I treat a lot of clients who have issues with hair. Whether they are men or women, nobody wants to be hairy. Hair Removal whether laser or IPL is big business. It was the second most popular non-surgical treatment in America in the relevant statistics provided in 2008. It was second only to Botox injecting.
Unfortunately, with this huge growth industry, has come misinformation and poor treatment practices that have left a lot of people disappointed with their treatments, and believeing that the treatments don’t work. I hope by giving you a little information about correct practices, a little bit of laser physics (trust me, very basic!) and anatomy of hair, you will understand why treating within correct paramaters is so important! So Let us begin with a little anatomy.
As you can see, the light has to hit the target, the Bulge and Bulb of the hair.
The hair has 3 major phases of hair growth. The Anagen, Catagen and Telogen phase. Light therapy only works on hair during the Anagen phase, which is the growth phase of the hair, when the Bulb of the hair is sitting in the base of the follicle. This is necessary as melanin (colour) in the hair absorbs the light emmited from the IPL machine and converts it to heat and it is that heat that effects the bulb and bulge of the hair shaft. To obtain successful treatment of hair, it requires the hair bulb and bulge to be damaged. This prevents further hair growth from that follicle.
Anagen is the growth phase. It can be treated.
Catagen is the transitional phase.
Telogen is the final resting phase.
Now that you know this, it is very important that you understand that hair has all different resting or Telogan phases, and thus, it is important to treat the different parts of the body accordingly. For examples, it would be a waste of time and money to treat a man’s back hair every 4 weeks. I have added a chart for you to look at that shows the different resting times of hair on the body.
So, looking at this chart, what does it mean?
when treating facial hair, you can treat every 4-6 weeks, underarm hair, you may treat initially 4 weeks apart, but then you treat every 6-8 weeks, same with pubic areas. Legs should be treated 2-3 months apart. It may take longer to get to the expected outcome, but the outcome will be better. Remeber proof of efficiency must be judged 6 months post your last treatment to ensure natural re-growth of untreated hair. Short after periods of no hair do not prove efficiency. On Average, you will require 5-7 treatments (more if you are excessively hairy, or are male) and on 5% of the total population, no response will be noted at all!
Let me share with you some valuable information that should always be discussed with you prior to your treatment.
Regardless where you go for your treatment, you should always sign a consent form. Ensure that it is informed consent, so if you don’t understand what the practicioner is saying or offering you, then question them.
You should be asked to complete a medical questionaire that covers what medications you are on, if you have had melanoma, if you suffer from coldsores, etc. These are very important questions and effect whether we can treat you and how we treat you.
You cannot be treated if you are pregnant. Inform the practioner if you are trying to conceive.
You cannot be treated if you have a spray tan on.
You cannot be treated if you have been sunbaking.
If you have grey or white hair, you cannot be treated.
You should not go into the sun post treatment and if you have had your facial hair treated, ensure that you use good sun protection.
It should be discussed that you need 5-8 treatments and that you can only shave between treatments.
Finally it is important that you understand that it is IMPOSSIBLE to remove all hair. While you are living and breathing, your body will continue to grow hair. Don’t get me wrong, there are clients out there who respond amazingly to this treatment and most of their hair goes (I am one of them!), but we are the minority.
I am currently in the process of looking into a new machine that treats white and grey hair through ultrasound waves. They state that there is an 85% success rate. As this is very new technology, I will research it a little further, and let you know my findings!
If you are interested in coming and talking to me about a treatment. Call Perfectly Smooth on (07) 3161 8408