Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics:
How does laser hair removal work?
Is laser hair removal safe?
What should I know before getting laser hair removal?
What areas of the body can be treated with laser hair removal?
Who has the best laser hair removal deals in Houston?
What should I ask at my laser hair removal consultation?

Candidacy:
How old do I have to be to get laser hair removal?
What types of skin and hair color can have laser hair removal?
Can I get laser hair removal while pregnant?
Can I get laser hair removal on sensitive areas?
Can I get laser hair removal on my back?
Can I get laser hair removal on my scalp?
Can men get laser hair removal?

Treatment:
What should I expect during my laser hair removal treatment?
How long does laser hair removal take?
Why do my medications matter?
Does laser hair removal hurt more than waxing?
Should a doctor perform my laser hair removal?
What kind of lasers are used in laser hair removal?
What is the best laser to use for laser hair removal?
In Texas, who is allowed to perform laser hair removal?
What are the risks of laser hair removal?
Does laser hair removal have side effects?
When is the best time to get laser hair removal?

Results:
Is laser hair removal effective?
What should I expect after my laser hair removal treatment?
What do clients look like before and after treatment?
How long does it take to see results?
What’s the difference between permanent hair removal and permanent hair reduction?

Other Hair Removal:
Where can I get cheap laser hair removal?
Does the No-no removal work?
How effective are take-home hair removal devices?
What’s the difference between electrolysis and laser hair removal?

Misc.
What medical conditions can cause extra hair growth in women?
Can laser hair removal treat excess hair caused by PCOS?
What is Hirsutism?
What is the difference between IPL and laser?
How long has laser hair removal been around?
What is the Fitzpatrick Scale?

Back to Laser Hair Removal Advisor

The Basics:

How does laser hair removal work?
While there are different types of lasers out there, all laser hair removal works the same way – pigmented hair is targeted by a laser that damages the hair follicle, slowing or completely ending new hair growth from that follicle.
Laser hair removal targets hair that is in the growing stage of the hair cycle, or the Anagen phase. And since the cycle varies between individual hairs, it requires multiple treatments spaced over time to ensure that the maximum number of hairs are treated at the proper time. Return to Top

Is laser hair removal safe?
With a trained, experienced clinician, laser hair removal is very safe. Lasers are calibrated to target just the hair and hair follicles without harming the surrounding tissue. You may experience mild irritation and swelling at the treated area for a few days. It is similar to a sunburn and can be treated with topical ointments to reduce discomfort until it fades naturally.

Some people do experience scarring or temporary skin pigmentation. This depends on your skin type – darker skin has a higher chance to scar, making it especially important to have the treatment done by a trained operator working on the proper laser. The type of laser being used should be tailored to your skin tone – any reputable treatment facility should have more than one type of machine if they claim to be able to treat any skin tone. Return to Top

What should I know before getting laser hair removal?
If you’re tired of hitting the salon every month for waxing and are looking for a more permanent form of getting rid of unwanted hair, laser hair removal might be your best bet. It’s growing in increasing popularity for good reason: women seem to hate shaving and waxing. If you’re thinking of trying it, here’s what you should know about laser hair removal.

  • 1. Is it immediate?
    candela handpiece laser hair removal
    You won’t be able to give up waxing and shaving completely just yet; you have to go through the procedure a few times before your hair is gone. Unlike shaving and waxing, in most cases there is a permanent reduction in hair growth. Your hair grows in a three week cycle and each individual hair is growing at its own rate. This means you go back once a month to get lasered to ensure all hair follicles are effectively treated in their growing cycle until your treatment is completed. Most people need five to six sessions to ensure that laser hair removal is effective.
  • 2. Is it guaranteed?
    As with anything in this life, except death and taxes, of course, nothing is guaranteed. However, most people find that laser hair removal does work for them and you will start to see hair fall out about 10-14 days after finishing your first treatment. Most medspa facilities offer a guarantee for a year or two after successfully completing treatment so that each client is satisfied and any issues that arise can be effectively treated.

