If you’ve been a reader of the blog or a member of the Aestheticians Connect Facebook group for any bit of time, you know laser hair reduction is one of my all time favorite services!
Today I’m talking all about: what it is, how it works, and my favorite machine for laser hair reduction for your weekly dose of inspiration, education, and encouragement.
What is it and how does it work?
Laser hair reduction is a cosmetic service that uses a light or laser device to remove unwanted hair permanently.
The laser works by targeting the pigment in the root of the hair during the active stage of growth, which cauterizes the blood vessel feeding the follicle and causes a stunt in the future growth of the hair.
Because laser hair reduction only works on hair in the active stage of growth - the phase where there is enough pigment in the root of the hair to absorb the light that disables the hair follicle - your patients must come back for multiple sessions to treat the hairs that were in the dormant stage during their previous laser hair reduction session.
It’s this growth cycle that accounts for the series of laser hair removal treatments that are often required to achieve the desired results. With a series of treatments, a patient can expect to achieve a 75 - 95 percent reduction of the hair in the targeted area.
A patient can expect to receive anywhere between 4 to 12 or more treatments in a series to achieve that 75 - 95 percent clearance of the hair. The wide range in number of treatments needed is dependent on the amount of pigment in the patient's skin as well as the thickness and darkness of the hair being treated. Fitzpatrick types 1 or 2 with dark, coarse hair will have the quickest result because the laser has such a clear target.
However, since laser hair removal targets pigment, the treatment can be less effective or not effective at all on white, blonde, gray, or red hair due to the reduced amount or lack of pigment in these colors.
Is it effective?
One question I always get is, “is it really permanent?” and the answer is yes, a damaged hair follicle can no longer produce hair.
Although there is one caveat: we all have thousands of dormant hairs on our body that are ready to be activated at any time during times of hormonal shifts and changes.
For example, you might have a patient get laser hair reduction on her bikini and be happy with the results. However, a few years later she might decide to start a family and due to all the changes the body goes through during pregnancy, including fluctuations in hormones, she might find that some hair will come back in the area she had previously treated.
Although this does not happen to all patients, it is completely normal if it does and this is why many patient choose to do an annual “touch up” in the treated area.
There are several light and laser devices used for laser hair reduction including:
810 Pulsed Diode
Today the gold standard for LHR is the 810 pulsed diode, but the exception to that rule is patients with a Fitz 4 or higher. In that case, you may opt for the NdYag due to the longer wavelength.
My all-time favorite machine for laser hair removal is the Cynosure Vectus. It’s an 810 pulse diode laser that’s easy to use and handle with two different spot sizes including the standard 9x9, plus the 28x35, which is ideal for larger areas like legs or back.
The other really cool thing about the Vectus is the skintel. The skintel is a melanin reader that actually measures the amount of melanin in your skin and provides you with safe settings to perform the treatment.
A pretty awesome tool if you ask me!
Alright, now I want to hear from you! Are you using the Vectus for LHR? What do you love or not love about it?
Let me know in the comments section below, and until next time keep making the world a more beautiful place inside and out.