While shaving and waxing can temporarily eliminate unwanted body hair, these are time consuming and since the stubble soon returns, need to be repeated frequently. Side effects, such as itching, painful razor burn, and ingrown hairs, only make the process even more frustrating. Unfortunately, many people feel like these are their only options, but that is not the case. At Renu, Dr. Philip Schoenfeld has a better choice for those struggling with unwelcome body hair.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is an effective method for permanently eliminating undesirable hair from almost any place on the body. Both men and women will see excellent results with the technique, which leaves the skin smooth, and without unwanted regrowth. Laser hair removal is most commonly on the back, neck, legs, arms, face, bikini line, and under the arms.
The noninvasive treatment works by emitting brief, concentrated pulses of light energy, which travel down the hair shaft, damaging the follicle. These quick bursts of energy cause the hair to fall out, and prevents further regrowth. The technique is safe as the laser light is attracted to the pigment in the hair follicle, thus the heat does not damage surrounding tissues.
Laser hair removal works with the use of light energy. Different lasers use different wavelengths of light energy. The light energy targets the hair follicle in order to destroy the hair follicle during the growth phase of the hair follicle. Hair follicles exist in several different phases and only during the most active growth phase of the hair follicle is the follicle most susceptible to the laser light energy. Hair follicles generally enter growth phases every six weeks which is why laser treatments are spaced around 6-8 weeks apart and permanent hair reduction requires several treatments as not all hair follicles are in the active growth phase at the same time. The key to the effectiveness of laser light in hair removal is that the laser used for hair removal recognizes the hair follicle as being differently pigmented than the surrounding skin so that the hair follicle absorbs the laser energy and the surrounding skin is spared the heat and potential damage of the laser energy.
Candidates for Laser Hair Removal
An ideal candidate for laser hair removal will be in generally good health and committed to the multi-session process. Renu by Dr. Schoenfeld offers several different lasers for hair removal, allowing each treatment to be safely tailored to the individual patient.
Before scheduling a laser hair removal treatment, a consultation will be arranged with Dr. Schoenfeld or a trained provider. They will determine if the laser treatment will be successful after performing a quick skin evaluation. The greater difference in the color of the hair follicle to the color of the skin, the more effective the laser will be for hair removal. Test treatments are included if there is any uncertainty about how a laser will react to their skin.
The Laser Hair Removal Treatment
At Renu, all laser hair removal sessions are performed in a private treatment room. The length of each procedure will depend on the area being treated. On average, laser hair removal will last about 15 minutes under the arm, across the lip, or along the bikini line. The back, arms, legs, and chest can range from 30-60 minutes.
During treatment, the provider will swiftly pass the hand piece over the predetermined area. Brief laser pulses will be emitted at regular intervals. Once the entire area has been treated, patients can get dressed and return to their normal schedule.
The laser hair removal procedure is not considered painful; although a firm pinching or slight burning sensation may be felt during each quick pulse of energy. To ensure a faster and more comfortable procedure, patients are encouraged to shave prior to each laser hair removal session. The application has a cooling tip for additional comfort, so no anesthesia is required.
Renu’s Soprano Laser and ND Yag Laser
Renu by Dr. Schoenfeld utilizes several different lasers for hair removal, including the Soprano Laser and the ND Yag laser, for safe and efficient results. Different lasers use different wavelengths of light energy. The key to the effectiveness of laser light in hair removal is that the laser used for hair removal recognizes the hair follicle as differently pigmented than surrounding skin.
The Soprano Laser
The Soprano Laser is a diode laser that works by slowly heating the hair follicle. Rather than using a single burst of energy, which can be significantly more uncomfortable, the Soprano Laser gently destroys the hair follicle. This laser is best used in light to medium pigmented skin tones. The greater the difference in the color of the hair follicle to the color of the skin, the more effective the laser is for hair removal.
