Laser Hair Removal – What it is and how it works!
What is IPL?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It is a system that is used for permanent hair reduction and removal. If you looking to remove the unwanted hair, please visit The Ocean Rooms Beauty Salon in Southampton, call us at 023 81783993 or book online!
How does it work?
The light source used is attracted to the melanin in your hair. Because there is more melanin in darker hair, IPL is most effective on dark hair, however, due to advances in technology, white and grey hairs can now also be treated. The laser applicator is pressed onto the skin and the light energy is absorbed into the hair causing a heat reaction to destroy the follicle
Which type of clients can be treated?
Clients with darker hair will find the treatment most effective due to the large concentration of melanin found in the hair, which will give optimal adsorption of light energy and convert into heat.
Clients with fair hair will find the treatment might take longer to be effective as there is little melanin found in the hair, therefore less heat is produced. The upper layer of skin also contains melanin and the concentration increased when the skin is exposed to light. Therefore it is important to let tans fade to avoid excessive heat generation.
Does it hurt?
The treatment sensation varies from area to area and from client to client. As the light energy is absorbed by melanin, the sensation that is felt depends upon the amount of melanin found in the epidermis and the hairs. Therefore it hurts more in darker skinned individuals and those with dense black hair. Most clients describe the sensations as quite moderate almost like the snapping of a rubber band, which only last for a very short moment.
What do you need to do before your treatment?
Prior to your first treatment it is essential that you shave the area that is to be treated. It must not be waxed or the light has nothing to attract to. If the hairs are too long then the light and heat energy is wasted on the hair outside of the skin and does not reach the root to of the hair follicle.
Why do hairs appear to grow after the treatment?
After the treatment the client leaves with hair. The heat from the laser system kills the hair but the hairs remain in the follicle and often become attached to the epidermis. The hairs will start to shed / fall out in a 1 – 3 week period after the treatment as the epidermis is renewed. During this period it will seem that the hairs are growing as the epidermis is pushing them out.
What can you do to encourage the hairs to shed?
If the hair follicle bothers you whilst it is shedding from the skin then you can shave the area 4 days after the treatment and for the next few weeks while it is shedding. Exfoliation with a body brush or mild scrub is also recommended to encourage the shedding process.
What are the side effects?
The most common skin reaction is a mild redness of the skin that normal subsides within a few hours to days after the treatment. In rare cases transient pigmentation changes of the skin can occur and small blisters may also occur. A 1% hydrocortisone cream can be used if an adverse reaction takes place.
How many treatments are needed for permanent results?
To answer this question we need to discuss the hair growth cycle.
There are three different stages of hair growth:
• Anagen – Growing stage
• Catagen – Transition stage
• Telogen – Resting stage
When we treat an area all hair growth stages are targeted however only hair in the anagen stage can be treated successfully as this is where the hair is attached to the blood supply and is most likely to be destroyed. The hairs can be in any of these three staged at any one time. The number of hairs in the anagen phase at any one time varies from 10%-70% depending on the body site. At The Ocean Rooms Salon Southampton we would therefore recommend a minimum of 6 treatments with a 4-8 week interval for best results. Please call us at 023 81783993 or book an appointment here!