Laser Hair Removal FAQ
Top 5 Questions – Laser Hair Removers
How long for Permanent hair removal?
Let’s consider both treatment times and how long for permanent hair loss.
Treatment times vary between devices. For example, the Tria 4X laser has a 0.2 square inch treatment window while the Silk’n Express has a 1.2 square inch treatment window. This mean with each flash of the device, the Silk’n will treat an area 6 times larger than the Tria. See Silk’ vs Tria comparison for more about treatment times.
The number of treatments required for permanent hair removal varies with each person and each device. In general, a true, diode laser will give you permanent hair removal with fewer treatments than an IPL device. This should be considered along with the price of the device and the treatment times of each device. So………..
1.) You will pay more for a diode laser, it will require fewer treatments for permanent hair removal and each treatment will take more time than a comparable IPL. Treatment time for both legs is approximately 45 minutes.
2.) You will pay less for an IPL device, it will require more treatments for permanent hair removal and each treatment will take less time than a comparable diode laser. Treatment time for both legs is approximately 15 minutes
Will Laser Work For Me?
Both Laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) work best on people whose skin is a lighter color than their hair. This is because the light must penetrate the skin and focus on the dark pigment (melanin) in the hair follicle.
If you have light skin with black hair, you’ll get the best results from laser hair removal. If your skin is darker than your hair, you will need to use a diode laser (Tria), not IPL (Silkn), and permanent hair removal will require more treatments.
REMEMBER: Lasers and IPL devices target the pigment in the hair follicle. If you have very dark skin, your options are limited to a device that can penetrate dark skin such as the Tria 4X Laser.
Preparing For Laser Hair Removal
Before using a laser or IPL hair remover, there are some do’s and don’ts to consider.
Avoid the sun for 3-4 weeks before and after your treatment. Tan skin increases the risk of skin lightening and allows less light to pass through to the hair root. After treatments, your skin will be more prone to burning. If you must tan, avoid using a laser device like the Tria 4X and go with an IPL device like the Venus Silk Expert instead.
Avoid plucking/stringing/threading , waxing and electrolysis for 3-4 weeks before a laser treatment. These hair removal methods can remove the hair root leaving nothing for the laser to work on. Shaving is ok as it preserves the hair root. In fact, shaving immediately before a treatment is recommended.
How Much Do Laser Hair Removers Cost?
The cost of laser hair removal is the first and most important consideration when deciding which laser hair remover is right for you. You will be considering initial cost, maintenance (lamp replacement etc.), treatment times and whether you want a cordless device.
Initial cost of your laser will vary between brands. You can get an inexpensive unit starting at under $200 while the more professional style units will run up to $1000. There is also a big price difference between a diode style laser and an IPL device with lasers coming in at the high end of the price range. More about IPL vs Laser.
Consider maintenance costs while shopping for your laser. Some lasers have replaceable lamps/lasers while others do not. Whether it is a laser or replaceable lamp, the most important consideration is expected lifespan of the laser or lamp. Usually measured in “Flashes”, you will get an idea of how long the unit/lamp will last by how many flashes can be expected. Also keep in mind that a laser will have a smaller treatment area thus will require more flashes per treatment. See treatment times below.
Treatment times are directly proportional to the size of the laser or lamp. Larger treatment areas allow faster treatments.
Some models are rechargeable and others require an AC outlet. Designed to be comfortable and easy to hold, applying a treatment is fast and virtually effortless. The average time for a laser application to both legs is between 15 to 30 minutes. Just like at your physicians office, the laser treatment is re-applied after 2-3 weeks and 4-6 applications are required for permanent hair removal. Most units are adjustable for your specific skin and hair type.
The cost differences between brands is due to the type of attachments included in the kit. Some kits come with extra lotions and creams for application after the laser treatment. Usually, none of these extra’s are required and any over the counter skin lotion or cream will suit your needs.
Hair removers – Laser vs IPL
Laser and IPL hair removers both use light energy to heat melanin (pigment) in the hair follicle. This heat damages the hair follicle preventing it from producing new hair.
Lasers use a diode laser to produce light and IPL uses a high intensity lamp. Both emit a short burst of light energy and work exactly the same. Some things to keep in mind are that a laser will produce permanent hair loss with fewer treatments than an IPL device but generally cost much more than an IPL hair remover. You should also note that….. Learn more about laser vs IPL.
How Do Laser Hair Removers Work?
High intensity light heats the pigment in the hair follicle causing damage that kills the follicle preventing further hair growth. This is why if you have dark skin and light hair, the light may not penetrate the skin enough to act on the follicle. This is also true is you have very light hair and there is not enough pigment in the root for the light to act on. See Laser vs IPL Above.
REMEMBER: Lasers and IPL devices target the pigment in the hair follicle. If you have very dark skin, your options are limited to a device that can penetrate dark skin such as the Tria 4X Laser