Metropolitan Plastic Surgery

Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal in Virginia

Unwanted hair is a problem that both men and women have had to endure for centuries. Temporary removal with shaving, plucking, or waxing has been the method used by most to deal with their unwanted hair. Until recently, electrolysis was the only effective method for permanent hair removal. However, electrolysis is painful and can result in permanent scarring of the skin in some cases. When laser hair removal was first introduced, it was a dream come true. For the first time in history, hair could be removed permanently and without pain.

Many individuals interested in laser hair removal have been skeptical about the long-term results of this procedure. Until recently, few lasers were able to claim permanent hair removal. The fact remains that not all hair-removal lasers are able to permanently eliminate the hair growth, and some can do actual harm in the process. The question is which laser is most effective, yet has the least possibility of injuring the patient.

No hair removal system is truly complete. Some hair return is unavoidable. However, with repeated sessions of laser treatment, the hair growth is reduced. Tough, dark, rapidly growing hair is replaced by softer, lighter, slower growing hair. Areas of thick hair growth become less dense. A single laser treatment will have little long-term effect. At least 5 or 6 treatments will be necessary through the course of a year. Treatments are generally spaced 2 months apart. Hair has to be in a susceptible phase of its growth cycle for the treatment to be successful. After each treatment episode, a certain percentage of hair follicles will be permanently stunned by the laser light. The hair follicle is injured, but the other skin elements and tissues are little affected. In addition to helping individuals with normal hair growth, laser hair removal is useful for those individuals who suffer from hirsutism and parafolliculitis barbae.

Several generations of lasers have been introduced in the past several years. Most lasers induce injury through selective ablation of tissue. Different target cells are affected by different wavelengths. The range of wavelengths extends from 500 nm lasers, which primarily affect vascular structures, to the 1064nm wavelengths, which affect water and melanin. Long-pulsed Nd: YAG lasers are 1064nm and target melanin present in the hair follicles. Dark colored hair with a lot of melanin is most effectively targeted. White hair with little melanin is least affected. Blonde hair falls in the middle of this spectrum.

The long-pulsed Nd: YAG laser can treat all skin types and has been approved by the FDA for permanent hair removal. Because the intensity of laser light can be controlled according to the amount of melanin in the skin and the color of the hair, this laser has a very good track record for safety. The best results are seen with darker hair against lighter skin. Permanent hair reduction is possible with virtually no adverse effect. The patients experience no pain during or after the procedure. There is no down-time associated with this procedure.

 

 

What is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a procedure that helps reduce unwanted hair permanently and effectively by using laser light.

What does Laser Hair Removal accomplish?

The purpose of the laser hair removal procedure is to remove unwanted hair. This is a problem that both men and women have had to endure for centuries. Temporary removal with shaving, plucking, or waxing has been the method used by most to deal with their unwanted hair. Until recently, electrolysis was the only effective method for permanent hair removal. However, electrolysis is painful and can result in permanent scarring of the skin in some cases. When laser hair removal was first introduced, it was a dream come true. For the first time in history, hair could be removed permanently and without pain.

Who is a candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

Candidates are individuals who would like permanent reduction of unwanted hair in targeted areas of the face or body. In addition to helping individuals with normal hair growth, laser hair removal is useful for those individuals who suffer from hirsutism (excessive hair growth in women) and parafolliculitis barbae (inflammation due to ingrown hairs).

What happens during the first consultation for Laser Hair Removal in Virginia?

In the first consultation, you will have a chance to discuss your concerns with our patient care coordinators and Dr. Marefat. We will explain what you need to know about your procedure and help to determine what is best for you. You will receive information booklets, review before and after photographs, and receive pricing on the procedure.

How is Laser Hair Removal performed?

We usually perform this procedure in our office. The skin of the area to be treated with the laser is cleaned and shaved. The laser light creates a superficial burn that causes the hair follicle to be injured, while other skin elements are left undamaged. Several generations of lasers have been introduced in the past several years. Most lasers induce injury through selective ablation of tissue. Different target cells are affected by different wavelengths. The range of wavelengths extends from 500 nm lasers, which primarily affect vascular structures, to the 1064nm wavelengths, which affect water and melanin. Long-pulsed Nd: YAG lasers are 1064nm and target melanin present in the hair follicles. Dark colored hair with a lot of melanin is most effectively targeted. White hair with little melanin is least affected. Blond hair falls somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.

