Laser Hair Removal: FAQs
Updated: Apr 12
Dreaming of that fabulous summer holiday and a stubble-free bod to go with it? Then you should consider laser hair removal but...you need to act now! With that in mind, we have written this article to answer all the most frequent questions we get asked in-clinic about the dos and don'ts of laser hair removal:
How does Laser Hair Removal work?
The science behind laser hair removal is simple: laser technology uses powerful light pulses to selectively destroy hair follicles by targeting the melanin in them. The follicle's pigment absorbs the light pulse thus damaging the follicle enough to significantly slow down hair regrowth. At The Otto Clinic we use the Alexandrite Nd:YAG sytem. This device can be used all over the body and is especially good for eradicating excessive hair growth in the facial, armpit and bikini regions. Click on the link to see a laser hair removal treatment in progress: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t98MSC06YL0
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?
In a word yes! Our laser procedures are non-invasive and offer the safest route to permanently removing unwanted hair available in the market. At The Otto Clinic, we use the Alexandrite Nd:YAG which is, in our opinion, the best laser hair removal machine and is FDA approved. Additionally the Alexandrite Nd:YAG's dual wavelength system allows it to safely and effectively treat the darkest skin tones and darkest hairs - the Nd:YAG laser has a long wavelength which is highly sensitive to all colour and melanin, meaning it can penetrate hair follicles more precisely without damaging surrounding tissue. This laser technology is one of the fastest, safest and most effective laser machines available.
Why Do I Need More Than One Session?
The Alexandrite Nd:YAG sytem targets only hair follicles which are currently active or growing. Subsequent treatments are usually required to eliminate previously exhausted or resting follicles once they resume growth. Generally, we would advise approximately 6 treatments as hairs have a growth phase, a resting and a falling-out phase, hence the need for multiple sessions to ensure that all follicles are targeted for optimum results.
How Long Between Sessions?
Our therapists generally recommend waiting 3-8 weeks between sessions for hair removal so that your skin has time to repair the cells - the same area can then be treated again if necessary. Again this is dependent on your skin type and will be determined during the consultation.
Why Shave Before Laser Hair Removal?
Shaving the area is recommended 1-2 days before your laser treatment. This removes hair above the skin (that would otherwise burn during treatment and possibly result in surface skin damage), while ensuring that the hair shaft remains intact below the surface so that your therapist can treat it. Never wax before a laser hair removal session.
Laser Hair Removal Before and After:
The main dos and don'ts of laser hair removal are fairly straightforward:
Do: shave 1-2 days before your treatment but not on the day of treatment (skin will be too sensitive) and exfoliate skin 3-4 days post treatment to avoid ingrown hairs.
Don't: wax or tweeze hairs before laser hair removal - if you do, there will be no follicle for the laser beam to target. And don't use tanning beds or go out in the sun for 2 weeks prior to starting laser hair removal or 2 weeks after the final treatment - if you do, you risk causing skin pigmentation.
How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?
Laser hair removal is permanent but you must follow the recommended course of treatments. When you come to The Otto Clinic for your free consultation, your therapist will discuss the recommended programme with you based on your skin type/colour. Normally 6 sessions are recommended to achieve permanent hair removal.
Does Laser Hair Removal Work on All Skin Types?
The Alexandrite Nd:YAG device contains two laser systems. This allows it to effectively target different skin/hair types and colours, including the darkest skin tones. Even with a combination of dark skin and hair, the Nd:YAG laser can precisely penetrate hair follicles without damaging surrounding tissue to eliminate unwanted hair.
Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For Face?
This treatment is perfectly safe for use on the face however we never use it on the eyelid or around the eyes generally and patients are required to wear protective lenses during treatment.
Is Laser Hair Removal painful?
During treatment, skin is held taut and treated with the laser and although it may sound really painful, this particular laser has a special treatment tip to keep the surface of your skin cool. The treatment is virtually pain-free and many of our clients say that it is less painful than waxing or using an epilator.
How Soon Will I see Results?
Many patients notice results after 1-2 sessions but it is necessary to complete the full course (decided at consultation) in order to achieve best results.
Is Laser Hair Removal worth the expense?
While the initial cost of laser hair removal may seem expensive, it is in fact great value when you consider some of the points below:
According to a recent study, the average woman spends 8 weeks of her life shaving!
Skin may not respond well to shaving e.g. ingrown hairs and spots
Little red bumps on your bikini line are not the look you're trying to achieve on the beach
Waxing is great for about two days until hair starts to show again
Waxing is expensive especially if you do it every month
Are At-Home Laser Devices Worth Trying?
Anybody can buy a laser device to use at home now, however we strongly advise caution as you can do serious damage to your skin if you’re double- or triple pulsing areas. Often people don't realise that this can cause pigmentation and subsequently leads to more serious skin problems.
How much does Laser Hair Removal Cost?
This depends on the clinic and on the area or areas to be treated. The Otto Clinic which is one of the leading laser clinics in Limerick, currently has a special offer (until March 31st 2019) which includes full leg, bikini line and underarm for €1299 for 6 sessions which is normally the number of sessions needed for permanent hair removal. And as summer is fast approaching, this is the ideal package to get yourself beach-ready! If you're feeling follically challenged, call us now on 061 317678 or for further information about laser hair removal, check out https://www.theottoclinic.ie/permanent-laser-hair-removal