Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Hair Removal

How does laser hair removal work?

Laser hair removal works to destroy those elements responsible for the growth and regeneration of hair: the bulb, which contains melanin, and the root. Melanin is responsible for darker coloured hairs.

Laser hair removal effectively emits flashes of light. These flashes are captured by the melanin, which convert the light into heat energy. This heat helps destroy the bulb and the root of the hair permanently.

Am I a candidate for laser hair removal?

Depending on the laser system being used, yes! For example, our Cynosure Elite+ laser system is effective at removing hair on all skin types, on all areas of the body.

Does laser hair removal hurt?

Some patients experience mild discomfort, often compared to a slight pinching or stinging sensation. After each session, the treated area will present a slight erythema, often described as a “sunburn” effect. This redness is often accompanied by a small swelling (edema) around each hair follicle. Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation may occur, these changes, however, are usually transient. Occasionally folliculate, the formation of small crusts, may occur. This effect is minor, and only lasts 24 hours after treatment. The application of a soothing gel will decrease irritation.

How many treatments do I need?

Most results are generally visible after 4 to 6 sessions, but the exact number relies on a variety of factors, including skin complexion, treatment area, hair density, hair colour, and more. Some patients even schedule regular maintenance sessions to ensure their hair stays away.

Results also depend on where your treatment falls in hair growth cycles:

The active phase of hair growth is called the anagen phase. During this phase, the bulb of the hair follicle contains a large concentration of melanin.

The catagen phase is when you’ll notice regression of hair growth. The lower part of the hair stops growing without it falling, and the follicle is reabsorbed.

The last phase of growth is called telogen. During this phase, the old hair falls thus opening the way for the development of new hair.

Hair grows cylindrically and differs from one person to the another, and can even differ depending on its location on the body.

The three cycles coexist on the same surface of the skin. This is the reason why several laser sessions are needed at regular intervals. Multiple sessions let laser treatments reach the hairs that are in the anagen phase, the period where hair is most pigmented. The laser destroys the hair follicle by delivering heat energy to targeted areas. The melanin pigments in the hair follicle capture the heat, which in turn destroys the follicle.

Will my hair or skin colour affect my results?

We always provide a consultation with clients looking into laser hair removal. Some skin tones and hair colours can affect your results due to how these skin types are classified under the Fitzpatrick scale:

  • I (White or very pale skin): Always burns and never tans
  • II (Very pale to pale beige): Always burns and rarely tans
  • III (Beige to light brown (olive)): Burns occasionally and tans gradually
  • IV (Medium light brown): Burns occasionally and always tans
  • V (Brown to dark brown): Rarely burns and tans easily
  • VI (Dark brown or black): Never burns and tans very easily

However, we use different wavelengths to appropriately and safely target hair, regardless of skin colour.