Summer isn’t far away – before you know it, you will be pulling out the shorts and bathing suits to celebrate the season. If unwanted body hair is threatening to interfere with your summer plans, perhaps laser hair removal is the right choice for you. This effective treatment offers permanent hair reduction, leaving you silky smooth for the skin-baring months of summer. The Maas Clinic has a number of reason why now is the time for laser hair removal if you want to greet the summer season hair-free.
Explaining Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses focused laser energy to remove unwanted facial and body hair at their roots. The laser light is directed into the dark color in hair. The hair thus, absorbs the laser energy forming heat which destroys the hair follicle (the special group of skin cells that make hair. The follicle is damaged so that current hair falls out. The damage also makes it difficult for subsequent hair to grow in its place, which is why this procedure is touted as a permanent means of hair reduction.
At the Maas Clinic, we perform laser hair removal using the Lumenis LightSheer laser. This device is considered the gold standard in laser hair removal and works by delivering micro-pulses of laser heat into the hair follicles. The Lumenis is considered one of the most comfortable types of laser hair removal and can work effectively on nearly every skin type and color.
The Lumenis LightSheer laser can remove unwanted hair from any of the following areas:
- Face, including chin and upper lip
- Chest and back
- Arms and legs
- Bikini line
The time for a treatment will depend on the size of the area to be addressed. Our revolutionary laser device is able to cut treatment times down, however, due to the fact topical numbing cream is not usually required prior to treatment.
Are You a Candidate?
While laser hair removal is an effective procedure that works on most skin colors, not all hair colors will respond well to treatment. Because the laser energy responds to the melanin in the hair, hair shades without melanin cannot be removed through the laser treatment. This includes most shades of white, grey or red hair. We can do a test patch prior to treatment to determine whether there is enough melanin in the hair to produce effective results.
This procedure is not usually recommended for patients that are pregnant or nursing. Some medications may counteract the effects of the procedure as well. A member of the staff at the Maas Clinic will meet with you prior to your hair removal treatment to determine whether laser hair removal will be safe and effective for you.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Laser hair removal is performed in a series of treatment sessions to accommodate the full hair growth cycle. Hair grows in three basic phases:
Anogen – This is the growth phase of hair, which typically lasts 2-7 years. Laser hair removal specifically targets hair during the anogen phase.
Catagen – The regression phase usually only lasts 2-3 weeks. During this phase, the follicle stops producing hair and shrinks significantly.
Telogen – Also known as the shedding or resting phase, the telogen phase usually lasts 2-4 months and involves approximately 14 percent of your hair. Shedding occurs to replace old hair with new, although the hair does not grow during this phase.
Once the telogen phase is completed, the hair begins the anogen phase all over again. Because only hair in the anogen phase responds to laser hair removal, patients need more than one treatment session to address all the hair in a treatment area. We generally recommend 4-6 treatment sessions, spaced around 4-6 weeks apart, to get the best possible results. However, you will see significant results even after your first treatment session that will help you get ready for the summer season.
Laser hair removal is performed at the Maas Clinic as an office procedure. In most cases, no topical anesthetic is needed prior to the treatment, due to the enhanced comfort offered by the Lumenis LightSheer. However, patients may request a numbing cream before treating sensitive areas like the bikini line if they choose.
The area to be treated must be shaved prior to the procedure to prevent burning and ensure the best possible results. The Lumenis uses a handheld applicator that combines a gentle vacuum with the delivery of laser energy to penetrate deeper beneath the skin’s surface and achieve even better results. An integrated chill tip keeps the skin at a comfortable temperature throughout the procedure and prevents burning and blistering.
After your laser hair removal treatment, you can return to your regular activities right away. Skin in the treatment area may be red, similar to a sunburn. This side effect will subside within a day or two after the procedure, leaving you with softer, smoother skin. It generally takes 1-2 weeks for all of the hair in the treatment area to be shed. At that point, you will likely see no hair growth in the treatment area for a number of weeks, allowing you to enjoy your smoother look even prior to your second treatment session.
Getting Smooth in Time for Summer
With summer right around the corner, now is the time to get started on your laser hair removal program. By starting right away, you will be able to get one or two treatment sessions under your belt before swimsuit weather arrives. Because skin treated with lasers should be kept out of the sun for a number of days after treatment, this is also a good time to keep that treatment area under wraps while the skin heals and the hair fully sheds.
The staff at the Maas Clinic helps many in the Bay area achieve a smoother look with laser hair removal treatments. To learn more about this procedure, contact the Maas Clinic today at 415-567-7000.