Getting Laser Hair Removal in Atlanta
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a single wavelength of light (laser) to remove/reduce unwanted hair. It can be safely and effectively performed on most areas of the body, including the Face, Neck, Chest, Bikini, Legs, Back, Buttocks, Breasts/Nipples, Ears, Abdomen, Underarms, and Arms. The treatment also reduces ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Due to serious risk in ocular injury1, laser hair removal can not be performed on the eyebrow area.
Laser hair removal is a process that requires a series of treatments to achieve the best results. Because of this, at WIFH, all of our laser hair removal packages include 8 treatments at 6-week intervals. Custom treatment packages can be made to accommodate multiple treatment areas, as well.
Our staff of Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, and Medical Aestheticians are all licensed laser practitioners by the Georgia Composite Medical Board.
Since 2002, WIFH’s laser medical practitioners have performed more than 1 million laser hair removal treatments.
1. Asiri M., Alharbi M., Alkadi T., Abouammoh M., Al-Amry M., ALZahrani Y., Alsulaiman S. (2017). Ocular injuries secondary to alexandrite laser-assisted hair removal. Canadian Ophthalmological Society, 2017 Apr;52(2):e71-e75. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2016.09.013.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
The power of laser hair removal comes from the absorption of laser energy the pigment in the hair follicles — also known as melanin. Just as the energy from the sun is absorbed by the black color in clothing — producing a large amount of heat — when applied to the skin surface, laser energy is absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle. This absorption creates a significant amount of heat that damages or destroys the hair follicle2.
So, while commonly known as laser hair removal, the hair isn’t actually being removed, rather, the laser reduces the number of hair follicles and their ability to produce hair by 75% to 90%. Patients will never achieve 100% hair reduction, and WIFH will never guarantee 100% hair reduction. Patients who hear of such promises from other practitioners should not believe these claims3.
Following a series of treatments, the remaining hair is typically finer in thickness because of the reduction in follicle size. Hairs will appear lighter in color and grow back very slowly, decreasing the amount of maintenance for the patient post-treatment.
2. Kulkin, J., Flash, S. (2010). Laser Hair Removal. Cosmetic Procedures in Gynecology: Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America, 2010 Dec. Vol 37, Issue 4:477-487.
3. Bashour, M., et al. (2007). Laser Hair Removal. Medscape eMedicine, 2007, Sept 27.
What are the Risks/Side Effects?
Laser hair removal is a fairly low risk treatment treatment, safely treating all skin types and ethnicities, provided the practitioner performing the treatment has the appropriate training and experience to take specific patient characteristics such as skin type, body treatment location, and sun-exposed or tanned skin into consideration when selecting the course of treatment.4.
The most common complication from laser hair removal is hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is the temporary darkening of the skin. This can occur in light skinned patients who have had extended sun exposure resulting in the tanning of the skin.
Hyperpigmentation is less common in darker skin types. Hyperpigmentation is not a burn and isn’t long-term, typically resolving on its own over the course of several days. In rare instances hyperpigmentation can last several months. If a patient experiences any issues or concerns following treatment the patient should contact their provider.
4. Nanni, CA., Alster, TS. (1999). Laser-assisted hair removal: side effects of Q-switched Nd:YAG, long-pulsed ruby, and alexandrite lasers. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 1999 Aug;41(2 Pt 1):165-71.
Preparing for Laser Hair Removal
Weeks Before the Treatment
Sunscreen should be used on all skin types all the time, but it is very important for patients who are undergoing laser hair removal treatments. Patients who have had recent sun exposure and can see visible tanning or tan lines, it is recommended to reschedule the treatment for a later date, once the tanning has subsided.
The Week of the Treatment
Prior to being treated with laser hair removal, the patient should remove any surface hair on the treatment area. This is necessary to reduce the risk of damaging the patient’s skin from burning of the hair during the procedure, as laser energy converts into heat energy.
Waxing and plucking can reduce the effectiveness of the laser treatment. Patients who have recently waxed or plucked should wait at least one week before having a laser hair removal treatment. Bleaching prior to the procedure is safe, because the bleach only changes the color of the hair on the surface of the skin — the hair within the follicle will maintain its pigment.
Shaving is the preferred method of removing hair prior to having laser hair removal.
The Day of the Treatment
Before undergoing a laser hair removal treatment, patients will need to make sure the skin area is clean and free of makeup, lotions, creams, and deodorant. It is recommended to shave the day-of or the day before the procedure.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Laser hair removal is not painless, but most WIFH patients tolerate treatment really well. For those with sensitivity (roughly 25% of WIFH patients) Dr. Cox can prescribe a numbing cream that the patient can apply prior to the treatment to reduce discomfort.
Treatment duration ranges between 3 minutes to 60 minutes or more, depending on the area of the body being treated. For example, an upper lip takes approximately 3 minutes to treat, whereas a larger area such as full legs takes approximately 60 minutes per treatment.
While it is necessary to complete a series of 8 laser hair removal sessions, patients will see a gradual reduction. Approximately 2 to 3 weeks after each session, patients will notice hair reduction as well as a reduction of ingrown hair and razor burn. Although marked reduction of up to 50% may be seen after the first session, it should not be perceived as permanent, as regrowth will occur. It is important that patients complete all 8 treatments to see sustainable results and the most reduction5.
