How does laser hair removal work?

Pulses of  concentrated light penetrate the skin searching for dark matter (melanin) in the area that causes

hair growth, the follicle, while not heating or damaging  the rest of the skin. The heat from the light is

absorbed by the pigment in hair follicle and damages it enough to disable it from producing hair. Lasers hair

removal can last for anywhere from several months to years, as the results differ widely from person to

person.

 

 

Why should I choose you over a clinic?

You get the same technician every time, personalized service, and more privacy.

 
 
Do you treat women and men?

Yes, both women and men are welcome.

 

 

My hair is very light. Will the laser still work?

Laser hair removal works best for people with light skin and dark hair. Since the laser light searches for

pigment it is most effective when the difference between the skin and the hair colour is the greatest. As the

colour of hair and skin get closer together the effectiveness reduces however a good laser technician with a good laser can still obtain great results in most cases. It may take a little longer (more treatments) to successfully disable hair follicles with lighter hair.  Each case is different and we will discuss your situation and likely outcome during the initial consultation.

 

 

My skin is quite dark. Will the laser still work?

Yes, the Alma Soprano laser has been approved for use on all skin types, including dark skin. Do be careful as not all lasers are safe for use on dark skin. For dark skin the settings of the laser are adjusted to a lower energy intensity. This ensures the skin is not burned, but because the  energy is lower intensity it takes more time to apply enough of it to a specific area, which means the treatments are longer and you may need more of them.  Again, each case is different and we will discuss your situation and likely outcome during the initial consultation.

 

 

Will it work on grey hair?

Unfortunately laser hair removal will not work on grey hair simply because they no longer have any pigment for the laser to target.  

 
 
I have moles on my skin. Is the laser still safe?

Yes, in almost all cases this laser is safe to use on moles. If the moles are very big the technician can simply go around them.

 
 
I have tattoos on my body. Can I go ahead with a laser hair removal?

Lasers should not be used on your tattoo.  Depending upon the type of laser used for hair removal, this could cause the tattoo to fade or even be partially removed. It is also true that more heat can be absorbed into the skin in that highly pigmented tattoo area and it is possible to have burns and scarring since the laser targets pigment.

 

That is why I do everything to avoid the area where tattoo is located, shielding it from the laser light.

 

 

Will it hurt?

The Alma Soprano laser is new, gold standard technology. Because its InMotion technology is spread over a bigger and continuously changing area, there is no pain from the laser light energy.  You should not feel any burning or pinching like with older lasers that use a stamping method, nor should you experience any blistering or scarring from this laser. It is so gentle that unlike some other lasers no numbing gels are needed. I just use a regular gel like the ones for ultrasounds  to eliminate any friction.

 

In more sensitive areas (more bony parts) you may feel the pressure of the laser sliding on your skin.  Depending on your sensitivity this may begin to feel uncomfortabgle during your sesion. To reduce this discomfort I try to apply as little pressure as possible while still maintaining the required laser/skin contact. In the other, softer areas, the sensation of the laser sliding is very pleasant and relaxing to an extend that some people do fall asleep.

 

 

How hot does it get?

You will feel anything from no heat at all, nice warmth, up to the heat of a hot stone massage. Most people feel heat similar to that of the sun on your skin on a warm summer day.

 
 
How do I prepare?

Protect your skin from the sun for two weeks before your appointment. Tans, while still

safe, reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. It is very important to be honest and

notify the technician if you were exposed to the sun for a longer period of time less

than two weeks before your appointment. In such case the laser settings have to be

adjusted accordingly to be safe and most effective.

 

You should shave the area to be lasered the night before your appointment and not

apply any creams/lotions on your skin. They get absorbed deep into your skin and in

combination with alaser treatment may cause an infection.  The skin should be as clean

as possible.

