Most areas on the body and face can be treated with Laser Hair Removal: chin, upper lip, cheeks, legs, arms, underarms and back – as well as sensitive areas like the ears, nose, chest and bikini line. Ingrowing hairs, recurrent pilonidal sinus or simply unsightly or unwanted terminal hair may all be treated by lasers or IPLs.
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What does the treatment do?
Actively growing hair follicles will be permanently destroyed, so that the end result is permanent hair reduction. Laser hair removal works best on dark hair because it contains more pigment to absorb the laser light. Fair hair and red hair can respond but white hairs will not, since this hair colour contains little or no pigment. Electrolysis is available for these. Applying pigment to the hairs makes no difference and does not give any better results.
A rough guide is an average of 4-6 sessions over a 12-month period. The exact number will vary between individuals.
The treatment relies on the absorption of the laser light by the pigment in the hair shaft to produce a rise in temperature to damage the follicle. Treatment may be painful and require a topical local anaesthetic to make it tolerable. We use a range of equipment across clinics, for example in Stratum Clinics Oxford we use the Zimmer CRYO Forced Air Cooling System for this and other laser treatments to help relief discomfort.
Your outcome depends on a number of variables and cannot be guaranteed. Therefore, we often test the treatment on you and only proceed with a treatment programme if the outcome of these is satisfactory.
We normally expect patients to require three ‘induction’ treatments at 6-8 week intervals and three ‘consolidation’ treatments at three monthly intervals. This spreads the treatment out over a year at the end of which, in appropriate cases, there is an 80% chance of achieving an 80% reduction in hair growth. Thereafter maintenance treatments can be undertaken as necessary. In patients for whom laser assisted hair reduction isn’t appropriate we can advise on other hair control measures which may be of benefit.
Frequently asked questions
You should stop plucking, waxing or threading 2-3 weeks prior to treatment and change to shaving, cutting the hair or use depilatory creams. Ideally hair should be about 1mm long for treatment. It is important that you do not have a suntan during the laser treatment – whether natural or artificial.