Comparison of the three technologies:
The choice of device is essential in order to get a satisfactory result. Penetration into the skin and hair depends on the wavelength of the laser. CLINIK uses the best technology on the market and has the latest generation equipment.
The Alexandrite Laser is a class IV laser that emits a wavelength of 755 nanometres that is easily absorbed by the melanin and released as heat that destroys the hair bulb. It also has an integrated skin cooling system to maximise efficacy, safety and comfort unmatched by other lasers on the market. The Alexandrite laser can be used to treat patients with skin types ranging from I to IV. It cannot be used on olive, dark or black skin; for these skin types, CLINIK has the Nd-Yag laser. The Nd-Yag Laser emits a wavelength of 1,064 nanometres, providing deeper skin penetration.
No. For hair removal, the laser emits a red or infrared light (depending on the type of laser) like that emitted on a kitchen stove top. It does not emit any radiation that could damage the skin. The wavelength used for hair removal is completely different from rays such as ultraviolet light or X-rays. The laser does not carry any risk of cancer.
The area treated may look pink or red after treatment. This redness disappears within a few minutes in some cases and a few hours in others. In rare cases, post-treatment crusting or changes in skin pigmentation may appear which tend to disappear within a few days. The use of an ice pack or application of CLINIK Aloe Vera gel will speed up the healing process.
Medical teams are available in all our CLINIK centres should you require a more specific examination.
If carried out under the right conditions, the risks of laser hair removal are very low for the patient.
First risk of laser hair removal: post-treatment crusting.
After the first session, the first risk of laser hair removal is that you may develop post-treatment crusting. Try not to worry, this crusting is not serious and does not pose any risk. It can, however, be unpleasant and unsightly until it has disappeared. We recommend applying Aloe Vera Gel to the affected area(s) until the crusting has completely healed. This gel helps the crust to fall off without drying up and without causing pigmentation. It is important to state that crusting is rare.
Second risk of laser hair removal: pigmentation irregularities.
The second risk of laser hair removal is pigmentation irregularities. During a session, melanocytes, cells that produce melanin which gives the skin its colour, are destroyed. When these cells are destroyed, the skin’s colour can no longer be produced. This is called hypopigmentation. Generally, hypopigmentation is characterised by white patches that are lighter than the natural colour of the skin. These changes will resolve with time. Conversely, on a darker skin hyperpigmentation can occur. This is a condition in which darker patches of skin can appear. These changes in skin pigmentation generally resolve over a period of a few months.
The laser works by focusing the light beam on the hairs. The amount of melanin in the hairs is very high. Tanned skin is also high in melanin. This means that the laser no longer only seeks out the hair but may also target the melanin in the skin. This significantly increases the risk of side effects such as burning or pigmentation irregularities that can take a long time to heal.
Before a laser session
In the month prior to the session you must avoid any kind of tanning. This includes the application of self-tanning products, oil-based solutions and especially sunbeds (do not use a sunbed for at least 3 months prior to treatment).
After a laser session
There is no strict obligation concerning exposure to the sun after a laser session. If the treated areas are exposed to bright sunlight, we recommend wearing sunscreen with an SPF 50 or higher in the days after the session.
However, if your skin develops an inflammatory response (redness, particular sensitivity or other), it is recommended to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially if you have olive skin.
The first stage involves a free consultation during which we explain the procedure and go through your past medical history. We ask about your health, any medications you are taking and any possible contraindications to treatment. As this is a medical treatment, a doctor will monitor your file in addition to the specialist therapist carrying out the treatments. We ask you to sign a consent form authorising us to carry out the treatment sessions.
After the consultation, you may proceed with the treatments or make an appointment for a later date. Ideally, the area should have been shaved the day before. You are then invited into the treatment room where you will be asked to get changed and lie on the treatment table. We will provide you with a robe and disposable underwear. We will also give you a pair of safety glasses which must be worn throughout the session.
The session can commence… The therapist marks out the areas to treat using a white marker pen. The therapist will communicate with you to see how well you are tolerating the treatment and adjust the cooling intensity to ensure your comfort. At the end of the session, the therapist will apply Aloe Vera gel to the treated area.
We will give you post-treatment guidance, including advice on what cream to apply and we are available to answer any questions you may have.
As the hair growth phase varies from one area to another, the permanent removal of all hair will require 2 to 4 sessions, possibly followed by 2 to 3 top-up sessions.
Approximately 20 to 25% of hair is removed per treatment session. In most cases, 5 to 8 sessions are enough to obtain a satisfactory result.
Depending on the treatment area, sessions should be spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart. If case of unforeseen difficulties or sun exposure, the sessions can be spaced out by an additional few week.
The hair life cycle
The life cycle of a hair is divided into 3 phases:
Phase 1: young and adult hair in the growing phase (= anagen phase)
Phase 2: old hair (= catagen phase)
Phase 3: dead hair (= telogen phase)
The laser only completely destroys hair in “phase 1”.
Alexandrite and Nd-yag laser hair removal
These lasers are class IV medical lasers.
Laser hair removal is permanent in 85% of cases. You have to weigh the cost up against that of other non-permanent treatments. Laser hair removal should be seen as a long-term investment and ultimate comfort. The skin is smooth, with no rashes or ingrown hairs.
Electrolysis takes 20 to 50 times longer than laser treatment. It is also more painful. It costs 6 to 9 times more than laser treatment. However, electrolysis is indicated for white hairs as well as for small areas such as eyebrows.