  • 3. Does it work on everybody?
    The bigger the contrast between skin and hair works the best. If you have pale skin and dark hair, you are a great candidate for laser hair removal. For others with darker skin, there are newer lasers that work well for you. For those with blonde and gray hair, treatment effects may be lessened, although each individual reacts differently. You’ll want to make sure the medspa of your choosing uses the latest technology and newest lasers to treat you so that your outcome is the one you’re hoping for. Different lasers are better for different skin tones so make sure that your medspa has options when it comes to the different lasers and know which is best for you.

  • 4. When should you get laser hair removal?
    The best time for laser hair removal is when you have not been out in the sun, used tanning beds or self-tanner. The laser targets the melanin in the hair and the contrast between skin and hair is important for effectiveness. It’s best to stay out of the sun and tanning beds for a couple of weeks before starting your laser hair removal treatment.

  • 5. Where on my body can I get laser hair removal?
    Laser hair removal can be done on virtually all parts of the body. Most women choose laser hair removal for their underarms, legs and bikini lines. They often go back for other parts of the body, including chin, upper lip or arms. Men opt for laser hair removal often at the request of their significant other for treatment on their backs, chests, shoulders and for the increasingly popular manzilian. Others come in for a full body treatment. It’s official, laser hair removal: not just for women.

The increasing popularity of laser hair removal and developments in technology that allow technicians to effectively treat people of all skin types and hair colors has led many to opt for treatment for convenience and cosmetic reasons. The important thing to remember is to choose a medspa that has licensed healthcare professionals treating you and trained with the best equipment to achieve the look that you desire. Return to Top

What areas of the body can be treated with laser hair removal?
Almost any area of the body can be treated with laser hair removal, even areas with sensitive skin. However, based on gender, there are a few areas that tend to be more popular.
Remember, this is just a list of popular areas – there are many other options. Be sure to discuss all your concerns with a laser hair removal consultant, and they’ll be able to examine your specific skin, hair, and sensitivity in order to ensure you get the best results. Return to Top

Who has the best laser hair removal deals in Houston?
Amerejuve has some of the most affordable and innovative laser hair removal packages paired with top equipment and highly trained professional staff. If you see a deal elsewhere that seems too good to be true, be careful that you’re getting safe, effective treatment.
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What should I ask at my laser hair removal consultation?
Below are five key questions you should ask, and the answers you should look for, when choosing a laser hair removal provider.
LHR

  • 1. What types of lasers do you use?
    For your safety and satisfaction, it’s important to make sure your provider has the laser type that will work best on your skin tone and hair type. For lighter skin tones, your provider should have an Alexandrite or Diode laser. For darker skin tones, the Nd: YAG is safest and most effective. Note that an IPL device is not a laser and is generally found to be less effective at permanently reducing unwanted hair than a true laser.

  • 2. What guarantees do you offer?
    While laser hair removal is effective on the hair it treats, our bodies produce brand new hairs after hormonal changes, weight gain, or pregnancy. Choose a provider with a guarantee to get follow-up treatments at a discounted price for any surprise hairs that spring up. Some providers offer a 2-year guarantee, while others offer a lifetime guarantee.

  • 3. How far apart will my treatments be?
    This answer will vary depending on what part of the body you are treating, but your treatments should always be a minimum of 3-4 weeks apart for maximum effectiveness. For some parts of the body it will be longer. If a provider is trying to rush you through treatments that are close together, it’s time to look for another option.

  • 4. What certification do your technicians have?
    Texas has a four-tier certification process. We recommend that you be treated at a clinic that has a senior technician or a laser hair removal professional supervising treatments. These are the top two levels of certification in Texas, and this will ensure that you have a safe, effective treatment. Even if the provider has an RN on staff performing treatments, be sure to ask about the training and experience he or she has for laser hair removal specifically.

