Experience the laser that Dr. Bomer gets treated with! The new, vacuum assisted, high speed Duet is the biggest advance in laser hair removal technology in years. The suction head briefly thins and stretches the skin, allowing the laser energy to more efficiently target the hair follicles. Less energy is needed, resulting in more comfort. The larger laser head enables much faster treatment times as well.
Laser Hair Removal Q&A
1. What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is an elective procedure that utilizes energy from a laser to damage hair shafts and the follicles to prevent the follicles from growing hair. This has been an approved procedure for permanent hair reduction by the FDA since 1997. To be effective, multiple treatments are required.
2. Am I a candidate?
Since lasers work by targeting the dark pigment of the hair, they work best on people with lighter skin and darker hair. People with darker skin and lighter hair may require more treatments, and not get as great a percentage reduction of hair. The LightSheer Duet is safe and approved for all skin types, unlike other lasers such as Alexandrite devices. Laser hair removal does not work on white hair, or vellus hair (peach fuzz).
3. How does laser hair removal work?
The laser utilizes a single wavelength of light that is selectively absorbed by the dark pigment (melanin) in the hair shaft. The energy is converted to heat within the shaft, that transmits down to the follicle disabling the follicle. The Duet utilizes a vacuum assist head. This draws the target area of skin into the head, briefly thinning, stretching and blanching the skin as the laser fires. This allows the laser energy to reach the follicles more efficiently, with less energy and heat begin transmitted to adjacent tissues.
4. What are hair growth cycles?
The hair follicles are structures that extend from the epidermis into the dermis (deep layer of skin) that produce hair. Except for the palms and soles of feet, the skin has hair follicles all over the body. Growth of hair in the follicle occurs in 3 stages: anagen, catagen and telogen. Anagen is the active growth phase. The follicle is generating the hair fiber. Catagen is the short transition period after the end of hair growth.. This lasts for 2-3 weeks, and the follicle regresses. Telogen is the resting phase. There is no further growth and the hair eventually falls out, in preparation for anagen phase to start again. Laser hair removal specifically targets hair during the anagen phase. Thus, patients need multiple treatments spaced out 8-12 weeks apart to target the hairs that are not in anagen phase during the first several treatments
5. How many treatments will I need?
Although it varies depending on the individual, color of hair and skin, and body hair location, most people see significant reduction (>75%) after 6 treatments. Due to the time of the hair growth cycle, treatments are spaced 6-8 weeks apart. After reaching their hair reduction goals after a series of treatments, some patients return for a maintenance or touch up treatment annually.
6. Is laser hair removal permanent?
Laser hair removal has been approved for "permanent reduction" by the FDA. With the appropriate laser and technician, permanent reduction can be achieved. However, it is impossible to remove 100% of hairs in any area. Fine hair and white hair cannot be removed with a laser. For the majority of patients, laser hair removal provides excellent, long lasting results.
7. Is it painful?
The High Speed head of the Duet uses vacuum assist technology which makes the process more comfortable than conventional lasers. Less energy is needed per pulse. Also, the suction effect on the skin causes lateral inhibition of pain receptors in the dermis - by stimulating the target area of skin with negative pressure and stretch, the nerve fibers responding to stretch and pressure inhibit the pain fibers somewhat in sending a pain signal in response to the heat. Patients feel a modest, brief suction on their skin with a brief, mild snap of pain- like a rubber band. The majority of the body can be treated with the High Speed head. In some small areas like the lip or peri-anal region the smaller, traditional ET head is used which does not use vacuum technology. This has a cooling tip which deadens the skin slightly before the snap occurs. The ET head is not as comfortable as the HS head. Some patients opt for a numbing cream to be placed in the area before treatment.
8. Will it work on fine, vellus hair (peach fuzz)?
Very fine hair, and vellus hair do not respond to laser treatment. Electrolysis is the treatment of choice for this type of hair.
9. Are there laser hair removal risks or side effects?
Since the Duet uses less total energy with the HIgh Speed head, the risks of complications are reduced. However with any laser patients may experience minor effects such as redness for several days, itching, swelling around the follicles for several days or mild bruising. Less common are temporary crusting or scabbing, or pigment changes. To ensure a new patient is a suitable candidate and does not have an abnormal reaction a test spot is treated with a single pulse. If there are no adverse reactions over the next week the treatment may commence. The biggest risk for an adverse event is if a patient has recently tanned (or used a self tanner) and has not disclosed this.