Spectrum Laser Center offers the latest technology with the Cynosure Vectus Laser System. The laser machine has the ability to treat women with all skin types, from the fair-skinned who burn easily with the sun to the dark-skinned who never burn. The skin type is determined with a melanin-reader device so that the perfect laser setting is administered for your specific skin type.
The laser has a cooling component so that the heat energy is removed from the skin instantly, making the procedure comfortable and gentle. It also has the largest optic in the industry so large areas such as the legs, back and chest can be treated in 20 minutes or less.
Most laser removal clinics are staffed with technicians or nurses. At Spectrum, all treatments are performed by Dr. Allison Hill, a board-certified physician. With Dr. Hill’s expertise, the laser will be used for the best possible outcome and fewest side effects.
About Laser Hair Removal
Hair growth cycles:
Hair grows in cycles. When the hair is attached to its root, it is in the “anagen” phase. At any given time, about 20-25% of hairs are in this phase. As the hair grows, it detaches from its root, which is called the “catagen” phase. When the hair is ready to be shed, it is in the “telogen” phase. Then the cycle starts again. Each hair cycle takes 2 – 5 months to complete.
How do lasers work:
Laser hair removal uses light energy to destroy the root of a hair. The beam of light is absorbed by the melanin, the colored pigment in the hair. The energy from the light travels down the hair under the skin to its root. Because the energy is high, the root is destroyed and the hair cannot grow back.
Lasers can only remove hair while it is attached to the root, in the “anagen” phase. Therefore, with one treatment, you will lose 20-25% of the hair in that area. Treatments are usually done every 4-8 weeks, depending on the hair growth pattern in that body area. At each visit, another 20% will be removed. Most areas require 4 – 6 treatments in order to attain optimal results. Treatments last a few minutes for small areas like the upper lip and chin, 5 – 7 minutes for areas like the full bikini, and 20 -25 minutes for large areas like the legs, back and chest.
Does it hurt?
Laser treatment is gentle and nearly pain-free. The laser beam feels like a pinch on the skin. In areas where the hair is dark, coarse, or thick, more sensation may be felt. The pinch lasts just for a second and may feel like a rubber band being snapped on the skin. In some areas, there is no pinching feeling at all. After treatment, the area may be sensitive or itchy.
An anesthetic cream is available for use if you are nervous about the discomfort. Most people don’t require it, but if you are sensitive, please ask about this option. The cream will be applied by Dr. Hill twenty minutes prior to the procedure.
Benefits over waxing:
Laser hair removal is permanent while waxing needs to be done every few weeks.
Laser treatments should be done on shaved skin. Waxing requires that the hair grow out between appointments, leaving that “in-between” phase for many days of the month.
Laser treatment is less expensive. For example, a Brazilian wax may cost $50 per session so you can spend $600 if you do it monthly for a year. Laser treatment for the same area costs under $475, and will last for years.
Waxing is associated with painful ingrown hairs as the hair pushes back up through the skin. With laser, the hair from that follicle will never regrow.
Waxing hurts! The procedure rips the hair from the root while laser treatments feel like a mild pinch on the skin. Some treatments are not felt at all.
Who can’t use laser treatment:
If you have an active sunburn or recent sun exposure (within the last 2 weeks)
If there is a tattoo in the treatment area
If you are a current or recent user of Accutane
If you are a current user of blood thinners or immune suppression medication
If you are pregnant
If you have open lesions or sores on the skin
If you have grey or white hair
If the treatment area is within the bony orbit of the eye (no eyebrows)
How to prepare for an appointment:
Do not pluck, wax, or tweeze hair for at least 3 weeks prior to treatment. When the hair is removed in these ways, it is detached from the root and the laser will not be effective.
Avoid the sun for 3 – 4 weeks prior to treatment.
Shave the hair close to the skin on the day before or day of the appointment.
Post treatment instructions:
Mild redness and swelling is common during the first 2 – 24 hours.
You may use Motrin, Advil, ibuprofen or Tylenol for discomfort.
Aloe vera or cooling packs can be used.
Until the redness resolves, you should avoid hot tubs, strenuous exercise, and cosmetics.
You should avoid the sun for 1 – 2 weeks or use sunscreen with SPF 45 or greater.
You can shower or bathe as usual.
The treated hair will fall out in 1 – 2 weeks. You can use a wash cloth or loofa to help the process.
You may shave between treatments but you should avoid waxing, tweezing or plucking.
Some hair may be resistant to the effects of the laser. It may grow back after a year or so, but will be finer and lighter. It may cause temporary skin irritation or pigment changes. Rarely, laser can cause blistering and scarring.