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Fact Vs. Fiction
We know there is a lot of information out there. Some of it very good, some of it just flat out false or misleading.To assist you, we have choosen to respond to many claims that are out there and help you get the real facts.
CLAIM: Laser treatments should be administered in a medical facilty with licensed medical staff (doctor and/or RN) on site.
FACT: There is nothing wrong with having laser hair removal in a medical facility with licensed medical staff (MD and/or RN) on site, but to suggest that it should only be performed in those circumstances is wrong. Laser hair removal has been performed for more than 15 years and there is no study or evidence showing that it is performed safer and more effectively by a physician, whether present or not. Physicians and nurses are taught nothing about laser hair removal in their training. What is most important is experience and in most situations, physicians don't have the time to put a lot of effort into laser hair removal.
The State of Texas recognizes that training and experience, not an MD or RN license, is what matters and has instituted regulations and a certification program. What matters is that the individual performing laser hair removal is certified by the State of Texas. This tells you that the person has undergone the training and has the experience to perform laser hair removal safely.
CLAIM: For LHR, you should shave about 48 hours prior to treatment. Hair needs to be visible with about 1-2 mm growth above the skin line. If hair the hair is too short, the laser cannot reach the hair follicle. DO NOT PLUCK OR WAX for at least one month prior to treatment as this causes microscopic scarring surrounding the hair follicle and results in a less effective treatment.
FACT: Laser hair removal works by targeting the hair shaft deep at the base of the hair follicle. The goal is to have as much energy as possible absorbed by the pigment in the hair shaft so that it will generate heat and destroy the follicle. It is impossible to have the hair too short, the laser can always reach the base of the follicle because the laser energy will easily penetrate that deep.
Each laser pulse only has so much energy. Any hair above the skin will absorb some of that energy and decrease the amount of energy that reaches the deep hair follicle. Therefore, leaving a short stubble actually decreases the effectiveness of laser hair removal. Any laser hair removal provider that says you should leave some hair above the skin is actually doing you a disservice. Generally they do this because it takes times to properly shave and prep someone for a treatment.
When you pluck or wax, you remove the hair shaft from the follicle. With no hair in the follicle, there is nothing to absorb the laser energy and it is impossible to destroy the hair follicle. Therefore, you should not pluck or wax 30 days prior to a treatment, but it has nothing to do with causing microscopic scarring surrounding the hair follicle.
CLAIM: Because we have new state-of-the-art technology, there should be no "pain" associated with the laser procedure. Patients who have been treated with older model machines commonly experience moderate to severe pain.
FACT: There is no "new state-of-the art" technology. The last technology for laser hair removal came on the market in 2003. Since then, every new system on the market is only a variation of one of the major technologies. The lasers may be faster or more efficient, but they are all the same technology.
All technology causes some discomfort during laser hair removal. Laser hair removal works by absorbing laser energy at the hair follcile and converting that energy into heat that then destroys the hair follicle. By its very nature, that will cause some discomfort. Some people will feel it more than others and in most cases the discomfort can be managed. There is also technology that helps reduce that discomfort, though no technology can eliminate it. To state that there should be no pain is false.
Also, this particular provider never tells you what kind of technology they use. They do not reveal their "new" technology anywhere on their site.
CLAIM: With advancements in technology we can now treat patients with blond, white or even gray hair.
FACT: Laser hair removal works by targeting the melanin or pigment in the hair and absorbing the energy to create and thus detroying the hair follicle. If the hair has no pigment, the laser simply cannot see it and has no target to absorb the energy and create the heat needed to destroy the follicle.
Some providers may offer a product to put on your skin and hair. These products are a dye and were developed with the idea that it would get down to the base of the hair and help dye the hair so that blonde or white hair could be treated. Unfortunately, numerous trials (including our own), have shown it not to be that effective in treating blonde, white and gray hair. It is not reliable enough to be worth your time or money.
There are also some laser manufacturers that state that their laser is effective at treating these hair colors, however in our experience in testing these lasers, we found no concrete evidence that the clients received any worthwhile or permanent hair reduction.