Laser Hair Removal
The key to successful hair removal is destroying the entire hair follicle and the germinative cells, while preserving surrounding healthy tissue. Laser hair removal is most effective when the hair is in its active growth phase called the anagen phase; consequently, multiple treatments scheduled several weeks or months apart are typically required to achieve optimal results.
Lasers and IPL light sources gently remove unwanted hair based on the principle of selective photothermolysis. This refers to the process whereby the characteristics of the light energy including wavelength and pulse duration are optimized to selectively cause thermal injury to the hair follicle without injuring the surrounding tissue. The light penetrates through the skin and is absorbed in the target pigment (melanin) found in the hair shaft. This causes the temperature to reach a sufficiently high level in the hair follicle so that the targeted hair structures are destroyed and regrowth is inhibited.
The LightSheer Diode Laser System, with its unique combination of parameters, penetrates tissue to destroy the germinative cells at the base of the hair follicle and stunt hair regrowth. At the same time, the aggressive cooling provided by the LightSheer’s ChillTip™ handpiece minimizes potential collateral epidermal damage caused by light absorption by melanin in the epidermis. The patented ChillTip combined with efficient, reliable, high-power diode technology, makes the family of LightSheer lasers the most advanced hair removal system available and the recognized gold standard for hair removal in the aesthetic marketplace. We are proud to offer this type of laser hair removal in our San Jose facility.
What Is Permanent Hair Reduction?
Hair growth has three phases:
- Anagen (active)
- Catagen (regression)
- Telogen (resting)
The length of the whole growth cycle depends on the body part being treated, and lasts anywhere from 4 to 12 months. Hair reduction is considered permanent when a significant amount of hair does not return for a period of time longer than the complete growth cycle.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
Lasers generate heat in the hair shaft, which diffuses to the stem cell and matrix targets to cause desired damage.
Are laser beams of LightSheer safe?
A: The wavelengths of all three modalities are within parts of the visible and the near infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are longer than dangerous X-ray wavelengths, yet shorter than microwaves which can overheat the tissue. The technologies are designed to cause selective heating of lesions, but are safe for the surrounding tissues. To prevent injury to the eyes, all laser and light systems are shipped with wavelength specific safety eyewear. To prevent injury, it is always recommended that physicians read and understand the information in the user manual that accompanies their system.
How does the LightSheer Diode Laser System work?
A: The system emits near-infrared laser light that is absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicle. The laser is pulsed, or turned on, for only a fraction of a second. The duration of each pulse is just long enough to damage the follicle, while the system’s unique, patented contact-cooling handpiece, the ChillTip, helps protect the skin by conductive cooling during the laser energy delivery.
What advantages does the LightSheer have over other laser hair removal systems?
A: The LightSheer Diode Laser System was designed from the ground up for hair removal, so it has the wavelength, fluence, pulse width, and active epidermal cooling system—the ChillTip—ideally suited for removing hair. Lumenis, the company that makes the LightSheer, did all the original research on hair removal using lasers and was the first company to introduce laser systems for the treatment of unwanted hair. They discovered the most optimal and effective wavelength to treat hair and own this wavelength. Other companies are not allowed to use this specific wavelength making their treatments less than optimal.
Why should I use the LightSheer Diode Laser System rather than the methods I’ve been using for years?
A: The LightSheer Diode Laser System’s design provides enhanced comfort during treatment, minimal risk of infection, speed, and accuracy. Since the system uses a unique cooling handpiece, it minimizes skin irritation that other methods may create. Since it is non-invasive (no needles to penetrate the skin), the risk of introducing bacteria into the skin is reduced. Because the system is fast, it allows for larger areas to be treated, considerably increasing the efficiency of the hair removal process and allowing more patients to be treated during a typical day. Finally, the LightSheer Diode Laser is a precise instrument that can be adjusted to damage only the hair follicle while minimally affecting the surrounding skin.
Does the LightSheer work on tanned or different skin colors?