Is Laser Hair Removal really permanent?

Many individuals interested in laser hair removal have been skeptical about the long-term results of this procedure. Until recently, few lasers were able to claim permanent hair removal. The fact remains that not all hair removal lasers are able to permanently eliminate the hair growth, and some can do actual harm in the process. The question is which laser is most effective, yet has the least possibility of injuring the patient. No hair removal system is truly complete. Some hair return is unavoidable. However, with repeated sessions of laser treatment, the hair growth is reduced. Tough, dark, rapidly growing hair is replaced by softer, lighter, slower growing hair. Areas of thick hair growth become less dense.

How often do I have to receive Virginia Laser Hair Removal treatment?

This depends on your hair color, skin color, and the laser being used. It is almost certain that you will need several treatments. With the Nd: YAG laser, you need at least 5-6 treatments. It is not unusual to need twice as many sessions to achieve the desired results. Treatments are generally spaced 2 months apart. Hair has to be in a susceptible phase of its growth cycle for the treatment to be successful. After each treatment episode, a certain percentage of hair follicles will be permanently stunned by the laser light. The hair follicle is injured, but the other skin elements and tissues are little affected.

What can I expect after Laser Hair Removal?

There will be a minimal amount of swelling in the hair follicles after laser hair removal. Your skin may appear to have “goose bumps,” but this will quickly resolve in a few hours. The area treated may be slightly red. You do not need any down-time with this procedure. Patients are usually able to have treatment and return to work the next hour.

How many visits do I have after Laser Hair Removal treatment in Virginia?

Treatments are generally spaced 2 months apart. You may have as many visits as you want. Our treatment packages last for a year. In most cases, there is sufficient reduction in the hair so that further treatments may not be necessary.

When can I cover my Laser Hair Removal bruises with make-up?

You should not have any bruising with this procedure.

Am I a good candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

The ideal candidate for laser hair removal is a person who has dark hair against light skin. Long-pulsed Nd: YAG lasers are 1064nm and target melanin present in the hair follicles. Dark colored hair with a lot of melanin is most effectively targeted. White hair with little melanin is least affected. Blond hair falls somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.

How do I pay for Laser Hair Removal in Virginia?

You can pay for this procedure by certified check, credit card, or cash. Payment for cosmetic surgery is expected prior to any procedure. If you are scheduled for a treatment several weeks in advance, you may pay by personal check.

Are there Laser Hair Removal scars?

No. There are no scars with this procedure.

Does Laser Hair Removal hurt?

Patients have virtually no pain during or after the procedure. If you have resistant hair that requires high-energy pulses of light, you may feel a slight pricking sensation with the laser. However, the advantage of the long-pulsed Nd: YAG laser is that it can be adjusted to each patient's level of comfort.

Will I be awake during Laser Hair Removal?

Yes. You do not need any sedation or local numbing medicine with this procedure.

Where is Laser Hair Removal performed in Virginia?

The procedure is performed in our Virginia offices.

Are medical photographs taken of Laser Hair Removal procedures?

Yes. In all cosmetic and reconstructive cases medical photos are taken. Photographs are mandatory. This is the only way for us to compare your status before the procedure to your results. Photographs in plastic surgery serve much the same role that x-rays serve for orthopedic surgery.

How do I get started with Laser Hair Removal in Virginia?

Dr. Marefat and the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery would be happy to help you set up a private consultation to discuss laser hair removal treatments in Virginia. Schedule an appointment online or call one of our locations, our Arlington, Virginia office at 703-516-7600 or our Woodbridge, Virginia office at 703-560-9583.

Are there financing options for Laser Hair Removal in Virginia?

Dr. Marefat offers a number of financial assistance programs and payment programs to cover the cost of laser hair removal treatments in Virginia. Please visit the Patient Financing section of our website for more details or ask the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery about these options so you can get started with laser hair removal treatments in Virginia today.