Top 5 Laser Hair Removal Myths

Debunking myths and misconceptions about laser hair removal

Many people considering cosmetic laser hair removal are confronted by a number of misconceptions and myths. These newbies often research the clinic, available technology and even staff reviews through social media and the Internet prior to booking an appointment. The advent of so much sharing means that clinic owners and their staff need to have standard and clear responses to patient queries. In this article we go through some of the most common myths.

1. Laser hair removal doesn’t work on some skin or hair types.
(False) There are two categories of lasers: those that target pigment and those that target blood flow. Pigment lasers are highly effective and target high contrast areas between hair colour and skin colour. Other lasers destroy the blood flow at the base of the hair follicle and thus work better on lighter hair. However, laser technology does not work on grey or white hair.

2. Laser hair removal is dangerous.
(False) When practiced by a trained and qualified practitioner, laser hair removal is very safe. This is why it is important for clinic owners to create appropriate training and safety practices for all employees. Candela GentleLase technology is among the safest on the market and all clinics should have materials on-site to provide patients with more information regarding laser technology.

3. Laser hair removal is expensive.
(False). Some reports have shown that the average lifetime cost of razors, waxing, creams and bleaches can be upwards of $10,000! At Laseraid we help each of our clients find the laser technology that is right for their clinic at a cost that makes patient treatments absolutely affordable. It is very important to prove the cost benefits to patients of permanent hair reduction.

4. Laser hair removal exposes you to radiation and can cause cancer
(False) Radiation emitted from lasers is non-ionizing and does not emit enough energy to cause cancer or damage cells and DNA. Other non-ionizing radiation includes light waves, radio waves and ultraviolet light.

5. Laser hair removal is painful
(True/False) Laser hair removal is slightly uncomfortable and most people experience a tingling sensation. Waxing and electrolysis are widely regarded as being much more painful. Optional accessories such as the Zimmer Cooling device, a cool-air attachment to the tip of the laser, generally ensure a pain-free experience for all patients.

Laser Hair Removal: A History

If you own, or are thinking of opening, a cosmetic clinic offering laser hair removal chances are you may already be well versed in the history of the technology. Understanding laser technology is very important to your clinic and all technicians should be aware of its basic history. Many patients new to laser treatment often have questions regarding the origins of laser hair removal and how to define success in laser treatment.

Although the first laser technology was introduced in the 1960’s, it was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States until 1983. Since then numerous journal articles have been released citing the effectiveness of laser hair removal technology for the permanent reduction of unwanted hair. There has also been an explosion of laser hair removal devices into the market, demonstrating the strong demand for permanent hair removal. Not all machines are the same and understanding the differences as to why some are more effective than others is essential to building a sustainable clinical practice. The Palomar and GentleLASE are IPL and laser machines that are some of the most advanced, commercially available machines in the market and have undergone numerous clinical trials.

It is also important to explain to all new patients that hair grows in three cycles: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen, or active growth phase, is when lasers are most effective and able to target melanin at its highest. The catagen and telogen phases occur when hair is regressing and the follicle will eventually fall out. As hair growth is not always in the anagen phase more than one treatment is often required to achieve permanent hair loss. Laser professionals recommend 6 to 8 treatments to achieve desired results.

Laser Hair Removal for Men

Men are looking for permanent hair reduction more than ever before and laser hair removal is quickly growing as the right option

Laser hair removal has traditionally been marketed and thought of as an exclusively female dominated cosmetic procedure. A lot of men used to believe that male hair removal was only for cyclists, body-builders, swimmers, and athletes in general. This perception has been rapidly changing in the last few years. In one study, 33% of men who had not tried laser hair removal would consider it in the future.

Laser hair removal for men is a growing industry and successful marketing and operating practices by clinics and technicians can help grow and improve your business. Some key practices include ensuring that waiting rooms are gender neutral and are discrete in setting to ensure privacy. Providing up-to-date information and having knowledgeable technicians is also very important as some 40% of men are worried about how laser technology works.

It is also important to communicate the necessary preparation process beginning two weeks before treatment.
• No waxing, plucking or tweezing.
• Avoid sun exposure, as a tan increases the risk of pigmentation.
• No cosmetic procedures or skin treatments as the laser can’t be used on broken skin.
• Shave the entire area before treatment.

Key target areas for men include removal of excessive hair on the back, arms, eyebrows, hands and chest. It is important to understand what the desired look and effect that men who come in for treatment want and expect to achieve. For example, a man who has been waxing for many years may expect the same results from laser hair removal and will need more information and guidance throughout the process. As men generally have thicker hair and more muscle mass than women, the hair tends to be coarser and may require more treatments to permanently reduce hair. Using Candela GentleLase technology, hair removal technicians generally find that men require 8 treatments to achieve desired results.