A: The LightSheer Diode Laser System safely and effectively treats all skin types (Fitzpatrick Skin Types I-VI) as well as tanned skin. For darker skin types and people with tans, appropriate fluences are generally lower and appropriate pulse widths are generally longer to prevent damage to the epidermis. Using the appropriate treatment parameters, however, people of all skin types can benefit from laser hair removal with the LightSheer.
Are the results of laser hair removal for unwanted hair permanent?
A: The LightSheer laser has been cleared by the FDA for hair removal and permanent hair reduction on all skin types and tanned skin. To achieve a satisfactory level of clearance, 6-12 treatments are typically required.
What causes unwanted hair?
A: Excess and unwanted hair is a common problem. Women frequently experience this condition on the face, especially the upper lip or eyebrow area, at the bikini line, under their arms, or on their legs. Men often have unwanted hair on their back or chest, between their eyebrows, or on other parts of the face. In many cases excessive hair growth runs in families. Race can also be a factor — whites are more prone to having excess facial hair than Asians and blacks. White women of Mediterranean descent are more likely to have unwanted hair than women who have a Scandinavian background. Hormones also play a role. Some people experience unwanted or excess hair from the time they reach puberty; others find it to be a condition that gets worse with age. Some women experience additional hair growth during pregnancy or menopause.
How is unwanted hair treated?
A: Conventional treatments include shaving, plucking, waxing, and depilatory creams. These methods provide temporary fixes that are often inconvenient, messy, and irritating for the skin. Electrolysis can have good results, but is time-consuming, sometimes painful and is useful only in removing hair in small areas. The LightSheer laser is rapidly changing hair removal treatment, providing gentle, non-invasive, long-lasting solutions to unwanted hair on any area of the body.
Are these treatments FDA-cleared? Are they safe?
A: Yes, the LightSheer Laser System is FDA-cleared for the treatment of unwanted hair on a permanent basis. The procedures have unparalleled safety records. Side effects are rare and generally well-tolerated.
Are these procedures covered by insurance?
A: Insurance reimbursement varies from state to state and carrier to carrier. While most insurance companies do not offer reimbursement for cosmetic conditions, it is best to consult with individual carriers for more information.
What happens during a LightSheer?
A: Before each session begins, system settings are computer-customized according to skin color and type and the area of the body being treated. Treatment begins by trimming away any hair above the surface of the skin and then conducting test spots to determine the patient’s skin response to different device settings. Patients are routinely numbed with a topical anesthetic in the designated treatment areas prior to laser hair removal.
Next, a cold gel (similar to ultrasound gel) is spread over the treatment area. This helps keep the skin cool and focus the light treatment. Patients wear special eyewear to protect the eyes from the bright light. The device handpiece is moved over the treatment area, while light-based energy is emitted in highly controlled flashes or pulses. This heats up the hair, significantly damaging the regrowth potential of the follicle. When the gel is removed, much of the hair is wiped off with it. Additional hair may fall out over the next week or two.
How long do treatments last? How many will I need?
A: Sessions can last from a few minutes to more than an hour, depending on the size of the area being treated. The number of treatments required depends on several factors related to specific skin types and color, as well as thickness and density of hair. Several treatments are necessary to achieve the best results. During your complimentary consultation, Dr. Tang or Alexandra will give you an estimate on the number of treatments.
How much time is there between sessions?
A: Subsequent sessions are scheduled when the hair begins to regrow. The timing for this can range from four to eight weeks, depending on hair type and the part of the body being treated. On average, appointments are scheduled four to six weeks apart.
Are light treatments safe for all skin types?
A: Yes, this technology can be used to treat unwanted hair in most skin types. Dark-skinned individuals such as those of African or East Indian descent, can have laser hair removal treatment but it may not be as effective.
Can all hair be treated?
A: Yes, treatments are customized according to hair color, texture, and location. Any hair with at least some pigment can be treated. However, blond hair, white, or grey hair cannot be treated.
