“I have had laser, so why do I still have hair?” ask many women

Did you know that there are a few factors that can prevent you from getting your desired results? Certain conditions and medications can interrupt or prevent you from achieving optimal results.

If you have had unsuccessful laser treatments or if you are in the process of completing your course of laser or are even considering laser, read on for all the ins and outs of the trade.

Tzvia Hermann of The Laser Beautique tells us more…

Do’s and don’ts before your laser treatment

  • Whilst you are undergoing your laser treatment and in between laser, do not wax, pluck, bleach or mechanically remove the hair from the root in any way. During laser treatments you can and should shave. This is lucky as you can be silky smooth all the time. Unlike when waxing, you need to let the hair grow. 
  • Don’t shave the day of your treatment. When you shave you remove the first layer of your skin. This will make you sensitive.
  • Don’t have your laser the week of your menstrual cycle, again you are more sensitive during this time.
  • Don’t go for a massage a day before your laser, or do not use oils or oily moisturisers. If oil is sitting on your skin and then you have laser, it will hurt. 
  • Do have your laser treatments every 4-6 weeks as its proven that you should have hair in the right phase of growth (anagen phase).
  • Don’t laser when you are pregnant or lactating as with most medical procedures and medication, laser has not been tested. 
  • Do wear sunblock with SPF 30 or higher if you are planning to be in the sun within a week of your treatment.
  • Don’t go on any tanning beds or get sunburned. 

Do’s and don’ts during your laser treatments

  • Do wear the protective eyewear they provide for you, this is for your own safety.
  • Do not bring your kids or friends into the treatment room. They too will need glasses and the therapist usually only has 2 pairs. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions or speak up if something is uncomfortable during the treatment. Your technician is there to help you, so make sure you let them know how you’re feeling or ask if there is something you don’t understand. 
  • Do communicate with the technician regarding how you are feeling. If it’s painful, you must speak up. If it’s not painful it doesn’t mean it’s not working! 
  • Do try and keep still. The handpiece needs to be flush on your skin whilst treatment is in progress, if you suddenly move, it could cause discomfort. 
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After your laser hair removal treatment

  • Once the treatment is done, do continue caring for your skin properly to ensure you don’t have irritated skin or other problems. You can expect to have temporary redness that should disappear in 24 hours. 
  • Do use a restorative gel provided by the technician after treatment. You may also want to get more for a few days after the treatment to minimize redness or other irritation, speed healing and prepare skin for your next treatment.
  • Don’t expose the area to the sun for a week after treatment or take hot baths and showers, or sit in a sauna for one or two days after the treatment. 
  • Do follow all post-treatment instructions to ensure you have the best possible results.

What you need to know…

Laser NOT IPL

Firstly, you need to ensure that you are going to a reputable laser clinic who have the correct technology. IPL is not laser. Many clinics and salons are selling lPL and calling it laser. As in legal jargon “buyer beware”. If you have been treated with IPL and you thought you were having laser hair removal, this is probably the reason why you have not seen the desired results. IPL is not the best technology for hair removal. In fact, we have noticed that IPL simply weakens the hair and then its harder to laser successfully. 

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Trained therapist

Secondly, you need to make sure the therapist that is treating you is full trained. There are many reputable laser clinics out there but just as in every industry, there are many irresponsible service providers who don’t invest in training their staff. One can have the best laser or tools in the world. If they don’t know how to use the laser, results will be poor. 

Can only laser dark hair successfully

Thirdly, if the hair you are wanting to remove is light, blonde, ginger, grey or white hair, laser will not be effective! Laser is only effective on dark hair. If you have unsightly embarrassing light hair, we can successfully treat you with our Apilus device. This is not a laser. This is new generation, speedy and virtually pain free electrolysis device. 

Internal factors

There are biological factors that could influence your results with laser hair removal. If you have a hormonal issue/imbalance (e.g. PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and the hormones are not stable you will not have great results. Heredity can play a factor in the results as well. We do not recommend anyone with an untreated hormonal issue do laser hair removal.

Simply get your gynae to assist you regulate your hormones and you can then start you laser journey. Keep in mind, you may need to have a few more treatments for desired results. Laser only treats the hair, it doesn’t influence your hormones or any internal factors. 

In some cases, one can develop an additional condition known as Hirsutism – the excessive growth of facial hair in women caused by having a higher count of androgens – which is a male hormone. 

During menopause woman also go through change in hormones, this change can cause an increase in facial hair. This hair is usually light, grey, or white. We recommend Apilus treatment for permanent results. 

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Medications

Certain medications or supplements can cause an increase in hair growth or the opposite – hair loss. Some of these medications can also cause sun sensitivity that can in return also cause light sensitivity in laser. It is best to either avoid these medications or supplements when it comes to the laser.

Do consult with your doctor if any of the medication mentioned would be in the way for when you do decide to do laser hair removal. A list of supplements, as well as medication, are listed below:

  • Anabolic steroids – more commonly known as anabolic-androgenic steroids. It contains natural and synthetic androgens that have similar effects as testosterone.
  • Glucocorticoids – are classified or in a class of corticosteroids, otherwise known as a hormone steroid.
  • Cyclosporine – is an immuno-suppressant medication and is natural as well.
  • Minoxidil – is a medication for hair loss.
  • Danazol – is a medication used to treat endometriosis, fibrocystic breast disease, or hereditary angioedema. The use of these medications can lead to masculinising side effects like acne, excessive hair growth, and some voice deepening.
  • Phenytoin is an anti-seizure medication. It is useful for the prevention of tonic-clonic and focal seizures, but not absence seizures
  • Supplements containing Vitamin A, E, D, Biotin, and Iron can stimulate hair growth.

Side effects

Did you know that there is a very rare side effect from laser – known as paradoxical hypertrichosis. This is a possibility that some clients can develop this condition, but the chances are 0,6%!

This is the one side effect that causes an increase in hair growth after a few sessions of laser hair removal. 

External factors

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but as mentioned above, if you have light hair (red, blond, white or gray) it will not give you any successful results with laser hair removal.

Let’s sum this up!

You will need to make sure: 

  • You are going to a reputable clinic or salon
  • Correct technology either a Diode, ND yag or Alexandrite. IPL is not laser 
  • The hair is pigmented or dark 
  • You do not suffer from any hormonal issues 
  • You are not taking any medications that stimulate hair growth 

It’s important to understand that laser hair removal is different for everyone. Laser is a medical treatment. With any medical treatment, there is no hard or fast rules.

Everyone should need between 8-12 treatments. Hair grows in different cycles and at different rates, so one treatment won’t rid you of all your unwanted hair. 

For more tips and to get started on your laser hair removal treatment or electrolysis go right ahead to the Laser Beautique web page, and while you are at it, request a free consultation!! www.thelaserbeautique.co.za