Hair today, gone tomorrow

If I prayed as much as I plucked,” talk show veteran Kathie Lee Gifford wrote in her memoir, “I’d be the Dalai Lama.” Fortunately, today’s laser treatments open up much more time for nonplucking pursuits. The advances in laser hair removal that have occurred over the last 20 years allow us to put aside the tweezers — for good.

Since the early lasers of the 1990s, the technology has been refined so that there is a range of options, suitable for all skin tones and hair types — and with increasing power to reduce hair permanently from those places we don’t want it.

Lasers work by damaging the hair follicle, which is completely different from the superficial and temporary removal achieved by plucking, waxing or shaving.

The range of today’s laser hair removal options makes it more important than ever that patients are fully informed. Laser technology available at Advanced Dermatology PC includes the Ellman Cheveux II Diode, the Apogee, the GentleLASE, the Gemini, the Lyra and the Soprano — each with varied characteristics best suited to different clients’ needs.

To understand the latest laser hair removal options, I’ve provided answers to common questions: 

Why choose lasers and not electrolysis? Studies on laser hair removal underscore the overwhelming levels of satisfaction, with rates of almost 100 percent for people who choose lasers for hair removal. That’s nearly 30 percentage points higher than electrolysis. Lasers can treat a much more extensive area, much more quickly, and can also achieve long-lasting results.

Which laser is right for me? At this point, there are many different laser options. These options allow for a personalized approach, depending on a client’s skin tone and hair type, as well as the area to be treated. The growing range of options makes it especially important to work with an experienced technician who can explain the choices and recommend the most effective laser hair treatment for you. 

Why do I need more than one treatment? Lasers work by damaging growing hair follicles. Because our hair follicles’ growth cycles vary, multiple treatments are needed so that all of the follicles in a given area are treated during their early growing period. At this point, advances in laser technology allow us to achieve results with fewer treatments — typically in five to nine sessions. The number of sessions varies depending on individual characteristics, including hair type and treatment area. It’s important for clients to talk with their technician to gain a clear understanding of how many sessions may be needed for optimal results. 

How much does it hurt and how long does it take? Part of the attraction of laser hair removal is everything it’s not. It’s not invasive, it’s not painful and it’s not time-consuming. The time required for the procedure is quite short. A small area, such as above the lip, takes minutes, while a larger area like the back takes longer. The ability to treat multiple hair follicles quickly is part of the advantage of laser hair removal.  

What is the recovery time? People are able to return to their regular routine immediately. There may be some redness and tenderness, but that will quickly fade.

Laser treatments free people from the need to spend ongoing time taking care of unwanted hair, allowing them to devote their efforts to other aesthetic goals.

– Kelly Dunning

Kelly Dunning is a skin care consultant and medical laser technician for the Simply Posh Aesthetic Spa, a division of the metro area’s Advanced Dermatology PC and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery. She has been practicing skin care for seven years and is now pursuing a degree in nursing and a nurse practitioner masters. Kelly is also a certified holistic health coach and massage therapist. Kelly’s specialties include microneedling, CoolScultping, eyebrow microblading and laser hair removal. For more, visit simplyposh.com.

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