Male) – Front/Back Neck, Underarms
Large Area – Single $350 Package of 6 – $1680 ($420 Savings)
(Female) – Brazilian, French Bikini, Lower Arms, Abdomen, Chest, Buttocks
(Male) – Full Face, Lower Arms, Shoulders
X-Large Area – Single $450 Package of 6 – $2160 ($540 Savings)
Upper Arms, Upper Back, Lower Back, Lower Legs, Upper Legs
XX- Large Area – Single $550 Package of 6 – $2640 ($660 Savings)
Full Legs, Full Arms, Full Back, Full Chest and Abdomen
***The percentage of hair removed per session varies in different body locations. Areas with thin skin (for example, bikini and armpits) generally show a better response than areas with thick skin (for example, the back and chin). Approximately 10-25 percent reduction in hair growth can be expected with each treatment. Treatments are repeated every four to eight weeks. Six or more treatments are often needed and thereafter yearly “booster” treatments may be necessary.
Preparation for LASER Hair Removal
Prior to treatment, patients are advised to avoid tanning and sunless tanners for several weeks before LASER hair removal and during the full course of treatment. Broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreens containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide should be used. No plucking, waxing, or electrolysis should be done before, during, and after laser, but shaving may be continued during treatment. The site to be treated should be shaved one to two days prior to laser treatment. You must let the office know if you are currently using any oral or topical medications including antibiotics. (Photosensitive medications should be avoided for 7 days prior to the treatment.) On the day of treatment, the area should be clean and free of cosmetics. A topical anesthetic cream may be applied an hour prior to treatment but most patients find the treatment comfortable enough to be able to tolerate without numbing cream.
- NO TANNING, SUNLESS TANNING OR TANNING BEDS. Tanning should be avoided for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment. Self-tanning creams and sprays need to completely fade. Sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 should be applied generously 20 minutes before sun exposure during treatment period.
- AVOID CERTAIN MEDICATIONS. Medicated Creams (examples include Glycolic, Tretinoin, Retinol and some Antibiotics) that make you photosensitive should be stopped one week prior to treatment.
- NO FACIAL PEELS OR LASTER SKINCARE TREATMENTS. No peels or strong skin care treatments for two weeks before and after laser treatments.
- NO WAXING, TWEEZING, BLEACHING, TREADING OR OTHER HAIR FOLLICLE REMOVAL TECHNIQUES. Lasers target the pigment melanin in the hair beneath the surface of the skin. Do not wax, tweeze, bleach, thread or use depilatory agents before, during or after your treatment. Shaving is the only recommended hair removal method when performing laser hair removal.
- NO LOTIONS, CREAMS MAKE-UP OR DEODORANT ON AREA TO BE TREATED. Please come for your treatment with clean skin that is void of any lotions, creams, makeup and deodorant as these agents obstruct or refract laser light negatively and decrease the effectiveness of the treatment.
Recovery after LASER Hair Removal
Following each LASER hair removal session, the treated area should be kept cool. Avoid hot showers, baths, steam rooms, etc. Avoid vigorous activity that may increase body heat, as well. Ice cold wash cloths can be used to further cool the skin post-treatment but direct ice contact should be avoided. Aloe vera can also be used to keep the skin cool and lubricated if not allergic. Keep the treated area protected from the sun by using sunblock and by avoiding indoor and outdoor tanning.
- COOLING WITH ICE. Apply ice in 15-20 minute intervals for the first few hours after treatment to reduce any discomfort or swelling. If redness or swelling persists, ice can be used in 15-minute intervals 3-4 times a day for 3 days.
- MAKE-UP IS SAFE. Makeup may be used immediately after the treatment unless there is blistering.
- AVOID SUN EXPOSURE. Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher must be applied when in sunlight.
- NO PICKING/SCRATCHING TREATED AREAS. Do not use any other hair removal treatment products or services (waxing, electrolysis or tweezing) that will disturb the hair follicle in the treatment area.
- GENTLE WASHING. Wash the treated area with cool or lukewarm water and pat dry for 3 days after treatment. Do not scrub and avoid very hot water for the first day.
Possible Risks, Safety and Potential Complications after LASER Hair Removal
Generally speaking LASER hair removal side effects may include pain, peri-follicular edema (swelling around the hair follicle due to excessive fluid), and erythema (redness and inflammation) lasting one to three days.Today it seems like every shop in town from your hair salon to your local medispa is offering laser hair removal. Unfortunately, not all LASER devices are as effective and your average person does not do their research to ensure that the device being use is ideal for their skin and hair type. Additionally, some inexperienced technicians fear “burning” a patient that they will deliver a weaker and more ineffective treatment. At The Naderi Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology our licensed master aestheticians and laser technicians work directly with our physicians to ensure that patient treatments are safe and effective. Our LASER hair removal treatments are strong and give good results, which means less treatment sessions and quicker hair removal results.
Possible Complications after LASER Hair Removal
- Herpes simplex outbreaks
- Bacterial infections also can occur but are very rare
- Temporary skin lightening or darkening, especially in darker skin types, or in patients with a recent tan, may be seen.
- Permanent skin pigment change or scarring
LASER Hair Removal Experts at The Naderi Center
During your laser hair removal consultation our skincare experts will evaluate whether LASER hair removal is and ideal option for you. Additionally, we will devise a treatment plan that will get you to your facial or body hair reduction goals as quickly and safely as possible. Our technicians have many years of experience with our LASER hair removal device and are very knowledgeable in adjusting LASER settings to obtain the best results for you.
Schedule your LASER Hair Removal Consultation
Known as a leader in cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, the Naderi Center has been serving patients in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. area for more than 10 years. The Naderi Center is known for being the source of physicians and surgeons that are specialized in their realm and scope of practice. Patient’s come to The Naderi Center when they want an expert on the procedure or condition they are trying to improve. Contact one of the Naderi Center’s two offices for more information, or to schedule your laser resurfacing consultation. A patient coordinator can be reached at our Reston, Virginia office at 703-481-0002 and at our Chevy Chase, Maryland office at 301-222-2020.
Images provided by Syneron Candela