The Latest on Laser Hair Removal

At Glow Medispa, we offer laser hair removal with the best laser in the industry, Lutronic's Clarity II. It is a dual-wavelength Alexandrite / Nd-Yag laser that is the fastest of its kind.

how does laser hair removal work?

laser hair removal for lighter skin types

Different lasers work a bit differently. Most work by targeting the pigment in the hair. The goal is not to vaporize the hair, but send the energy down the hair shaft to kill the follicular stem cells. The hair must be shaved before treatment, or else the energy is just spent burning the hair. Any hair sticking out of the skin takes away from the energy going down into the follicle. Lasers that work this way are Alexandrite lasers (755nm) and diode lasers (810nm). Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Broad Band Light (BBL) which are the same technology both work this way as well, though these are not true lasers but use a band of wavelengths (rather than a single wavelength) to achieve the same end. All of these lasers work well when the skin is light and the hair is dark. Alexandrite lasers are the most effective and target the pigment most specifically. Alexandrite has long been considered the gold standard, though studies have shown that they all work well to remove hair– the number of treatments necessary varies. Each of the other types of laser have limitations. Why settle?

laser hair removal for darker skin types:

For people with darker skin, those lasers cannot be used because they target pigment– and there is pigment in the skin as well as the hair. Instead, a different laser is used on darker skin types– this is a NdYag laser at 1064nm. This laser targets the red deeper in the skin in the blood vessels of the follicle. This laser essentially doesn’t “see” the pigment and leaves it alone. This is the only laser that is truly safe on darker skin. Some diode lasers purport to be safe on darker skin, but the NdYag is the gold standard and is the safest laser hair treatment available for darker skin types.

clarity ii advantages

the clarity ii is fast

The Clarity II is the fastest dual-wavelength Alexandrite/NdYag laser. The spot size ranges from just 2mm up to 24mm, allowing treatment of tiny areas to very large areas in minutes. The device has sophisticated software built into it with IntelliTrak™ that allows automated rapid treatments that most other devices lack. 

hair removal for any skin type

With both Alexandrite and NdYag lasers we can now treat any skin type from light to dark.

fewer treatments

The Clarity II is more effective at killing the follicles resulting in fewer treatments than most other lasers. The IntelliTrak™ technology allows for faster and more consistent treatment coverage.

comfortable treatments with no gel needed

The Clarity laser does not even touch the skin. It uses a spray coolant rather than contact cooling as so many other devices do, and employs Temperature Sensing for real-time skin temp feedback during treatment. No more messy gel.

treatment for vellus hair

Vellus hair are those fine soft hairs often called peach fuzz. There are protocols for treating vellus hair with the Clarity II that can be quite effective– you have to be a good candidate and treating Vellus hair isn’t always possible– but it is exciting to have an option now for this type of hard-to-treat unwanted hair.

Ability to treat dilated blood vessels, cherries, and pigmented spots like sun spots and Seborrheic Keratosis (SK’s)

The Clarity II can be used to target benign pigmented lesions and vascular (red) lesions in the skin. It is great for treating those tiny dilated vessels around the nose and round red cherry angiomas. It can also treat brown spots and known benign lesions like SK’s. Please do keep in mind– any pigmented skin lesion must be evaluated by a dermatologist for chance of malignancy. 

what are the risks of laser hair removal?

With any laser or energy device, the main risk is burns to the skin. Making sure the hair is very well shaved before treatment is key– as any hair sticking out of the follicle only contributes to burns. Having the right settings for each skin type is also critical. Our policy is always to start on the conservative side, in order to minimize any chances of a complication. We know our patients want results, but we do everything we can to prevent a burn!

why do some places call it “laser hair reduction”? is there a difference between that and laser hair removal?

When you kill a hair follicle it does not grow back (ie it is permanent). So with this laser we can truly “remove” the hair. However, the hair follicle must be in the right phase of the hair cycle to be vulnerable to the laser energy. At any given time only approximately 20% of follicles are in the right phase. That’s why it takes a while to complete a series, and after each treatment the hair is “reduced” not completely “removed.” Generally after a series of treatments, there will be no more hair in the area.

Your body also has the ability to create new dark terminal hairs over time. So eventually you will see a new dark hair in an area that has been completely treated. Eventually there may be enough new ones to warrant a touch up in the future. The face is especially prone to these new hairs. Other parts of the body tend to stay bare once the skin is completely treated. 

Regardless of whether you call it Removal or Reduction, most people find they just need one series to fully treat an area, and may or may not ever need a touch up in the future.

thinking about laser hair removal?

We finally have the device to make the decision easier. The Clarity II is simply the best, most comfortable and fastest device on the market for laser hair removal, and it is effective on any skin type. To find out more, schedule an appointment or call us. We are happy to answer any questions.

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