Laser Hair Removal
Getting rid of unwanted hair can feel as if you’re living the film Groundhog Day. You pluck, wax, shave, or use harsh depilatory creams to get rid of unwanted hair. Then a couple weeks later the hair is back, and you get to do it all over again. Forever!Wouldn’t it be nice to be free of your unwanted hair for good? A trip to Dr. Krummen’s beautiful offices on Cornell Road can get you started down that path with laser hair removal.
At Dr. Krummen’s, our four registered nurse practitioners put our LightSheer Diode Laser on the job, achieving from 85 to 90 percent permanent hair reduction for our clients from all over the Cincinnati area.
How Does Armpit Laser Hair Removal Work?
The key to getting rid of unwanted hair permanently is the hair follicle. For our laser hair removal treatments, we set the wavelength of our Lumenis LightSheer laser to match the melanin in your hair. Melanin gives our hair (and our skin) its color. We then direct short pulses of laser energy down onto your unwanted hairs. The melanin absorbs the laser light energy, and it instantly converts to heat. This heat then travels down the hair shaft into the hair follicle damaging or destroying the follicle and preventing future hair production.
The phase of growth matters
Patients often wonder why the laser energy can’t remove all of their unwanted hair in a single session. It all comes down to the hair growth cycle.
Human hair has three phases to its growth cycle: anagen (growth), catagen (transitional), and telogen (resting). Only during the anagen phase is the hair actively anchored in the follicle. During the catagen and telogen phases, the hair is being pushed out of the follicle in the process of shedding. Laser energy can’t get to the follicle in these stages because the hair is already on the way out.
All five million or so of the hairs on our bodies operate independently, each moving through the phases of the growth cycle. The goal is to catch as many of the unwanted hairs in the growth phase as possible, and it takes multiple sessions to get as many as necessary to achieve the degree of permanent hair reduction the patient desires.
Where can I have laser hair removal done?
At Dr. Krummen’s, our LightSheer Diode Laser uses an 800nm laser wavelength. This offers the deepest penetration levels and makes for excellent melanin absorption of the laser energy. These unique characteristics make our diode laser the best option for laser hair removal, enabling safe and effective treatment of all skin and hair types. It can safely treat just about any part of the body (the only exceptions are inside the ears and the male genitalia). These are the most common areas of the body patients want to have hair removed:
- Bikini area
- Face, especially the upper lip, sideburns, and chin
Is laser hair removal permanent?
The FDA approved the first laser for hair removal way back in 1997. That approval is for “permanent hair reduction.” This is an acknowledgement that laser treatments can’t remove all the unwanted hair permanently due to a couple of reasons. We discussed the hair growth cycle above. It’s simply almost impossible to catch every hair you want to remove in the growth phase.
Second, damaged follicles can rebuild with hormonal changes. Plus, if a follicle is only partially damaged, it may heal and begin to regrow hair.
Bottom line, numerous studies show the degree of permanent hair reduction to be from 85 to 90 percent.
How many laser hair removal treatments will I need?
This comes down to catching the unwanted hair in the growth phase. Since hair is always rotating in and out of this phase, multiple sessions are required to catch as many hairs as possible in the correct phase. We’ve found that 6 to 10 treatments achieve the degree of hair reduction that pleases most of our patients. This is generally true of any area on the body. Each session needs to be spaced from 4-6 weeks apart.
Can I shave between laser hair removal sessions?
You can shave between sessions because shaving does not affect the hair root anchored in the follicle. Shaving simply removes the upper hair shaft (that’s why the hair comes back so fast!). You do not want to do anything that impacts the hair follicle, however. No waxing. No plucking. You want the hair in the follicle so that the laser energy can travel down the shaft and destroy the follicle.
Are there risks associated with laser hair removal?
Lasers have been used for laser hair removal for almost 30 years, and the process was extensively tested prior to becoming commercially available. Laser hair removal has proven to be reliable, effective, and safe. It is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments not just in Cincinnati but all around the globe.
The most common side effects after treatment include skin irritation, such as redness and slight swelling on the treatment sites. This usually passes within a few hours.