  • 5. How long have you been offering laser hair removal?
    Look for a provider with a proven track record of excellence and safety. On this question, it’s also a good idea to confirm it for yourself. Check out their online reviews – how far back do they go? Are the majority of them good? Are they spaced out over time? A high concentration of recent reviews might be a warning sign that the company hasn’t been around for long and lacks experience.

You’ll probably have lots of questions for a potential provider, and you should ask them all! Hit the points above to ensure you’re getting the highest safety and best value for your laser hair removal package. Return to Top

Candidacy:

How old do I have to be to get laser hair removal?

Teengirls
Age by itself does not impact the effectivness of laser hair removal. We recommend that clients 9 and above are great candidates for laser hair removal – meaning, yes, teenagers can enjoy the benefits of permanently controlling unwanted hair!

A few points to keep in mind if you are considering laser hair removal as an older or younger patient:

Currently, there is not a laser treatment that is effective on gray or white hair – this type of hair simply does not have enough pigment to attract the laser. Don’t trust a facility that claims it can definitely treat this type of hair with a laser or light-based treatment. If there is some pigment in the hair, request a test spot to make sure.

As we experience puberty, our bodies grow a significant amount of hair, meaning that areas that used to be hairless aren’t anymore. This includes areas of the skin treated with laser hair removal, so any treatments completed before a certain age have a high chance of growing additional hair. If considering laser hair removal for a pre-pubescent client, choose a facility with a lifetime guarantee or good follow-up pricing to keep up the results.

In a nutshell, while there’s no age-limit on the safety of laser hair removal, there are certain ranges in which it will be less effective. Return to Top

What types of skin and hair color can have laser hair removal?
While laser hair removal used to be limited to specific skin types, with the latest technology, a person with any skin tone can enjoy the benefits of laser hair removal. The difference is simply in the type of laser that will be used on your skin, depending on whether your skin is light or dark.

The only requirement is that the hair have pigment – currently, white and light blonde hair do not respond as well to laser hair removal as hair with darker pigment. Return to Top

Can I get laser hair removal while pregnant?
There hasn’t been much study on the safety of doing laser hair removal during the pregnancy, so the American Pregnancy Association advises to wait until after pregnancy to get these types of treatments.
If you’ve already begun your treatments and become pregnant, most facilities should work with you to continue treatments later. Return to Top

Can I get laser hair removal on sensitive areas?
Laser hair removal is safe and effective on nearly every area of the body, including areas that tend to be more sensitive, such as the underarms and bikini area. Everyone’s tolerance in these areas varies, so many laser hair removal providers offer topical creams that can be applied before and after treatment in order to minimize any discomfort.

As with any area of the body, you will likely see redness and swelling, similar to a sunburn, after the treatment. This will fade naturally over a few days. Return to Top

Can I get laser hair removal on my back?
Yes! The back is a very popular area for laser hair removal, especially for men. Return to Top

Can I get laser hair removal on my scalp?
Yes! Laser hair removal works on most areas of the body. Return to Top

Can men get laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal male face
Yes, many men use and enjoy the benefits of laser hair removal!
Laser hair removal is popular for taking care of a hairy chest and back, unibrow, irritating neck hair, ingrown hairs, or any unwanted body hair on men. Athletes who benefit from hair removal, such as swimmers and body builders, have also used laser hair removal. Return to Top

Treatment:

What should I expect during my laser hair removal treatment?
If you’re opting to use a numbing cream, this will be one of the first steps. You’ll also be asked about any medication you have taken recently and if you’ve done any tanning (if you’ve tanned in the past 2 weeks, you’ll need to reschedule the appointment). Some medications will also react to the light from the lasers, so you may need to reschedule. Remember, it’s better to be honest and have to reschedule the appointment than to hide any information from the technician and increase your risk of adverse effects.

If you haven’t shave the area to be treated, the technician will do so.

