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Everything You Need to Know About Laser Hair Removal

All you need to know about the laser hair removal treatment offered at our Toronto cosmetic surgery practice.

Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to permanently get rid of unwanted hair. Almost all areas of the body can be treated except for areas near the eyes, as the laser can cause eye damage. Common areas include the upper lip, neck, chest, underarms, back, abdomen, bikini line, and legs.

Many people want to know exactly how laser hair removal works. Light, similar to sound, travels in waves. While regular light is made up of beams of varying wavelengths, laser light consists of a single wavelength. Further, the light of a particular wavelength is absorbed by objects of a particular color. The light energy emitted by laser hair removal machines is specifically absorbed by dark-colored pigment in hair follicles. The heat caused by laser light energy destroys the dark follicle only, leaving the surrounding lighter skin tissue intact. The color of the hair to be treated must, therefore, be darker (have more pigment) than the surrounding skin to avoid injury. Dark coarse hair absorbs laser energy best and is easiest to treat. Blond or red hair is less responsive and usually, requires more treatments. Grey hair cannot be treated by laser hair removal, so it’s important not to miss the opportunity to remove unwanted hair before it turns grey.

The follicle must be in its growth phase to be affected, so typically 5 to 6 treatments are required to permanently get rid of the hair, as at any given time only some of the hair is in the growth phase.

Are all laser hair removal machines the same? Absolutely not. The machines target pigment and less sophisticated lasers don’t differentiate between the pigment of a hair follicle and that of dark skin, thus they cannot safely be used on darker skinned individuals. Also, many machines lack both the power and adjustable settings to allow for variability in the treatment area size, penetration, and the pulse duration. As a result, the treatment may be more uncomfortable, or it may require much more, longer treatments to achieve the desired result. The experience and training of the individual performing the treatment are also important. In untrained hands, lasers can cause burns.

At MCSC we have carefully chosen the Cynosure Apogee® Elite Laser, precisely because it is has 2 lasers of different wavelengths so that all skin types can be safely treated. It is a powerful laser with deep penetration, adjustable spot size and pulse duration to allow for adjustment not only from patient to patient but also from area to area. Treatments typically require no more than 15-30 minutes. The Cynosure Apogee Elite also has a cooling tip, so patients experience minimal discomfort. Many people describe it as a feeling like an elastic band snapping the skin. Treatment does not require any local anesthetic or pain medication and is actually much less painful than waxing. Our registered nurse and aesthetician are medically trained and specifically trained in the use of the laser to further insure your safety.

So, for smooth, hairless skin consider laser hair removal – an easy, safe and affordable luxury! Call our office at 905-273-3045 (Mississauga) or 416-207-9090 (Toronto) or request an appointment online to book a consult with Cathy or Suzanne.

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