Intense Pulsed Light for Long Term Hair Removal
Unwanted or excessive hair can be distressing and temporary methods of hair removal such as shaving, waxing or plucking can be painful and irritating to the skin. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) has been a development from laser hair removal and incorporates the latest technology using light that the pigment in the hair absorbs and converts to heat.
Intense Pulsed Light systems release precisely controlled pulses of filtered light. The pigment in the hair absorbs the light, heating up the hair follicle and destroying the cells responsible for hair growth. This method is non-invasive to the skin, quick, clean, safe and extremely effective. It can be used on most areas of the body and on most skin types. Large areas can be treated quicker than any other long-term method.
At a treatment session, the area to be treated will be cleansed, cooled with a cool pack then a thin layer of chilled gel applied. Dark glasses are worn to protect the eyes from the dazzling light. the light guide will be gently rested on the area and the light pulses applied as the light guide is moved across the skin. The sensation is likened to that of a rubb er band snapping against the skin. After treatment, the gel is removed, a cool pack rested on the area treated and then a soothing antiseptic lotion applied.
The skin may look pink, and there may be slight swelling around the mouth of the follicle for a short while after treatment but the skin returns to normal very quickly for most people. Very rarely, pigmentation changes may be noticed or blistering and are usually temporary. A test patch is always carried out 7 days before treatment commences to check the clients skin reaction and minimize adverse reactions.
The hairs will usually fall out 9 - 14 days after treatment.
Hairs have a growth cycle that is divided into three stages:
1. Active, growing stage
2. Changing stage
3. Dormant, tired or resting stage
1. Active, growing stage - known as Anagen
This is the stage of hair growth where treatment is most effective because at this time, the pigment, melanin, is present in the entire length of the hair down to the base of the hair root. Thus, the whole hair and follicle are heated up causing effective destruction.
2. Changing, transitional stage known as Catagen
During this stage, melanin (pigment) does not exist in the lower part of the hair follicle so without the pigment to transport the light it is not such an effective treatment. The hairs will probably regrow but they may be finer and require further treatment.
3. Dormant, tired or resting stage known as Telogen
During this stage there is very little melanin present in the follicle so treatment is not effective and we must treat again when the follicle is active and producing a visible hair.
Number of treatments needed
Lumina (Depilite) is a versatile system that can treat a wide variety of skin and hair types. As it is necessary to treat all hairs in the active, growing stage, multiple treatments are necessary. A client may expect to have 5 - 12 treatment sessions, depending upon the colour of the hair and skin and the area being treated. A client may expect 65 - 90% long term hair reduction.
Frequency of Treatment
For facial areas, treatments start at 4 weekly intervals usually and may become less frequent as treatment progresses and hairs diminish. For body areas, treatments are spaced at 6 weekly intervals usually, to start with, and again, become less frequent as treatment progresses. N.B. Blonde, fine or white hairs will not respond well to IPL.
Electrolysis is an efficient and effective method of hair removal that has been used for 100 years. In skilled hands, it offers a solution to many distressing problems with skin and hair. There are two methods of treatment that I offer:
Short wave diathermy
Both methods use a fine metal filament that slides alongside the hair to the base of the hair root and create a destructive force to limit and eventually destroy the hair follicles ability to produce a hair. A course of treatment is required and each hair is treated individually.
Short Wave Diathermy
This method of hair removal uses a high frequency current which, when conducted via the fine filament to the hair root, creates heat. This is felt as a brief mild sting and has the effect of drying up the tiny blood vessels that nourish the hair, thus effectively cutting off the hairs source of nourishment. The hair is then removed. A client should never feel a hair being tugged out of the follicle after it has been treated. It should slide free without any resistance.
A client should expect her skin to look pink after treatment but it should return to normal within 1 – 2 hours after treatment.
It is important to treat hairs in the growing stage of their growth cycle so clients usually attend regularly and frequently at the beginning of a course of treatment. As the hairs respond to treatment and become weaker, they look paler and finer and less hairs reappear. Therefore treatment sessions become less frequent and clients find they become less and less concerned about their hair problem until it disappears completely.
The Blend uses a direct current that produces a chemical reaction at the hair root. This is gently warmed by the heat produced by the high frequency current and chemically destroys the growing portion of the hair follicle. Again, the hair is removed from the follicle and it should slide freely out.
The sensation is more of a gradual build up of warmth, rather than the immediate sting felt with diathermy. This method is particularly good for clients with distorted or curly hair follicles, very strong hairs or clients with sensitive skins.
A client attends a consultation where the electrologist gives a full explanation of the treatment, completes a record card checking carefully the clients suitability for treatment and then formulating a treatment plan with the client deciding which method of permanent hair removal is most beneficial for them.