Waxing involves a lifelong commitment to sessions every 3 to 4 weeks. This equates to a huge amount of time and money.
In practice, laser treatment can be carried out at any time of the year. The important point is to ensure the skin is not tanned before treatment and to stay out of the sun as much as possible in the weeks following treatment.
Yes, that is possible. In general, this is done for medical reasons, particularly in the case of folliculitis. Hair removal of the beard for patients wanting to reduce the density of their beard is also possible. Laser hair removal of the beard improves the outcome for men undergoing gender reassignment operations.
Hair removal of the beard requires the application of an anaesthetic cream such as EMLA®.
Yes. However, it is recommended to avoid treating vellus (downy) hair with a laser. This is because stimulating the downy hair can cause it to grow back as thicker hair. Of course, this thicker hair can then be effectively treated with a laser.
Paradoxical regrowth: this is the development of new hair growth on the areas surrounding, or close to, the treated area, or even on the treated area itself. Most often, this involves transformation of the downy (vellus) hair, which is sometimes invisible, into thicker hair. This tends to happen after a certain period of time, typically around the third laser treatment session and/or up to 6 months after the end of treatment. This hair mainly appears on areas such as the face in women, and the shoulders and top of the back in men.
Of unknown mechanism, it may be a reaction of the body caused by inflammation and the production of prostaglandin.
In such cases, the sessions should continue to treat the areas that reacted. The area should be cooled with ice. A large number of sessions may be needed to improve the appearance of paradoxical regrowth.
Laser hair removal is only effective on hairs that contain melanin and is therefore not effective on white hairs. White, red, greying or depigmented (bleached) hair does not contain enough melanin for hair removal to be effective.
Pain is subjective and depends on the sensitivity of each patient and on the area of the body being treated. You will feel slight warmth and a tingling sensation.
The lasers at CLINIK are equipped with a skin cooling system for unrivalled efficacy, safety and comfort. Thanks to this system, the hair removal procedure is perfectly tolerable in 90% of cases. Any pain or discomfort only lasts for a few seconds as the laser emits its pulse.
If you are particularly sensitive and you think that laser hair removal will be too painful for you, there are ways to considerably reduce the pain. At CLINIK, we suggest using an anaesthetic cream which is applied locally to numb the area undergoing treatment.
It is strongly recommended not to undergo laser hair removal until puberty has finished. The body undergoes significant hormonal changes during this period and it is important to wait until such transformations have at least stabilised before undertaking laser treatment. This is to ensure its usefulness and effectiveness.
It is important to understand that the excessive body hair associated with hirsutism may be caused by a hormonal imbalance or an abnormally elevated production of substances that are able to stimulate hair growth. Hirsutism can be an isolated condition or it can be a sign of an increase in male hormones. It is important to conduct blood tests to check hormone levels and an ultrasound of the pelvis to identify the cause. Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common cause of hirsutism in women.
In confirmed hirsutism, medical treatment of the underlying hormonal imbalance is necessary. It is used in combination with laser hair removal. In all cases, however, medical treatment should be combined with an aesthetic approach.
There are some important aspects to conducting laser treatment on eyebrows. Indeed, they do not grow in a straight line. Eyebrows grow from the centre of the face outwards and upwards.
Generally, we try to limit laser hair removal to the space between the eyebrows. The treatment is simple, fast and well tolerated. During treatment in this area, the eyes are protected with metal eye shields to prevent retinal injury.
The melanin of red hair is not exactly the same as the melanin found in black hair that the laser was designed for.
The results are variable on red hair. A laser test needs to be carried out on a small area before undergoing treatment on a larger area.
Freckles (ephelides) are common in those with fair skin and red hair, and the laser can be used to effectively treat them and reduce their appearance.
We talk about permanent laser hair removal as this effective method can remove 85% of unwanted hair. However, it might be accurate to talk of a permanent method. It is important to understand that results can vary considerably from one person to the next depending on the type of hair growth. Patients often require maintenance or top-up sessions after a few years (4 to 5 years on average).
The specialised practitioners at CLINIK cannot determine in advance the exact number of sessions you will require, as the treatment is different for each person.
A few patients do not respond to the laser and, in some cases, hair removal is not permanent even though the patients may be very happy with the outcome.
The interval between each laser session depends on the area of the body being treated as well as the type of laser being used:
On the face: 4 to 6 weeks
Trunk: 6 to 8 weeks
Leg: 8 to 12 weeks
If the hair has not regrown, the next session can be postponed.
Facial hair removal gives spectacular results when performed on thick or medium hair. On light hair, results are less satisfactory.
You should know that the amount of facial hair is much higher in proportion to the other areas of the body. In addition, women’s face is subjected to hormonal influences. These different factors can then lead to a need for further sessions.
People wishing to go ahead with Alexandrite Laser treatment must have a skin type from I to IV. This will allow a much safer and effective treatment. For skin types from V to VI, it is preferable that the treatment is performed with Nd-Yag Laser because of the large amount of melanin in the skin.
The number of sessions depends on the type of hair and skin: the thicker and darker the hair is, better the results. Depending on the area you choose to treat, you will need on average :
Each session lasts between 15 and 45 minutes. For example:
Studies show that 85% of the hair doesn’t regrow after a successful treatment.
Pregnancy is one of the main contraindications for permanent laser hair removal. It will take an average of two months after breastfeeding to be able to do it.