Laser Hair Removal FAQs

Laser Hair Removal, Wirral, UK

Is laser hair removal safe? 

We can vouch for the Polaris laser we use as being 100% safe, but it is difficult to assess other types of equipment. We use a long-pulsed Nd YAG laser which penetrates the skin to the level of the follicle without having any ill-effects to the surrounding areas. Hair removal lasers have been in use since 1997 and are approved by the FDA.

Is laser hair removal permanent?
Although by law one is not allowed to say ‘permanent’, the clients who were treated 15 years ago are still clear of unwanted hair. A client can tell how much reduction was achieved from a course of treatments after waiting 6–12 months from their last treatment. Any hair that grows after this period is new hair that the body can develop due to numerous factors such as age, diet, hormonal changes and medical conditions such as PCOS. Clients who experience new growth later in life can get follow-up treatments.

In order to achieve 100% clearance of hair in any one area, some people may need to follow up laser treatments with electrolysis to remove any remaining finer hairs. Electrolysis is the only other proven permanent hair removal method, which involves treating one hair at a time, and is a good option for smaller areas where precision is necessary (like eyebrows or upper lip).

How does laser hair removal feel during the treatment?
Generally, laser hair removal is no more painful than waxing, though the sensation is different. Each pulse lasts for only a second, and the sensation is only felt whilst the laser is targeting the skin, and doesn’t last.

What are the effects of laser hair removal?
Any after-effects soon remedy themselves in approximately 30–60 minutes and can include itching, tingling or redness, and erythema which are quite normal on darker skins.

What areas do you treat for laser hair removal?
Any areas except inner ear, inner nose and men’s genital areas.

Is laser hair removal suitable for Asian / Afro Caribbean / dark skin tones?
Our laser is very suited and extremely successful for these types of skin.

Is laser hair removal suitable for blonde / grey / white hair?
Very pale blonde, red, grey or white hair is not suitable for laser. For these tones we would recommend electrolysis.

Does my age affect the results of laser hair removal treatment?
Age does not affect the results for laser hair removal.

Hair removal for men
Back and chest hair are the most popular areas that men wish to clear, followed by the face. Due to the hormone Testosterone in men, the clearance rate may take a little longer but the outcome will still be achieved, the same as it does with women. The back or chest may take up to one hour, but a free-of-charge consultation will give you a more accurate estimate. Facial areas usually take only 10 minutes.

How many treatments of laser hair removal will I need?
The number of treatments of laser hair removal required depends on the colour and thickness of hair in relation to the colour of skin. Dark thick hair on pale skin will have the quickest clearance. Most people need anything in the region of 5–8 treatments to clear the hair, at intervals of 3–4 weeks.

Because hair grows in cycles, several sessions are necessary in order to affect all hair on any given area. Hair cycle lengths vary depending on the body part. Facial areas usually requires more frequent treatments whereas legs and the back need less frequent. The shedding all treated hair should be expected within 2 weeks of each treatment. Sometimes, shedding doesn’t start until about 10 days after the session. Once the hair sheds, patients should experience a hair-free period for a short time. Once new hair grows again, clients should come in for their next session. Clients should continue treatments until remaining hairs are too fine for laser to target, or until they’ve reached their desired reduction. The hair that doesn’t shed and is growing as usual after 2 weeks has been not affected due to the growth cycle.

What is involved in the free laser consultation and patch test?
The free laser consultation and patch test takes approx 20–30 minutes and includes a thorough check on medical history and an explanation of how hair removal with laser works. A patch test is then carried out on the skin to enable you to monitor the effects, before making any decision to proceed.

Which type of hair removal laser will work for me?
Currently, there are three popular types of hair removal lasers made by various manufacturers: Alexandrite, Diode, and Nd:YAG. Intense Pulse Light systems (IPLs) are also used for hair removal. Different devices can be used on different skin types* for best results:

  • TYPE I: Highly sensitive, always burns, never tans. e.g. red hair with freckles or Albino.
  • TYPE II: Very sun-sensitive, burns easily, tans minimally. e.g. fair-skinned, fair-haired Caucasians.
  • TYPE III: Sun-sensitive skin, sometimes burns, slowly tans to light brown. e.g. darker Caucasians, European mix. • TYPE IV: Minimally sun-sensitive, burns minimally, always tans to moderate brown. e.g. Mediterranean, European, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian.
  • TYPE V: Sun-insensitive skin, rarely burns, tans well. e.g. Hispanics, Afro-American, Middle Eastern.
  • TYPE VI: Sun-insensitive, never burns, deeply pigmented. e.g. Afro-American, African, Middle Eastern.

Nd:YAG lasers (such as Polaris, which is what we use) are best for all skin types, especially IV and darker and will not affect the surrounding tissue. Nd:YAG are the only type of laser that should be used on skin types V and darker; using any other types of lasers on this type of skin can result in burns if they are used at settings that disable the hair permanently.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) machines are not lasers. These machines use a highly concentrated beam of traditional incoherent light, often in conjunction with a cream or gel, to burn the hair shaft. These systems lack the laser’s ability to produce a selective bandwidth of light that will only affect the hair shaft (selective photothermolysis). IPLs produce a wide bandwidth of light that can heat up all of the surrounding tissue, making it less effective in disabling hair and putting the patient at a higher risk for burns, especially on darker skin. IPL devices are generally cheaper than laser devices. Generally, true hair removal lasers (alexandrite, diode, and ND:Yag types) tend to achieve better and faster results than IPLs.

*Using the Fitzpatrick Skin Chart classification system for skin typing, based on a person’s response to sun exposure in terms of the degree of burning and tanning the individual experienced.