With the upswing in people seeking laser hair removal, it’s only natural that aesthetic procedure providers and entrepreneurs have been taking interest in and asking questions about the increasingly popular treatment. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a master list of laser hair removal frequently asked questions: all you need to know about laser hair removal, all in one place.
Why do patients opt for laser hair removal?
The presence of unwanted hair, whether on the upper lip, hands, feet, bikini area, or back, legs, and arms, is a top source of cosmetic anguish in the United States. Many are tired of having to repeatedly remove unwanted hair through tedious and painful methods such as shaving, waxing, and tweezing. In response, the demand for light-based permanent hair reduction has skyrocketed.
Who can get laser hair removal?
Women and men alike. Most women seek to remove hair from their underarms, bikini lines, and legs, while men are more interested in treating hair on their backs and necks.
When hair removal lasers were initially introduced, the procedure was originally intended for patients with light skin and dark hairs. However, newer technologies, like Astanza systems, safely and effectively treat patients of all skin types and hair colors.
What’s the standard procedure like?
During treatment, a light-based system emits bright flashes of light into the skin where the unwanted hair resides. The hair follicles absorb the light energy, heat up, and become damaged. Each pulse of light energy takes a matter of seconds and treats multiple hairs at once, making this procedure very quick and easy to perform. Treatments can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated. Astanza hair removal systems feature larger treatment heads for faster treatment sessions.
Because hair grows in different stages, multiple treatments are needed to target the hair follicles during their growth phase. Most patients need at least 4 to 6 treatments to see permanent, long-lasting results. Touch-ups may be required over time. Patients should see results after the first treatment – their hairs will grow back finer and weaker and the skin will become smoother. Results will become more noticeable and impressive with each additional treatment until all follicles are destroyed, successfully stopping continuous hair growth.
How does it work? What’s the science behind it?
Laser hair removal works by destroying the root of the hair follicle. During treatment, flashes of light are distributed over the skin and absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle. The energy from the laser heats up and damages the hair follicle, successfully stunting the cells that stimulate regrowth. It is important to note that hair grows in a cycle, and that hair removal is only effective during the active growth stage.
Every hair goes through three stages of growth: the anagen phase, catagen phase, and telogen phase. The anagen phase, also known as the growth stage, is the duration in which your hair actively continues to grow. The catagen phase, also known as the transitional phase, is when the hair follicle shrinks and detaches from the papilla, a structure at the base of the follicle. The telogen phase, also known as the resting phase, is when the old hair is released and falls out. When the old hair sheds, the hair follicle re-attaches to the papilla and re-enters the anagen phase, repeating the cycle.
Each hair in your body can be at a different stage in the growth cycle at any given time. Thus, to target the hair during the anagen phase, multiple laser treatments are necessary to target the numerous hair follicles during their growth stage.
What kind of results can patients expect?
Most patients require 5 to 8 treatments spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart to achieve desired results. With Astanza technology, virtually every patient – no matter their skin or hair type – can receive long-lasting removal results for unwanted hair. Patients with lighter hair may require more treatments than others, but will still see effective results by the end of their treatments.
Most patients need 6 to 12 treatments to achieve permanent hair reduction results. Treatments are spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart to target follicles during the growth stage. Regardless of the technology being used, patients will experience results at different rates, depending on their skin type and hair color.
How much are treatments?
Hair removal pricing varies by state, clinic, competitive market, and the size of the area being treated. According to a 2017 cosmetology blog by Beauty Pros, the US national average price range was as follows: Low $60, Average $329, High $900.
Most clinics base per treatment pricing on the size of the area being treated. This is a common pricing method that is also used in the laser tattoo removal industry. Similarly, hair removal clinics also provide special treatment packages and bundles to help patients save more on multiple treatment plans and receive treatment on multiple parts of the body.
Astanza has written a more detailed blog on hair removal treatment pricing that can be read here.
Does laser hair removal save patients money?
Laser hair removal saves patients time, pain, and money. A recent article by Harper’s Bazaar compared the cost of 3 sessions of hair removal to 35 years of continuous waxing. The results showed that laser hair removal is less than a third of the cost of waxing.
What are the types of light-based hair removal?
The two main technologies used for permanent hair reduction are lasers (diode) and intense pulsed light (IPL) systems. Astanza offers both IPL (ReVive) and diode (ReSmooth) laser hair removal technologies that are trusted by practitioners and patients worldwide.
What’s the difference between laser and IPL treatment?
Lasers produce a single, concentrated wavelength of light to specifically target melanin in the hair. Diode technology typically uses a wavelength around 800 nm to 810 nm. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) produces a wide spectrum of light, around 550 nm to 1200 nm, rather than one specific wavelength to target melanin in the hair. Otherwise, both treatments target hair efficiently to generate optimal results and essentially work in the same way.