 

 

When should I not have laser hair removal

The list below is not meant to be exhaustive but covers most common contraindications

for laser hair removal:

  • Pregnancy - you cannot attend any laser hair removal treatments during pregnancy

  • Breast feeding - you cannot attend any laser hair removal treatments while breastfeeding

  • Acutane  - wait 12 months after stopping use

  • Cancer - wait 12 months after the person is clear

  • Photosensitizing medications - must be evaluated with medical history

  • Fake tanning products - stop 7 days before laser treatment

  • Plucking/waxing - stop 2 weeks before laser treatment

  • Intentional sun exposure - stop excessive sun exposure 2 weeks before laser treatment

  • Retin A/Hydroquinone - stop 5 days before laser treatment

  • Gentle peels/scrubs - stop 5 days before laser treatment

  • Chemical Peels - wait 4 weeks after your chemical peel

  • Intramuscular gold therapy - you cannot attend any laser hair removal treatments

  • Antibiotics - if using antibiotics that make your skin photosensitive you cannot attend any laser hair removal treatments

 

 

What do the settings mean?

The big number you see on the laser is the amount of energy the laser has output. Each body part and hair type will need a different amount of energy to remove hair.

 

 

How many treatments will I need?

Hair grows in several phases (anagen-growth, telogen- rest, catagen-cessation) and a laser can only affect the currently active growing hair follicles (early anagen). Hence, several sessions are needed to kill hair in all phases of growth.

 

The number of sessions depends on various parameters, including the area of the body being treated, skin color, coarseness of hair, reason for hirsutism (excessive hairiness) , and sex. Coarse dark hair on light skin is easiest to treat. Certain areas (notably men's faces) may require considerably more treatments to achieve desired results.

 

For best results it is recommended to have 12 treatments, however as mentioned, different people can have different results in the same number of treatments.  You can see ads assuring that you need only 4-6 treatments but be wise, many ads out there are simply too good to be true.  To achieve maximum permanent hair reduction by laser hair removal with a proper number of joules (light energy) applied to a specific area you should be prepared to attend 12 sessions.  It may turn out that you will not need all 12 or not on all areas treated since some are more stubborn than others.   

 

 

Do laser technicians need certification?

No, laser technicians in Ontario do not need certification however certification does guarantee a certain amount of training and education. Modern lasers are very safe and effective, but to optimize your treatment I recommend considering a certified technician.

 

 

Are you a certified laser technician?

Yes, I am a Certified Laser Technician.

 

 

How is this laser different from the other lasers?

The Alma Soprano XL laser is built on new technology approved by the FDA in 2010 that uses a longer wave, distributed, lower intensity pulse of light. This is different from the older style of laser and IPLs which emitted a short, high intensity pulse of light at a small area. This high intensity light directed at a small area (the stamping method) was most often the cause for the pain and, although rare, burning and scarring.

 

The Soprano XL, thanks to the lower intensity, distributed (In-Motion TM) light, is almost always pain free. You feel a pleasant warmth and the laser handpiece itself sliding over you body, much like during an ultrasound procedure. In some more sensitive areas you may feel a little discomfort from the sliding handpiece, but never from the heat. The heat is commonly compared to  the sensation of a hot stone massage.

 

The chances of burning or scarring are very, very small.  The same amount of energy is needed to destroy the hair follicle. If it is emitted at a lower intensity than the pulse needs to last longer. In practical terms this means you have a more pleasant, safer laser experience.

 

 

How are true lasers like the Soprano XL different from the IPL devices?

Intense Light Pulse devices are not lasers.  They produce a broad spectrum of wavelengths like a

lightbulb and cannot focus  to a concentrated beam.  Because a range of different wavelengths is

dispersed at a variety of depths only some of these are effectively absorbed by the hair follicle.  

Additionally, IPL light rays lose energy as they travel to the hair follicle because they are not coherent

and not reinforcing making it less effective in the treatment of hair reduction.

 

IPL is not collimated and therefore is quick to spread out making it less effective in reaching hair

follicles with all its energy.  

 

 

The advantages of using Laser over IPL

IPL is cheaper, less effective technology for reducing body hair.

Lasers are more precise and can selectively target dark, coarse hair while leaving the surrounding areas undamaged.

Each laser pulse takes a fraction of a second and can treat several hairs at the time.

Laser settings can be adjusted to the specific skin tone and hair colour.

Lasers have the capability to safely treat all skin colours, whereas IPLs can cause burn on darker

skin types.

 

FAQ

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