What areas can laser hair removal treat?
This laser hair removal technology can permanently remove unwanted hair in the face including the side burns, upper lip, chin, jawline, chest, back, arms, underarms (arm pits),stomach, legs, bikini, and buttock areas.
What does the treatment feel like?
A: Most people tolerate the treatments very well. Discomfort is often described as a slight tingling or a pinch similar to the snap of a rubber band. Topical anesthesia if necessary can be used when treating particularly sensitive areas of the body to make the procedure more tolerable.
Are there any possible side effects?
A: The appearance of the treated area immediately following laser hair removal treatment will vary from patient to patient depending on the extent of the procedure and skin type. Side effects, if any, are usually minor. There may be some redness and swelling around the treated hair follicles; this is a desired clinical result indicating that the follicle has responded to treatment. This reaction typically disappears within hours. Most people return to normal activity right away.
On rare occasions, some blistering may occur, but this typically resolves quickly. The skin can become darker or lighter following treatment, but will generally return to normal within a few weeks. Limiting sun exposure before and after each laser hair removal treatment will minimize the risk of complications. In patients with dark skin, there is a small risk of hypopigmentation where one can lose pigment for some period of time. There are no concerns of any increased risk of cancers.
What kind of results should I expect? Does this technology really remove hair in the long-term?
A: Yes. Scientific studies show that the use of targeted, light-based energy actually damages or destroys hair follicles at the cellular level. A permanent reduction in the number of regrowing hair strands is usually achieved following each treatment.
LightSheer Diode Laser System
Using the latest generation diode laser, this state-of-the-art technology operates at the optimal wavelength of light that is best absorbed by both the hair shaft and follicle while protecting the skin surface from heat damage. The LightSheer has been shown to be a successful method for permanent reduction of unwanted, unsightly hair. Numerous published studies in professional medical journals attest to the LightSheer system’s safety and long-term effectiveness.
LightSheer systems treat the hair by directing precise laser energy into the base of the follicle. A thin layer of cool, transparent gel may be applied to the treatment area to better focus the energy. The energy heats the hair and damages the hair follicle, causing the hair to fall out and to not grow back for some length of time, sometimes forever!
Unlike other laser hair removal tools, the LightSheer system incorporates the ChillTip technology, which continuously cools the skin. This proprietary feature helps to:
- maximize the effectiveness of the treatment
- decrease skin damage
- minimize any discomfort
- allow for treatment of all skin types
In addition, the LightSheer laser hair removal system has been proven effective on brown and dark black hair. Most important, LightSheer systems successfully remove hair from all skin types — from porcelain white through olive to dark brown complexions. Hair can be treated on any part of the body, no matter how deep the follicles may reside. Treatment of sensitive areas like the lips, ears, nose, underarms, and bikini line can usually be tolerated easily.
Another key advantage is the LightSheer system’s large treatment area, enabling the device to cover more area in substantially less time. In fact, approximately 100–200 hair strands can be treated with each zap of the laser, so that large swaths of hair on the legs, back, and chest can be treated quickly in a single session. At the same time, LightSheer can be very precisely focused, so that hair is eliminated from delicate places.
Multiple treatment sessions are typically required for permanent hair reduction. The success of LightSheer has been studied in numerous clinical trials. Hundreds of patients with a wide range of skin types and hair color have been treated and followed (in some cases) for several years. In a key Harvard study, all 92 patients treated had complete or near complete temporary hair loss. Almost 90% of patients experienced significant, long-lasting hair removal, or permanent hair reduction, with no serious side effects observed.
Where is the best laser hair removal available near me?
We currently provide laser hair removal for permanent hair reduction in the San Jose Bay Area CA which include the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz but also in local communities of Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Mountain View, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Salinas, Monterey, Hollister, and Capitola.
Contact us today to learn more about the LightSheer system and the many benefits of permanent laser hair removal for unwanted hair. For inquiries about our services and other concerns, you may reach us at (408) 740-5320.