Laser hair removal has become increasingly popular among both men and women in recent years and for good reason. Laser hair removal is a procedure that permanently removes unwanted hair in the treated areas like the legs, armpits, chin, upper lip, and bikini area without damaging your skin like some other hair removal procedures like waxing, plucking, and shaving. There are also more benefits associated with using laser hair removal. For example, there are minimal side effects as patients do not have to put up with ingrown hairs, skin irritation, or potential razor burns. In the long term, laser hair removal is also cost effective and saves you time. On average, a woman spends more than $10,000 and nearly two months of their lives managing unwanted hair. Meanwhile, laser hair removal will ultimately be more cost effective and allow you to have maintenance-free clear skin.
In addition, laser hair removal is precise, fast, and effective in drastically reducing hair growth. The way it works is that the laser specifically targets the hair follicle with intense laser light energy which effectively removes the hair and prevents it from growing back after several treatments. Although laser hair removal is most effective for people with light skin and dark hair, it can be used on all skin types with success. The two most popular and effective lasers for laser hair removal are the Candela GentleLase laser for light skin and the Candela GentleYAG laser for dark skin tones. Most patients will have up to a 80% permanent hair reduction after three treatments.
If you’re frustrated by unwanted facial and body hair, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green is here to help. Dr. Michele Green has been performing the best laser hair removal for her NYC dermatology patients, using state of the art laser technology, for over two decades. She is an expert in cosmetic dermatology and laser skin treatments for all skin types, including skin of color. Dr. Green is consistently voted as one of the best dermatologists in New York and is here to help for all your skincare concerns from laser hair removal to skin rejuvenation to acne.
GentleLase Laser for Hair Removal
The Candela GentleLase Laser (also known as the Alexandrite laser) is a simple, painless, and safe non-surgical solution for getting rid of unwanted hair with a proven track record of safety and effectiveness. It targets the hair follicles with intense laser light energy in order to destroy the hair follicles with therapeutic heat without damaging the surrounding skin. The GentleLase, in particular, uses a 755nm wavelength technology to remove hair in those with a fair or medium/olive complexion. The Candela GentleLase Laser also has a distinctive Dynamic Cooling Device(DCD)™ which sprays cryogen to cool the skin before each laser pulse. This provides optimal comfort for the patient, something uncommon in other hair removal procedures like plucking and waxing. GentleLase can also be used more uncommonly for other concerns like leg veins, pigmented lesions, melasma, vascular lesions, age spots, rosacea, and diffuse redness.
What to Expect from GentleLase Laser Hair Removal
GentleLase Laser Hair Removal treatments are one of the best ways to safely, effectively, and permanently remove unwanted hair when done by a medical provider within a sanitary environment like a medical or dermatology office. Many board-certified dermatologists are experts in using GentleLase for laser hair removal and can drastically reduce the risk of possible side effects. Prior to your appointment, avoid waxing, electrolysis, or plucking of your hair. In addition, avoid tanning beds or tanning sprays to ensure the laser can effectively and precisely locate and destroy the hair follicles. Limit sun exposure and use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher when going into the sun. You can continue shaving or trimming up to the day before the procedure. A topical anesthetic is not necessary but if you have sensitive skin, Dr. Green will give you a prescription for it which you can apply to the treatment area one hour before your laser hair removal.
During the procedure, you will wear safety goggles in order to protect your eyes from the high energy laser pulses the practitioner will deliver using a small handpiece to the treatment area. You may experience slight discomfort which is minimized by the DCD in the laser and which goes away quickly. The procedure length depends on which area is being treated and how much hair is present. The procedure could take as little as 10 to 15 minutes for the underarms and bikini area or could take up to one or two hours for larger areas like the back, depending on the spot size used. There may be some minor but temporary side effects afterwards such as redness, swelling, or urticaria. These side effects normally subside within a few hours and should last no more than a few days. A cool compress may be applied to make you feel more comfortable.
After the procedure, make sure to thoroughly and frequently moisturize as part of your skin care. Oil-free moisturizers, without alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and retinoids, will help exfoliate the dead hair from the hair follicle. Warm showers and using a gentle cleanser may also help quicken the exfoliation process. You will also need to continue using sunscreen with an SPF of 50 and above as treated skin is more sensitive to the sun. You will need to return for additional treatments since not all of your hair follicles are going to be in the same growth stage. The laser only targets hair follicles in the active growth phase and hair follicles that are not at this stage will not be targeted. The number of treatment sessions you may need is dependent on the area being treated and on your hair type. Most patients see up to an 80% permanent hair reduction after three treatments but generally, permanent results are seen after six treatments in any given treatment area. Most sessions are spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart to allow for new hair growth and final results can take a few months to see.
Which areas of the body can you treat with the GentleLase laser for laser hair removal?
The GentleLase laser can be used in various parts of the body for laser hair removal. The most common treatment areas are the:
- Upper lips
- Face including cheeks & nose
- Bikini area
How often do I schedule my laser hair treatments?
The GentleLase laser hair removal procedure takes multiple treatment sessions in order to see drastic hair reduction or permanent hair removal. This is due to the fact the laser only targets hair in the active growth phase and the remaining hair must be targeted in subsequent treatment sessions.
The exact intervals between treatments is dependent on which area you are getting treated and the growth cycle of the hair in the treated area. Facial laser hair removal will have a retreatment period of 4 to 6 weeks. The re-treatment period for areas on your trunk such as your back and chest will be 6 to 8 weeks and 10 to 12 weeks for your legs and arms. It is essential that the laser hair treatments are appropriately spaced so the treatment is performed at the right time intervals to coincide with your hair’s growth cycle in different regions of the body.