The treatment itself has been described as a rubber band snapping the skin. Everyone’s pain tolerance is different, so your experience may be different. It’s important to communicate with the technician if you are in a lot of discomfort. However, it’s important to remember that higher settings may be needed to be maximally effective at preventing hair regrowth in the treated area.

After the treatment, you will likely have some redness and irritation in the area, similar to a sunburn, for a few hours up to a day or two. Continue to avoid tanning while your skin heals and calms. Amerejuve also offers a kit of skin products to help soothe the skin.
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How long does laser hair removal take?
Laser hair removal is a fast procedure – much faster than electrolysis, for example. The length of the individual treatment depends on the size of the area – to treat the entire body requires a block of a few hours, but individual areas, even large areas such as the back or chest, are much faster. During your consultation, an expert will assess the area to be treated and be able to give you a more exact estimate. For a large area, such as the back, chest, or full leg, you are likely to need about an hour. Smaller areas may need a half hour, or even 15 minutes or less. Return to Top

Why do my medications matter?
Some medications, including antibiotics, can cause an adverse reaction to the treatment. Always communicate any medications you are taking with your technician. Any medications that are “photosensitive” (it should say this on the label) will require you to wait for your next appointment. It’s better to delay your treatment than to risk having a negative reaction to the laser, and we are happy to reschedule your appointment if this is ever an issue. Return to Top

Does laser hair removal hurt more than waxing?
Some people experience no pain, while others report mild to moderate pain during treatment – it depends on your sensitivity. Most who have pain describe it as similar to being snapped with a rubber band. It’s also important to note that there isn’t any residual pain afterward – once the laser is not pulsing against the skin, any pain will stop. Many lasers come equipped with cooling options to minimize discomfort, and your provider likely offers an anesthetic cream that can be applied before a treatment. Return to Top

Should a doctor perform my laser hair removal?
We recommend being treated by a licensed technician who has had laser hair removal training, as opposed to a doctor or nurse. It is generally more expensive to have a doctor or nurse perform laser hair removal and unless they are licensed providers, they may not have much training on the equipment itself. Licensed technicians have experience and knowledge to get the job done safely and effectively.

Texas has 4-tiered system of certification for using laser hair removal devices: Apprentice-in-Training, Technician, Senior Technician, and Professional. We recommend that the facility you choose have a Senior Technician or higher on staff who can oversee and assist those with lower certifications. Return to Top

What kind of lasers are used in laser hair removal?
Gentle yag transmedium

There are primarily three types of lasers used in laser hair removal: Alexandrite, Nd: YAG, and Diode.
All lasers pass light through a lasing medium. Lasers are differentiated by the type of lasing medium, which effects the wavelength of the light. In laser hair removal, the correct wavelength is vital – the wavelength must be one that will be absorbed by the melanin in the hair you want removed.

Alexandrite Lasers use the gem Alexandrite as a lasing medium, though many modern devices use artificial Alexandrite. Nd:YAG is an acronym for neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (What a mouthful!), which is the lasing medium for that type of laser. In a diode laser, the lasing medium is a semi-conductor.
Each laser produces light at a specific wavelength that is best suited to certain skin and hair types. Alexandrite is usually used on light skin tones, while ND:YAG is safe and effective for darker skin tones. Diode can usually be used on an array of skin types. Return to Top

What is the best laser to use for laser hair removal?
There are three main types of lasers used for laser hair removal, and choosing between those depends on your skin tone. Diode and Alexandrite lasers are best for lighter skin tones, while ND: YAG lasers are better for dark skin tones.
From there, Syneron Candela is considered the gold standard for laser hair removal equipment in the U.S. They were one of the earliest laser hair removal device cleared by the FDA, and they continue to be used and trusted by doctors and med spas across the country. Return to Top

In Texas, who is allowed to perform laser hair removal?
Texas has a four-tiered system of certification for laser hair removal, starting from apprentice all the way up to laser hair removal professional.
The process starts with rigorous training on treatment techniques and safety before the technician can perform any treatments.

