Q. What is Laser Hair Removal?
Unwanted Hair can be embarrassing, unsightly and time-consuming to remove. Conventional ways of removing hair, such as shaving and waxing, need to be done repeatedly and causes often skin irritations, infections and pain. Laser hair removal involves using a laser to heat the small cavities in the skin, known as follicles, which hair grows out of. The heat of the laser damages the follicles, which prevents future hair growth in that area. Hair follows a specific growth cycle with three distinct and concurrent phases: anagen (growing), catagen (regression) and telogen (resting, not growing) phases. Each phase has specific characteristics and all three phases occur simultaneously; one strand of hair may be in the anagen phase, while another is in the telogen phase. The anagen phase has also two distinct hair growth sub-phases; anagen –early hair growth and anagen- active hair growth. The laser treatments affect only the anagen-active hair growth phase.
Q. How many treatments will I need?
Since the laser treatment is effective in the anagen –active hair growth phase, the client has to come several times in order to expose all the hair to the laser. Approximately 15-25% of hair is reduced after each treatment, as this is the estimated amount of hair that is in the active-hair growth phase. Therefore, 6-12 sessions are required in average in order to permanently remove the hair from the treated area. However, depending on hair density and colour, as well as skin colour, more treatments might be required to get rid off all the hair.
Q. Which hair and skin types can be treated successfully?
Many advances have been made in laser treatments. One such advance is that more people can safely have laser hair removal. In the past, only people with dark hair and light skin could safely have laser hair removal. Today, laser hair removal is also a treatment option for clients who have light-coloured hair and light skin and clients who have dark skin. Lighter hair might require more treatments as the rule of thumb is that” light follows colour”. That means that the darker the hair is, the easier the laser light is absorbed. Nevertheless the special wavelength of the Alma Soprano Ice laser is able to penetrate even lighter hair, except grey hair.
Q. Is it safe?
The Alma Soprano Ice Laser is a FDA approved non-invasive hair removal device. Millions of people undergo laser hair removal worldwide and most of the clients tolerate it very well. In some rare occasions one might get temporary skin irritations such as redness of the skin, which usually disappears within hours after treatment.
Q. How about Cancer?
In all the decades of laser treatments, there has never been any form of cancer associated with laser treatments.
The light energy from these lasers remains superficially at the level of the skin and causes no damage or mutation to the DNA. The pulses of light energy used in laser hair removal treatments are only designed to heat and destroy hair follicles. There are no risks associated with treating areas near reproductive organs. The light used does not penetrate beyond the depths of the hair follicle and internal organs are in no way affected, nor is fertility.
This applies also to moles that are exposed to laser treatments. Even though some irritation might occur on moles, as the light is more absorbed on darker skin areas, it is a temporary condition and usually resolves itself within days. Your laser therapist will take your moles into account, and either work around moles and/ or adjust the settings on the laser device. There is no association between laser treatments, moles and cancer.
Q. Where are the laser treatments performed and what can I expect during the treatment?
The laser treatments are performed at the facilities of KSPA. Our therapists have undergone extensive clinical trainings and are specifically certified to perform laser treatments with the Alma Soprano Ice laser device. Furthermore KSPA has registered with and acquired approval from the Department of Health in form of its site licence, which enables us to perform such treatments. Your laser treatment will take place in a room set up for laser treatments. Everyone in the room must wear protective eyewear during the procedure. During your first visit the therapist will ask you some questions in order to establish your skin type. The strength of the laser treatment will be set according to your skin type. To perform the procedure, we will put some clear ultrasound gel on the area that is to be treated with the laser. This ensures the best contact between the laser diode and skin for optimal results. During the treatment you will hear a peep-sound from the laser device. This will indicate that the laser device is giving the laser shots.
How long your single treatment lasts depends on the size of the area being treated. Treating the upper lip takes minutes. If you are having a large area like the back or legs treated, your treatment may last 30-60mins, in some cases even longer. Please speak with us beforehand so that you can plan it in advance.
Q. What must I consider during, before and after treatments?
In order to gain optimal results and minimise any risks, you should avoid putting any creams such as lotions or sun creams on the area that is to be treated. Furthermore it is of utmost importance that you shave the night or morning before the treatment. There has to be no hair on the surface of the skin, otherwise, that hair will absorb some of the laser energy, and that is what might cause pain. The better the client is shaved, the more comfortable the procedure will be. After the procedure you should avoid direct sun exposure for 3 days as well as strong touch on the treated area. It is recommended that you wear lose clothing in order not to cause irritations of the treated skin. The treated area should not be exposed to warm or hot water for several hours, and washing the area should be done with a mild body wash. In few cases one might experience minor redness and swelling after treatment. Applying a cool compress can help reduce your discomfort.
Q. When will I see the results after having laser hair removal?
You will likely see the results immediately after treatment. The results vary from patient to patient. The colour and thickness of your hair, area treated, and colour of your skin all affect the results. You can expect a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after the first treatment. With each treatment your hair will get finer and finer, until it does not grow anymore.
Q. Do I need to take off from work for treatments?
Treatments with the Alma Soprano Ice do not require any down time or recovery time. You can return to work or other activities immediately. Excessive exercise, however, should be avoided for a couple of days in order to avoid sweating that might irritate the treated area.K-SPA is conveniently located in Cape Town’s CBD area, at the V&A Waterfront. Parking is available in the Portswood parkade, right next to K-SPA. You can pop by before work or during your lunch break, or any other time that is convenient for you. Or come after work, avoid the traffic back home, take your laser treatment and relax with one of our massages.