Who is a good candidate for the GentleLase laser?
The best candidates for the GentleLase laser are individuals with a fair or light skin complexion and dark hair. The GentleLase is optimized for a quick and painless hair reduction treatment with no downtime in lighter skin tones and can still successfully remove hair if you have blonde or red hair.
Patients with darker skin tones are best treated for laser hair removal using the GentleYag laser which can just as painlessly and quickly remove unwanted hair with no downtime. It works in the same fashion as the GentleLase laser except it utilizes a higher wavelength that is more compatible with darker skin tones. This is ideal for patients of Asian, Mediterranean, Indian, Latin American, or African American heritage.
Which skin types are best for the GentleLase laser?
The best skin types for the GentleLase laser are those with a fair or light skin complexion, especially those with type 1 or type 2 skin based on the Fitzpatrick classification system.
- Type 1 phototype:
- Typical features: pale white skin, blue/green eyes, blond/red hair
- Tanning ability: always burns, does not tan
- Type 2 phototype:
- Typical features: fair skin, blue eyes
- Tanning ability: burns easily, tans poorly
Individuals with a skin type above the type 2 phototype are great candidates for the GentleYag laser instead.
What if I have a dark skin tone?
If you have a dark skin tone, you are a great candidate for the GentleYag laser which is just as effective as the GentleLase laser in destroying the hair follicles responsible for unwanted hair growth. Similarly to the GentleLase, it also contains a cooling technology that optimizes comfort. However, instead of a 755nm wavelength, it uses a 1064nm wavelength that better distinguishes between your skin and hair follicles. This minimizes and prevents damage to your skin, hyperpigmentation, or hypopigmentation. The “best” laser is wholly dependent on your skin tone, skin type, and the type of hair being treated. When you schedule your consultation with Dr. Green, she will assess the area which needs treatment and create a treatment plan that works best for you.
How much is laser hair removal with the Candela GentleLase?
In 2020, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that the average cost of laser hair removal was from $200 to $1200 per treatment, depending on the number of areas needed, with many patients needing up to six to eight treatments for permanent hair removal. The cost of the Candela GentleLase laser hair removal treatment itself is dependent on several factors. For example, laser hair removal of a large area like the back is going to be more expensive than laser hair removal of the chin area. The cost of the treatment increases as the size of the treatment area increases. Another key factor to consider is where you get the laser hair removal and the expertise of the person performing the procedure. Laser hair removal by a technician at a MedSpa is typically more inexpensive than getting laser hair removal done at a medical office by a board-certified dermatologist. However, laser hair removal by a dermatologist is less likely to result in unwanted side effects such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or laser burns.
Is the Candela GentleLase laser a good hair removal laser?
The Candela GentleLase laser is considered the gold standard when it comes to laser hair removal and has been one of the most effective laser hair removal methods for over two decades. It has a proven track record of safety, effectiveness, and consistency when it comes to patient outcomes with many patients satisfied with their results. Dr. Green has been utilizing the Candela GentleLase for effective laser hair removal for over 15 years.
One element that puts the GentleLase laser a cut above the rest is its customizable features. The spot size on the laser can be adjusted to be the best fit for the treatment area covered. For larger areas like the back, the laser can be adjusted to a wide beam where it can treat many hairs at once, enabling seamless and quick hair removal. The patented Dynamic Cooling Device embedded in the laser mists cryogen to cool the skin prior to each high energy pulse, making the procedure as painless and comfortable as possible. The DCD is also computer calibrated to be optimal for your skin type to ensure you the best results possible.
Is the Candela GentleLase laser safe?
The Candela GentleLase laser is safe and has been used to treat unwanted hair for over two decades. It has a precise laser that passes through the skin to the hair follicle where it selectively targets hair follicles without damaging the delicate skin surrounding it. In addition, each pulse that the laser shoots out is a fraction of a second which ensures the laser energy reaches the hair follicle without transferring excess heat to the surrounding skin. The DCD also helps with this by spraying a short burst of cryogen which not only cools the top layer of your skin called the epidermis but also protects it. The DCD is computer calibrated to be optimal designed to protect your skin, for every skin type.
What is the Candela GentleMax Pro?
The Candela GentleMax Pro is a combination of the GentleLase and GentleYag laser in one. This means that it has the 755nm wavelength technology of the GentleLase laser as well as the 1064nm wavelength laser of the GentleYag. It can be utilized in the same manner as the Candela GentleLase laser and GentleYag for laser hair removal.
What else can the Candela GentleLase be used for?
The GentleLase laser can also be used to treat other concerns aside from unwanted hair such as sun spots, wrinkles, leg veins, vascular lesions, and diffuse redness. However, there are other laser treatments which are designed specifically for these skin concerns and will yield better cosmetic results. Dr. Green incorporates other lasers such as the Fraxel laser, Clear and Brilliant, and the AlexTrivantage laser, which are specifically designed to remove pigmentation and sun spots.
How do I get started with laser hair removal today?
Dr. Michele Green was one of the first dermatologists in NYC to provide laser hair removal to her Upper East Side NYC patients. She will carefully select the best treatment for you to have beautiful, smooth skin. Dr. Green is consistently voted as one of the best dermatologists in New York by Castle Connolly, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Super Doctors. WIth over 25 years of experience in cosmetic dermatology, she is an expert in skin care and treating both men and women, of all skin tones. If you are tired of waxing and shaving, please contact the NYC office of Dr. Michele Green at 212-535-3088 or contact us online today to begin your journey for permanent hair reduction.