If you’re ready to get rid of unwanted hair and you live near Washington, D.C., Fairfax, or Sterling, Althea Medspa has the perfect solution for you. We offer a range of helpful services including laser hair reduction, facial hair removal for women, and more. Laser hair removal is a commonly chosen procedure that permanently rids patients of unwanted hair by heating the hair follicle until it can no longer produce new hair.
The procedure typically requires six sessions to be optimally effective, though most hair is removed during the first five sessions—the sixth session is reserved for cleaning up any hair that may have been missed. At Althea Medspa, we ensure your hair reduction process is comfortable and convenient.
About Diode Laser Hair Removal and YAG Laser Hair Removal
To get a better idea of whether hair removal procedures at Althea Medspa are right for you, check out these frequently asked questions.
HOW DOES LASER HAIR REDUCTION WORK?
Laser hair reduction uses pulses of infrared light energy that pass through the skin's surface and gradually heat the hair follicles beneath the skin until they can no longer produce new hair. The heat actually disrupts the melanin protein pigment which creates hair color. The melanin swells and ruptures the follicle cells. Meanwhile, the surface of your skin stays cool and comfortable.
WHAT TYPES OF LASER ARE USED?
Althea Medspa in Fairfax and Sterling uses two types of laser for hair removal. A "diode" laser is used on light to intermediate skin color and a "YAG" laser is used on dark skin. These terms are abbreviations for the solid substances that emit the laser energy.
ARE THE TREATMENTS PAINFUL?
Older lasers caused pain when they emitted an intensely high temperature pulse in contact with the skin. Our laser has a refrigerated tip which feels cold on the skin and eliminates both pain and burns.
ARE THE TREATMENTS SAFE?
Our lasers have been cleared for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so you can be assured they have passed stringent tests for safety and efficacy.
ARE THE TREATMENTS PERFORMED BY A DOCTOR?
Technology, including laser technology, is changing the way both medicine and cosmetics are practiced. Procedures such as laser hair reduction that may have once been performed by a doctor are now so safe and routine that they are more appropriately done by a technician. During your initial consultation, your practitioner will examine you and refer you to a physician if needed. If you have any medical concerns at all, do not hesitate to consult with your physician.
HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE NEEDED FOR DIODE LASER TREATMENT?
Six sessions are recommended to reduce hair from any part of the body. The laser only eliminates actively growing hair follicles. Only 20% of the body's hair follicles are growing at any one time; the others are in a dormant phase. Thus most of the hair is removed in the first five sessions. The sixth sessions is reserved to clean up any hair that may have been missed. Normally, at least 80% of the hair is eliminated after the six treatments. Individuals with especially thick or dense hair, or with above average hormonal activity, may need more than six sessions to remove all of the hair.
HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE NEEDED FOR YAG LASER TREATMENT?
The YAG laser operates at a lower energy level than the diode laser. This is safer for the skin than the diode laser, but less hair may be removed in each session. Ten or more sessions may be needed. Patience is needed but ultimately the desired result will be achieved.
HOW LONG IS EACH SESSION?
This depends on the size of the area being treated. We allow 15 minutes for small areas (bikini, underarms, chin, lip, sideburns, cheeks, hands, toes, or navel), 30 minutes for medium and large areas (Brazilian, lower legs, full face, arms, shoulders, or chest), and 45 minutes for extra large areas such as the upper legs.
WHAT IS THE INTERVAL BETWEEN SESSIONS?
The hair's growth cycle is at least four weeks. Thus at least four weeks are needed between sessions to allow enough new hair to grow out to make the next treatment worthwhile. After several sessions, when most of the hair has been removed, sessions may be spaced even less frequently, once again to allow enough new hair to grow out.
IS THE HAIR REDUCTION PERMANENT?
Many people find that their hair reduction is permanent. Some people have naturally rapid hair growth and find that their hair growth does not cease completely. Health changes and hormonal changes, including menopause and use of birth control pills, may cause hair growth to recur after some time. The new hair is often lighter, finer, and sparser than the original hair. A client may wish to have maintenance sessions if they are needed.
DO YOU TREAT MALE CLIENTS?
DO YOU TREAT PREGNANT CLIENTS?
Although laser energy penetrates only the superficial layer of the skin, manipulation of the abdominal area may present added risk, so we avoid treating the abdominal area during pregnancy.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR HAIR REDUCTION TREATMENT?
Shave the area as closely as possible, as soon as possible before the session, so that the laser light can penetrate to the root of the hair follicle. Discontinue waxing, plucking, and tweezing so that hair can grow out to the surface of the skin for more effective removal. Avoid tanning and excessive sun exposure which increase the risk of a laser burn.
IS ANY ADDITIONAL PREPARATION NEEDED FOR YAG LASER TREATMENT?
Before your first YAG laser treatment, we may apply a lightener product to the skin and make test spots to ensure there is no adverse reaction. A little extra work and time are needed, but your safety is our first concern.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER LASER HAIR REDUCTION TREATMENT, AND WHAT CARE IS NEEDED?
Most people can resume normal activities immediately after their treatment. There may be a mild, temporary reddening or irritation of the treated area similar to a mild sunburn. Avoid tanning and excessive sun exposure afterward, which may cause the skin to burn. We like to be conservative and recommend avoiding direct sun exposure for two weeks prior to and after any laser treatment.
WHAT AGE IS IDEAL FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
Patients of nearly any age can undergo laser hair removal. Children, adolescents, and adults can go through the process with minimal setbacks.