Are there any side effects for this type of treatment? What should I expect post treatment?

Like every treatment there are side effects associated with them if contraindications are not properly assessed. Hence, the comprehensive skin consultation process at Lawnton Laser Clinic is in place to minimise these effects giving you a refreshed post treatment feeling. Apart from some redness (erythema) and swelling (odema) which are desired end points for each IPL/laser hair removal treatment (to ensure the hair follicle is damages as needed) you should not feel pain or heavy discomfort post treatment. You are then asked to simply follow a set of instructions such as being away from the sun, using sunscreen (SPF50+), wear loose clothing etc to help your skin recover in a timely manner for your next laser treatment session. Its a commitment and well worth the journey. You will also get a preparation guide at your consult to ensure you are ready for your treatment every time.

Where on my body can I get permanent hair reduction using IPL/laser?

Pretty much every where except under the eyebrows (top and mid brows can be removed), scalp and eyelids due to safety reasons. Women usually like hair removed from sides of their face and neck, underarms, stomach, arms and legs and some prefer their hair in the bikini area treated. Men on the other hand are seen increasing taking advantage of hair removal for areas like back and chest, mid brow, ears, stomach and legs. No longer are men and women considering long, painful and temporary procedures like waxing, shaving and threading in busier and more affordable times like ours.

How many sessions are required for permanent hair reduction?

This is a very good question and the answer really depends on your hair growth cycle, medical history, hormonal changes and the area of treatment. And every person is different. There are three hair growth phases ; Anagen (active growth phase), Catagen (transition phase) and Telogen (resting phase). We target hair in the anagen phase when it is most active and susceptible to light treatment[4,5] every 4 to 6 weeks. Most of your hair will be in the anagen phase which will be targeted during your laser/IPL treatments. On average, about six sessions can significantly slow down hair growth after which a maintenance mode of once every six to twelve months is required to keep the fine and slowly grown hair away. However, every person has a different hair growth cycle and some may only need up to 2 sessions for a desired outcome, others even more. Therefore it is imperative you have a consultation process to determine factors that can contribute to your hair growth and help our laser consultant devise an optimal strategy for your treatment. We also provide you with your own little progress report after every 3 sessions to help you understand your journey too.

IPL or Laser which one should I choose for hair removal?

This is mainly based on the skin type that is being treated. IPL is a gentle way of hair reduction due to the way it diverges or spreads when incident on skin as there are a multitude of wavelengths that are produced in pulses. IPL requires multiple visits to reach a desired outcome as heat needs to travel to the hair follicle from where it is incident. Lasers are focused and monochromatic (single wavelength) and are usually deep pulsed so they can hit the target hair follicles directly in less number of sessions compared to IPL. The choice of IPL/Laser treatment is usually based on the skin phototype, hair color, cost effectiveness (laser is usually the expensive one), etc. But, at Lawnton Laser Clinic, patient satisfaction is our goal so you need not worry about ever changing costs, just leave it up-to our clinical experts to devise a treatment plan best suited to your skin treatment and hair removal needs.

How painful is it?

Ideally, if you have the right machine, an optimised treatment plan, an in-depth skin consultation with a qualified staff, your treatment should not be painful. Recent technology with IPL and lasers have advanced and pain is longer a factor during treatments. With IPLs , a ‘warm and tingly’ feeling is considered normal. A ‘warm rubber snap’ is traditionally considered normal for lasers which are usually a little more uncomfortable than IPLs. At Lawnton Laser Clinic, hair removal treatments will not be as painful as machines are optimised to the thermal relaxation time or TRT [1,2,3] of your hair follicle. This just means we don’t blast you with a large amount of energy in one go but just enough to reach hair follicle damage keeping your surrounding skin and blood vessels less affected by the laser beam and yes the outcome is just no pain!

What is the difference between IPL and Laser?

Source: (1) Yadav, RK. (2009). Definitions in Laser Technology. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2(1): 45–46

IPL (or Intense Pulsed Light) and Laser (or Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) are two forms of light therapy commonly used in the aesthetic industry for purposes of permanent hair reduction, vascular treatments, skin resurfacing and rejuvenation depending on the type of light used (IPL/Laser) for the appropriate skin color. IPL is not only used for hair removal but a wide variety of skin pigmentation, vascular reductions and skin rejuvenation treatments due to its broad wavelength that can target several pigments in the skin. Both treatment principles involve targeting chromophores (color bearing light absorbing particles) like melanin in the skin or hair follicle and haemoglobin in blood vessels.

Of the entire range of light, or what is called an electromagnetic spectrum, light can either be produced in the visible range which is used in IPL or in the form of a monochromatic invisible light which is called a laser to selectively target chromophores such as melanin in the skin that simply absorb this light producing heat. This is called selective photo-thermolysis. Both processes (Laser/IPL) gradually heat up the unwanted hair/pigment in the skin over time, eventually diminishing its growth giving you a permanent hair or pigment reduction.