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Frequently Asked Questions

Laser Hair Removal

How many treatments does it take to clear an area?

On average 4-6 but it may take more.

Should I expect to be hair free in the treated after the series of treatments?

No, most patients experience a 80-90% reduction in the amount of hair in a given area after the series of treatments, but should not expect to be hair free.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

Laser hair removal has been in use for some time, and stable hair loss has been reported as far back as seven years, and Candela has clearance through the FDA to claim permanence. It still needs to be spoken of in terms of permanent “reduction” rather than “removal” since removal denoted 100% and that is not realistic.

Why does the hair appear to still be there, and will look like it is growing for 1-3 weeks post treatment?

The laser does not remove the hair at the time of the treatment, but the hair will fall out, or be “shed” 1-3 weeks after treatment.

Why does the laser not work well on blonde, grey, or red hair?

The laser energy interacts with the pigment in the hair root, and these hair colors either don’t have much or any pigment in them, or is of a type (pheomelanin) that does not absorb light as well as the other form of melanin (eumelanin)

Why must patients not use any form of epilation for 6 weeks prior to treatment with the Gentleyag?

The hair root has to be present for the laser to work, so if the patient has removed it with waxing, plucking, or electrolysis, then there is nothing for the laser energy to interact with.

Why must tanning be avoided 2 weeks before and after treatment?

Melanin formation in the skin as a response to sun exposure, decreases the effectiveness of the treatment, as well as makes it more likely that the patient will experience hyper pigmentation, hypo pigmentation or blistering from the treatment.

Why must the area to be treated be shaved just prior to treatment?

Surface hair, if present will be signed off, increasing the risk of a burn, as well as taking up energy that does not get to the root of the hair follicle.

Why must protective eyewear be worn by everyone in the treatment room?

The Gentleyag is a high powered laser system, and can cause eye injury if proper eyewear is not worn while the laser is used.

Can any area of the body be treated?

Yes, with the exception of eyelashes and shaping of the eyebrows due to the proximity of the eye and the danger of eye injury with the laser.

Does the laser treatment hurt?

There is a stinging sensation felt during the treatment, however most patients who have waxed or had electrolysis report that it feels less painful than those types of treatments. If you think it is too uncomfortable, we may provide a topical anesthetic prior to the treatment. Most patients have no residual pain within 20-30 minutes after treatment.

What are the possible side effects of laser hair removal?

Side effects can be blistering, hyper-pigmentation, hypo-pigmentation or scarring. Risks of these side effects are minimized if treatment instructions are closely followed by you.

How long will the treatment last?

Depending on the area to be done, the treatment could last anywhere from 1-2 minutes, to up to approximately 1 hour. Underarms, back of the neck, and bikini areas are usually treated in approximately 2-5 minutes, while large areas like full legs and full back can take up to an hour.

What will the treated area look like after treatment?

The skin in the treated area will have some erythem or redness, and the hair follicles will “welt” up, looking like goose bumps on the skin for approximately 1-2 hours, however this effect can last for up to a couple of days in some patients.

How long will it be before I notice re-growth in the treated area?

Depending on the individual, the treatment parameters, and area of the body involved, it may be anywhere from 1-2 months before any re-growth is observed.

What is a “test area”, and why is it performed?

“Test areas” are small areas of skin that are treated at various laser energy levels prior to treatment of large surface areas on the darker skin types. “Test areas” are done on darker skin types to determine the level of energy that is best for that individual. Light skin types, generally do not have test areas done, but that is determined by us.

Does insurance cover/pay for the treatment?

Probably not. This is considered a cosmetic procedure.