The Soprano Laser:
- Utilizes slower pulses that increase hair follicle temperatures
- Provides a faster overall treatment
- Delivers uniform results, eliminating the chance of missed spots
- Ensures patient comfort using DualChill technology
- Can be used on any skin type and hair color
The Sciton Long Pulse ND Yag Laser uses a Large Area Pattern Generator (LAPG) to deliver optimal hair elimination results. The ND Yag Laser provides a safe treatment for dark hair and darker pigmented skin.
The ND Yag Laser:
- Is best for targeting darker hair follicles in darker skin
- Uses a high speed scanner for comfortable delivery
- Covers large areas rapidly and evenly
- Includes powerful, continuous cooling
- Ensures precise, uniform coverage
After the Laser Hair Removal Session
Little to no downtime is required after a laser hair removal session. Initially, the treatment area may be red or mildly irritated, but this will diminish over the next couple of hours. Patients are able to return to their usual routine immediately after their procedure, including work, school, and exercise.
The results from a laser hair treatment will not be seen right away. In one to two weeks, the hair will begin to fall out. Each session results in a 10-25% reduction in hair growth. Keep in mind, hair grows in three distinct phases: Anagen (growth cycle), Catagen (cessation cycle), and Telogen (resting cycle). Laser treatments only affect hair in Anagen, or active growth cycle, when the follicle is most vulnerable. Therefore, six to eight treatments, spaced six to eight weeks apart, will be necessary for complete hair elimination.
Potential Risks from Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal at Renu is safe and effective. Each provider is well-trained and works under the direct guidance of Dr. Schoenfeld. However, as with any cosmetic procedure there is a small chance for complications. Redness, irritation, pain, or burning sensations are the most common side effects. Although rare, the risks of laser hair removal can also include bruising, infection, folliculitis, blisters, hyperpigmentation (dark spots), and scarring.
Get more information on laser hair removal at Renu
If you have been considering laser hair removal, contact Renu at 301.652.7368 to schedule a consultation appointment. Our Chevy Chase, Maryland office is centrally located, close to Washington D.C., Alexandria, and Baltimore. Dr. Schoenfeld has more than 20 years of cosmetic and plastic surgery experience; he is double Board Certified in Otoplasty Head and Neck Surgery, and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. There is no safer place for laser hair removal in the Washington Metropolitan area than Renu.
What areas can be treated with laser hair removal?
Almost any area of the body, large or small, can benefit from the laser hair removal process. The most commonly treated are the legs, bikini line, arms, chest, face, and neck.
How is laser hair removal performed?
Laser hair removal is performed in a private treatment room at Renu. Dr. Schoenfeld’s expertly trained nurse or physician assistant will swiftly pass a hand-held laser applicator over the designated treatment area, emitting short bursts of laser light. The energy will be absorbed by the hair follicle, interrupting the growth cycle. Depending on the specific area, between six and eight treatments will be required.
Is a laser hair removal treatment painful?
Laser Hair Removal is not considered painful and no anesthesia is required. The hand-held applicator cools the skin while the laser energy is being delivered to the hair follicle. Patients often report a quick snapping sensation with each pulse of the laser, but the discomfort is generally manageable.
What can I expect from my laser hair removal recovery period?
Immediately after laser hair removal, patients may experience mild redness or irritation in the treatment area. However, there is no downtime required, so most people are able to return to their normal routine immediately. After about two weeks, between 10-25% of the treated hair will fall out.
Are the results from Laser Hair Removal permanent?
Yes, the laser removal process will result in a permanent reduction of hair, within the treatment area. It will take between six and eight treatments to fully eliminate the hair growth.
How long is the length of the procedure?
Length of the procedure will depend on the size of the area that needs treatment. On average, 15 minutes for axilla, lip, or bikini and 30-60 minutes for arms, legs, back, or chest.
What are the risk/complications of laser hair removal?
Risks of laser hair removal can include pain and burning. Test treatments are performed when there is any uncertainty of the safety of the laser on the client’s skin.
(301) 652-RENU (7368) • [email protected]