Laser Hair Removal FAQs

Laser Hair Removal

Dealing with unwanted hair is so déjà vu. Just when you finish waxing, plucking, shaving, or applying chemicals to get rid of it, two weeks later the hair is coming back and you have to start the process all over again.

At Silk Touch Med Spa, we have a better way — laser hair removal. It’s the FDA-approved method of reducing your unwanted hair permanently, and Silk Touch has been a pioneer, performing laser hair removal in the Treasure Valley since 1999. The procedure is great for women and men, and can be done on virtually any part of the body.

How does laser hair removal work?

While it’s tempting to think of the laser zapping the hair like a sci-fi movie, laser hair removal really comes down to heat. The laser wavelength is set to target the melanin in your hair. Melanin is the pigment that gives hair, and skin, its color. The pulse of laser light hits the hair and the light is converted to heat energy. That heat then travels down the hair shaft into the follicle damaging the follicle and preventing it from producing hair.

Is laser hair removal really permanent?

FDA approval is for “permanent hair reduction.” What does that mean? It means that no laser can permanently remove all of the unwanted hair. This is due to a couple reasons. First, lasers only damage hair in the anagen (growth) cycle. But hairs can also be in the catagen (transitional phase between growth and rest) or the telogen phase (rest). The catagen and telogen phases involve stopping nourishment to the hair, shedding it, and restarting a new hair shaft. That’s why lasers don’t affect hair in these phases; they’re already on their way out. And the laser energy can’t get into the follicle to damage it. Every hair on the human body is independent and works alone.

So, laser hair removal needs to be repeated in a series of treatments to catch the hairs in the anagen cycle. The darkness of the hair can also play a part (laser hair removal isn’t as effective on lighter hair due to the lower amount of melanin).

Second, damaged follicles can rebuild with hormonal changes. Plus, if a follicle wasn’t fully disabled, it may return to growing hair.

Numerous studies have been conducted on the degree of permanent hair reduction. Overall, 80% of study participants report a 95% level of permanent hair removal. In our experience at Silk Touch, performing laser hair removal since the beginning in 1999, we’ve found that 85-90% of our clients have achieved their desired hair loss.

Where can hair be removed?

At Silk Touch we’ve removed hair on just about all areas of the body: face, legs, back, neck, underarms, arms, hands, inside of the ears and nose, even pubic and anal areas. The only place we cannot target hair is underneath the eyebrows due to the potential for the laser light damaging the eyes.

The procedure is totally safe; due to the way the laser wavelengths are set it is virtually impossible to permanently damage the skin surrounding the unwanted hair. And our GentleLase Plus laser works equally well on women and men.

Does laser hair removal hurt?

Silk Touch patients equate the feeling of the laser pulses to that of a small rubber band snapping against the skin followed by a cooling sensation. Obviously, areas with more nerve sensation will hurt a bit more. Most patients find they easily handle the pain, especially when comparing it to shaving one million more times over the same areas!

How many treatments will I need?

At Silk Touch, we’ve found that 6 to 10 treatments are needed for the majority of patients. As mentioned above, to be effective, targeted hairs need to be in the anagen cycle. Multiple treatments keep catching more hair in that phase. Also your particular hair growth pattern and skin type play a role.

How long does a session last?

The length of your hair removal session is dependent on the target areas. For instance, an underarm can take just a few minutes while legs can take up to an hour. Estimate anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour for your session.

What’s the deal with tanned or darker skin?

Because the laser energy targets the melanin in the hair, it works best if the surrounding skin doesn’t have much melanin, meaning it is lighter in shade. For our lasers to work on people with darker skin tones, or those who have tanned skin, we have to reduce the energy level of the laser to avoid damaging the adjacent skin. For that reason, we advise our patients not to do any tanning before their hair removal treatment.

Can you remove blond or white hair?

Again, this is a pigment issue. Light-colored, white, or grey hair has far less melanin than dark hair, so the laser has a hard time targeting the melanin in the hair. For that reason, laser hair removal on blond or white hair is not as successful as on darker hair colors.

What does laser hair removal cost?

At Silk Touch we try and keep our rates as affordable as possible so that just about everyone can afford to remove some unwanted hair. Our prices start at $100 per treatment for a small area and can move up to $1500+ for large areas such as the back. Our cost is based on multiple treatments to hit the correct hair cycles. And, if you become a Silk Touch Member, you’ll be sure to get the best prices in the Treasure Valley.