After the initial training is complete, the primary criteria for each level is the number of laser hair removal procedures the individual has performed. For the highest certification, technicians must pass a rigorous exam about every aspect of laser hair removal.

We recommend that you go to a laser hair removal provider who has a senior technician or higher supervising the treatments. Return to Top

What are the risks of laser hair removal?
laser goggles
When performed by an experienced technician using the correct settings, laser hair removal has very low risk – that’s why it’s important to have a face-to-face consultation to assess skin and hair and to choose a provider with a history of excellence. It’s also very important to follow all of your pre- and post-treatment instructions – these are to help you stay safe! The most important, and often ignored, instruction is to avoid sun exposure or tanning the treatment area for two weeks before the treatment. If you forget or slip-up and do get direct sun exposure on the area, most providers will happily reschedule your treatment rather than risk an adverse reaction.
Some of the risks associated with laser hair removal are burns and scarring (and these risks are increased if the skin has recently been exposed to the UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds). Some recent research shows the process also releases very small amounts of chemicals into the air from the destroyed hair – however, the amounts are so small that these chemicals are not considered a danger to the patient being treated, especially if the area is well ventilated. Eye protection is also important to prevent ocular damage.

The lasers themselves are regulated by the FDA, and as such have clear guidelines for their use, necessary protection, and levels of radiation to ensure they are safe to use on humans. So, with a well-trained, experienced provider and proper adherence to guidelines, the risks are very low. Return to Top

Does laser hair removal have side effects?
Side effects from laser hair removal are temporary and mild. Most people experience redness and swelling, a little like a sunburn. Usually this will fade after a few hours, or those with sensitive skin may have the redness and light swelling for a few days. The laser hair removal provider should also discuss this with you during your laser hair removal consultation.
Plus, of course you have the intended effect of reduced hair growth! Return to Top

When is the best time to get laser hair removal?
The most convenient time to begin a laser hair removal package is in the fall. Most patients have an easier time following safety guidelines about sun exposure when the weather is cool and they are already wearing long sleeves and pants or long skirts. By starting in the early fall, you’ll ensure that you’re done or nearly done with your package as the weather starts to warm up in the spring.

You can definitely be treated in the spring and summer, but you will need to pay careful attention to sun exposure to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatments.Return to Top

Results:

Is laser hair removal effective?
laser hair removal back
Laser Hair Removal has been clinically shown to be effective at permanently reducing pigmented hair. What that means is it does permanently stop the growth of dark hair, but it does not work on blonde, white, or gray hair.
Most clients see a 10-25 percent hair reduction following each treatment and need an average of six treatments to achieve the desired results.

Because laser hair removal relies on the hair growth cycle to work, it does require multiple treatments in order to treat as many hairs as possible. Weight gain and hormonal changes can also cause new hair to grow in areas that were previously hairless, so it’s helpful to choose a laser hair provider that offers a guarantee or membership for future treatments. Return to Top

What should I expect after my laser hair removal treatment?
You should expect some swelling, redness, and tenderness in the treated area – it’s a bit like being sunburned. Most laser hair removal facilities offer skin products to ease discomfort – look for soothing ingredients such as aloe. Also, stay out of the sun! Your skin will be extra sensitive for a few days following the laser treatment, so make sure to protect it for several days following your treatment.

Since laser hair removal works based on the hair’s natural growth and rest cycle, it may take a few weeks to see the hair loss from your treatment. Treated hairs need time to shed, after which the damaged hair follicles will not produce a new hair in its place. Return to Top

What do clients look like before and after treatment?
View more before and after pictures in our Before and After Gallery.

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How long does it take to see results?
Laser hair removal uses the hair’s own growth cycle to prevent future growth, so this affects how quickly you see results. The laser damages the hair follicle while it is in the Anagen, or growth, phase. When the follicle is damaged, it will cease to produce hair. However, the hair that has already grown in that follicle will take about two weeks to shed free.

