As we discussed in our last post, the setting of the laser is important to achieving results. Second to this is the timing of your laser hair removal treatments.
Optimally timed treatments target the hair growth phase that is most responsive to laser.
Rarely is this sooner than 8-10 weeks, sometimes even 12 depending on the area we are treating, (the exception being for facial hair, which requires more frequent treatment due to the cycle of hair growth).
If a treatment has been successfully performed there should be no hair present for 6-8 weeks after each session.
The hair that returns should be fewer than the session before. If there is no hair in the treatment area, there is nothing for the laser to target. If there is nothing for the laser to target, why have a treatment?
If there is hair presenting at 4 weeks, there are only a couple of reasons why:
1: Missed Patches
The most common reason for growth between sessions is that the hair was missed in the previous treatment. A speedy session that has you in and out of the clinic in a flash could mean that the treatment is not as thorough and sections are being missed.
We get it, it happens and occasionally we might let a missed patch slip out the door, but we can count on one hand how many times that happens in a year. It’s not normal and isn’t part of our plan to have you come back more frequently.
A missed patch is when the treated areas fall out after two weeks, the missed patch does not.
This happens when a section has been skipped or the treatment area not so thoroughly covered.
Missed patches will often look like a solid section of hair growth. If you have an overall covering of hair, this is not a missed patch but a poorly performed treatment that is not covering the entire area. This sets you up for a more frequent laser session which can actually be a problem long term, we cover this a little in point 3 below.
2: The hair is untreatable.
If your regrowth is blonde, light, fine and fluffy, the hair you can see and feel has not been treated during the laser session.
If the hair did not fall out during the two week shedding period, either the hair is too light and untreatable (Yes, we have seen clients who have had multiple treatments on hair that was never treatable in the first place). Either the hair has been rendered untreatable from multiple sessions at a lower setting (See part one of this blog series). Or finally, that the setting used was not powerful enough to treat a fine yet coloured hair.
3: Hair cycle has been disrupted leaving you with an uneven cycle.
This can happen to the most seasoned laser clients. If you’ve been having multiple treatments at the incorrect intervals without much hint of reduction, only an altering of the hair type, you could possibly be in the final stages of where the hair has been reduced to something that is going to be very difficult to get a result on.
Our hair grows in stages and cycles. If your treatments are spaced incorrectly, this over time will lead to a very ad-hock cycle of growth, making it difficult to time future treatments. You will have hairs in all different stages at all different times, making each treatment less effective. This happens when treatments have not been thorough and you are returning every 4 weeks to catch hair that has now been split into multiple different cycles. Thus making it impossible to treat effectively.
4: It’s facial hair-
Due to the activity of facial hair follicles, the hair cycle is quicker on the face. This means that treatment will need to be more frequent, generally spaced 4-6 weeks apart. If you have unwanted facial hair, we tailor a specific treatment plan for you.
Top ups and their timing:
We have experienced some clients who have been advised that when their package ends yet they still have hair growth that they have been moved onto the “top up” stage. Their treatments then continue in a similar fashion to the original package of sessions. Another round of laser sessions isn’t what we consider to be a top up. That’s just more treatments.
At SkintifiX we generally achieve an 80%+ reduction within 6-8 treatments, on occasion, some clients require 8-10 but this is not so common.
We find that once our clients have achieved these desired results, their top up timing will vary depending on a few factors.
The average top up should be 1-3 times per year for areas on the body, 3-4 times per year for areas on the face. As the year progress, we find that the frequency of top ups reduce. We are now seeing some clients once to twice per year, sometimes even less.
There are some rare cases where clients will need a higher number of recommended treatments and on-going top up sessions.
Those who are more likely to need above the recommended average number of treatments are:
-Teens who are still going through puberty.
-Clients with a darker skin type who, for their skins safety need to be treated at a lower setting.
-Clients with a heritage of a more hirsute genetic history.
– Those with PCOS and other hormonally driven hair growth concerns.
-Young males particularly those who use hormones as part of their exercise training program.
-Those preparing for gender reassignment or undergoing hormonal treatments.
These are some of the clients who will need more than the recommended number of treatments and may not achieve the same results as clients outside of these categories.
Laser hair removal is not a one size fits all but with our years of experience, we have mastered what works for most clients.
Settings and timing are just two of the critical factors in a successful laser hair removal treatment.
Part three of our blog mini series explains the further things to consider if seeking the most successful treatment possible.
If anything we’ve talked about so far is feeling familiar, and you’ve noticed your laser treatments are quite frequent or perhaps your hair just isn’t responding how you expected, we invite you to book a complimentary consultation at Skintifix.
We can assess your skin and hair to make sure you are getting the very best results possible for you!