As lockdown eases, we are beginning to catch up on the long list of beauty appointments we missed. As well as rebooking your haircut, manicure, spray tan, facials and eyebrow threading appointments, laser hair removal might be top of your list. With laser hair removal, it is important you are consistent with your sessions and top up your treatments every 4-6 weeks, depending on skin type and treatment area. But where does that leave you when appointments were halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic? Are your previous sessions still effective or do you have to start again? To help you understand more about what happens when you miss your laser hair removal appointment, we spoke to laser specialist at Candela Medical, Hamish McNair, who shares his advice.
What is laser hair removal?
There are two technologies trusted by aesthetic treated providers to deliver optimal hair removal results. One is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment and the other is Laser Hair Removal. IPL and Laser share similarities in that they both use light to heat and destroy their targets. But unlike IPL which uses a broad spectrum of light that can be filtered and used to treat several conditions, lasers use a single wavelength (colour) of light which matches just one chromophore. This means that it is a more targeted approach than IPL, treating just one skin condition or skin type.
Laser Hair Removal is a great treatment for anyone seeking long-lasting hair removal. Best of all, the sessions are fast and no more painful than a light pinch on the skin. You can resume your normal activities immediately after treatment, and it is a comfortable experience for many. When undergoing treatment, you might feel slight heat in the area, but most laser hair machines like the Nordlys, have a real-time cooling system that protects your skin. The laser specialist will deliver a series of light snaps across the treatment area until covered, and then you will come back after 4-6 weeks for repeat sessions.
Is this a permanent hair removal method?
None of these methods will remove all unwanted hair permanently. Rather, the correct term is ‘Permanent Hair Reduction’. Most hair growth is driven by hormones, so if the balance of hormones changes this can lead to stimulation of hair follicles resulting in new hair growth. For example, polycystic ovary syndrome, an overactive thyroid, pregnancy, or menopause can all affect hair growth.
How often should laser hair removal sessions be spaced out? Why?
Most people seeking long term hair reduction will require 4-10 sessions, depending on their hair colour and skin type. Before your session, you will consult with the specialist to ensure your laser treatment is delivered as safely and effectively as possible.
In the clinic, we use the Nordlys device on our clients where the patient will need to come in every 4-6 weeks (depending on the area of the body) in which only the hair in the anagen stage (growth cycle) will successfully be damaged. In between treatments patients can shave which encourages the damaged follicle shed.
What should I do if I miss a session?
Don’t panic, and don’t give up on your hair removal journey. Once your treatment restarts, you will see results quickly again, so you don’t need to be worried. If you have missed any sessions, it is important to call your provider and reschedule your appointment as soon possible.
If you have had a long break in treatments due to the Coronavirus pandemic, you may see regrowth in hormonal areas such as the face. On non-hormonal areas, depending on the amount of sessions you have had so far, you should not see too much hair regrowth. Your missed treatments can be made up during the follow up treatments, which may be spaced shorter to give the client optimum results. Talk to your skin clinic and discuss applying a different regimen to your laser hair removal journey. They should be accommodating and be able to assist you in rescheduling your laser hair appointments.
This piece was brought to you by the experts at candelamedical.com/uk