Most clients see a 10-25 percent reduction of hair in the treated area, which is why multiple treatments are required. Treatments are spread out every 4-8 weeks, depending on the area being treated, so that follicles that have entered the Anagen phase since the previous treatment can be targeted. Most clients need six treatments in order to see optimal results, with each treatment going through the same two-week shed period afterward. Return to Top

What’s the difference between permanent hair removal and permanent hair reduction?
The phrases “permanent hair removal” and “permanent hair reduction” are set by the FDA. They define “removal” as complete prevention of all hair growth in the treated area after 4-8 months to allow for the hair’s cycle. “Reduction” means that the total number of hairs in the area has been permanently reduced, but some hair still grows.

Laser Hair Removal is considered permanent hair reduction because a few hairs may still grow in the area after treatment (and this is particularly true if the person who was treated gains weight or experiences hormonal changes). The effectiveness varies between different devices, but, for example, the Alexandrite laser has been shown to permanently reduce hair by 80-90 percent. So, while the hair removal is not 100 percent, it is still very high and gives most people the results they want. Return to Top

Other Hair Removal:

Where can I get cheap laser hair removal?
Affordable laser hair removal is in reach at Amerejuve. Beware of deals that seem too good to be true, as it may be an indicator of inferior equipment or poor training. More information here.
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Does the No-no hair removal work?
This take-home hair removal device seems too good to be true – and it just might be. This device uses blades to cut the hair and heat to crystallize the hair, uprooting it from the follical.

User reviews of this device are dismal: 79 percent of the 432 reviews on Amazon gave their no!no! device the worst rating, one star. While any product or service is going to have its share of positive and negative reviews, this is overwhelmingly in the negative side.

Many reviews cite lack of results and poor customer service for dealing with complaints and returns as the main reasons for the poor ratings. Some especially choice descriptions were “garbage,” “scam,” and “waste of money.” Ouch.
Sounds like we should say no no to no!no! Return to Top

How effective are take-home hair removal devices?
In short, take-home devices are less effective than a clinical treatment. Read more information on how they compare here.
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What’s the difference between electrolysis and laser hair removal?
electrolysis
Electrolysis uses electricity to “zap” the base of the hair and damage the hair follicle to prevent future growth, so electrolysis and laser hair removal both damage hair follicles in order to reduce hair. During electrolysis, a needle is inserted into the hair follicle, so only one hair can be treated at a time. Because of this, the main differences are in the cost, both in time and money. Laser hair removal allows for larger areas to be treated more quickly, making it ideal for larger areas such as the legs and back.

Electrolysis is considered permanent hair removal, in that every hair that is treated is permanently killed (But remember, it also requires that each individual hair be treated with the needle). Laser hair removal prevents between 70 percent to 90 percent of hair regrowth in an area after six treatments, so it is considered permanent hair reduction, since a few hairs may grow back in the area and require touch-up treatments later on. Return to Top

Misc.

What medical conditions can cause extra hair growth in women?
hirsuitsm
When we talk about excess hair growth in women, we usually mean when women grow thick, dark hair in a typically male pattern – face, chest, back, and stomach. There are a number of causes for this condition, which is called hirsutism, but it is generally related to a hormonal imbalance. However, there are multiple conditions or factors that can cause the imbalance:

  • 1. PCOS – Polycystic ovarian syndrome is when cysts form on the ovaries. In addition to extra hair growth, women with this condition may also have acne, irregular menstrual cycles, difficulty losing weight, and diabetes.
  • 2. Tumor or Cancer – Tumors or cancer on the adrenal glands or ovaries can cause hormone production that increases hair growth. This may be the cause if the extra hair growth occurs suddenly, rather than gradually over time.
  • 3. Cushing Syndrome – Over-exposure to the hormone cortisol causes this syndrome, which results in upper body weight gain, acne or skin infections, back pain or weakness, and, in women, excess hair growth and irregular menstrual cycles and, in men, impotence. This overexposure can occur from taking corticosteroid medications, improper signals from the pituitary glands, or a tumor.
  • 4. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia – In this condition, the body lacks an enzyme needed for the adrenal glands to produce hormones properly. This can result in the extra production of androgen, which can cause excess hair growth in women.
  • 5. Hyperthecosis – This condition is when the ovaries produce excess male hormones.
  • 6. Some medicines – a side effect of some medications may cause excess hair growth.

Source: MedlinePlus by the National Institutes of Health
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Can laser hair removal treat excess hair caused by PCOS?
Yes! Laser hair removal is a great solution to excess hair growth caused by medical conditions such as PCOS.
PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, affects an estimated 7 million women in the U.S., many of whom go undiagnosed. PCOS creates hormone imbalances that cause many of the symptoms associated with PCOS, with common ones being irregular menstrual cycles, excess hair growth, infertility, and weight gain. When it comes to PCOS or other hormonal conditions, excess hair growth in women generally means thick hair growth in a traditionally male pattern, such as on the face, chest, stomach, or back.

While laser hair removal can help treat the excess hair growth, it’s vital that anyone with PCOS or who may have PCOS talk with their health care provider. A qualified health care provider can determine a diagnosis and discuss treatment and lifestyle changes to treat PCOS, which has been linked to the development of diabetes, stroke, and other serious conditions if left untreated. In addition to these serious consequences, if the underlying hormonal imbalance is not treated, this may also cause new hair to grow after completing a series of laser hair removal treatments.

Source: PCOS Foundation
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What is Hirsutism?
In a nutshell, hirsutism is when women grow hair in a typically male pattern, such as on the face, chest, or back caused by improper hormone levels.

What is the difference between IPL and laser?
LaserphotobyDouglasMuth
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, while laser began as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. While both devices use light to impart energy to the hair and damage the follicle, preventing future growth, the light is produced in different ways and has different characteristics.

In a laser, the light is focused through a lasing medium, usually a gem or crystal such as Alexandrite or a semi-conductor such as in a Diode laser. Lasers are tailored to specific wavelengths that will be readily absorbed by the melanin in the hair to be treated. Different types of lasers are used depending on the skin tone of the client.

IPL uses a broad spectrum of light. It has a number of applications other than hair removal, particularly for skin treatments such as acne treatment, port wine stain removal, and wrinkle reduction. It’s also important to remember that an IPL device is not a laser. A clinic that only uses an IPL device should not claim to have laser hair removal, as the two types of devices are different. Return to Top

How long has laser hair removal been around?
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first laser hair removal device in the U.S. in 1995. It was the Nd:YAG laser, which is still the laser of choice for removing hair from dark skin tones (V and VI on the Fitzpatrick Scale). Since then, laser hair removal technology has continued to evolve to include Alexandrite and Diode lasers and IPL (light-based) treatments.
Source: Skin Inc.
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What is the Fitzpatrick Scale?
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the Fitzpatrick Scale, or Fitzpatrick Skin Type, is a system for classifying skin based on genetics and response to sunlight. It was developed by Thomas Fitzpatrick, MD, of Harvard Medical School and is used for determining skin cancer risk as well as classifications for various skin treatments.

The scale ranges from I to VI, with I being the lightest and VI the darkest.
For laser hair removal, the Fitzpatrick Scale is important in helping to determine what type of laser is best for your skin and hair type to make the treatment as safe and effective as possible. Different skin tones absorb energy at different wavelengths. Lighter skin tones require a laser with a long wavelength (usually an Alexandrite or Diode laser) for maximum effectiveness, while darker skin tones require a shorter wavelength (usually Nd: YAG) so that the energy is absorbed by the hair, not the skin.

It’s important to have a face-to-face consultation before getting laser hair removal to ensure the laser is matched to your skin type. Most providers will give a brief questionnaire and examine you in person to select the right treatment for your skin. Learn more about laser hair removal equipment here. Return to Top

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