Because facial hair is hormonally driven, patients undergoing facial hair removal should expect to need 1-3 touch-up treatments each year to maintain results after completing their 8-session package. For more information, visit our page on laser hair removal for the face.
5. Kulkin, J., Flash, S. (2010). Laser Hair Removal. Cosmetic Procedures in Gynecology: Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America, 2010 Dec. Vol 37, Issue 4:477-487.
Laser Hair Removal Recovery Time
There is no downtime after receiving a laser hair removal treatment. Patients can continue normal activities immediately following treatment. Patients may experience some redness in the skin, but it typically dissipates in a matter of minutes. In rare instances some patients may experience redness for up to 24-48 hours.
Laser Hair Removal Consultations
WIFH believes consultations are very important to help educate patients on the laser hair removal process. Consultations provide an opportunity to get to know the patient, and to understand their questions and concerns. During the consultation a member of the WIFH clinical team will assess the patient’s skin and hair to provide a realistic expected outcome of laser hair removal for their specific case.
It is common practice at WIFH for patients to begin laser hair removal treatments the day of their consultation. If a patient would like to begin treatment immediately following the consultation, simply let us know so an appropriate amount of time can be scheduled for the procedure.
Laser Hair Removal Pricing
The cost of Laser Hair Removal is on the area of the body being treated. The cost typically ranges from $795 to $8,000.
WIFH offers both Women’s and Men’s Single Area Laser Hair Removal Packages, customized packages that include multiple areas can also be put together to meet the patient’s needs.
Click here for WIFH’s current Laser Hair Removal pricing.
Laser Hair Removal FAQs
Will hair bumps and razor bumps be gone?
Can blond hair be removed?
Even the fairest of blondes may have enough pigment in their hair for the laser to work. Still, we prefer to see these patients for a consultation. If we don’t think you are a good candidate, we will tell you right away so that you don’t waste your money. One thing is certain, if you have very light hair, it is important that your skin be very light to get the best results. We strongly recommend that you DO NOT USE TANNING BEDS, SPRAY-ON TANS OR SELF TANNERS while undergoing laser hair removal treatment!
Can I use a tanning bed or spray on tan while I’m having laser sessions?
We understand that many people use self-tanners and spray tanners, however we cannot treat you with a laser while it is on your skin. When scheduling your laser hair removal treatments please be sure that you have allowed enough time for all of the artificial tanner to be gone from your skin. You are able to use self-tanners/spray tan immediately following your laser hair removal treatment.
Tanning beds are different, because they actually tan the skin. For Caucasian patients we need you to be as close to your natural color as possible, so tanning is not recommended while you are having laser hair removal.
Can I continue to wax or pluck when I’ve started laser treatments?
We prefer you to not do either of these. Feel free to shave the area as needed, but avoid waxing, plucking or threading.
Can I treat my eyebrows?
Georgia law prohibits laser hair removal within 1” of the orbit of the eye.
When can I resume my normal activities after laser hair removal?
Which ethnicities have you treated?
Here are some of the homes of origin of people we have treated: Greece, Armenia, Turkey, India, Mexico, Spain, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Brazil, Canada, Soviet Union, Jamaica, Italy, France, England, South Africa, Latin American countries, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Australia, China, Africa, Laos, Thailand, Portugal, Ireland, Argentina, Denmark and more. If you don’t see your country of origin here, we probably just missed it!
I’ve been shopping around for laser hair removal and have been told so many things. How do I know what to believe?
Our clinical team has over 60 years of combined laser experience. As a Certified Laser Center of Excellence, we provide each and every patient with the best patient care. We are results oriented and have committed ourselves to ongoing learning about the latest advancements in science and laser techniques.
Our packages offer eight-sessions because that’s what our experience has taught us it takes to get great results. We are not like some of the national chains that will tell you that you will never shave again or that the same results can be achieved in fewer sessions. It just isn’t so! And remember, some hair removal franchises are acquired by people who have had no laser experience. They simply had the resources to purchase a business.
What type of results should I expect?
A lot less hair and shaving! We’re well aware of the many empty and misleading claims made by other clinics offering laser hair removal, including the declaration that you’ll never shave again. The truth is you should see a reduction in hair growth. While results vary from person to person and the different areas treated, our typical patient will experience a reduction in hair between 75%-90%. The follicles that remain are damaged and produce a finer hair than you had before laser treatment. You can expect to shave much less than you do now. Some of our patients shave once a week, some once a month. About two to three weeks after your first session, you will begin to notice less hair, slower-growing hair and even some hair falling out.
Does dyeing hair darker to help the laser be more effective?
The overwhelming consensus was that this technology is extremely labor intensive and does not work.
Is laser hair removal safe for dark skin types?
While this once was the case, we’re happy to report that it isn’t any longer! Using the YAG laser, we have done thousands of sessions on people of color without complication. Uniquely designed lasers protect the skin while achieving excellent hair removal results. And, as we reduce the hair growth, we even can reduce the pigmentation changes (caused by ingrown hairs) that commonly arise in people of color. The pigmentation on the skin that is caused by ingrown hairs will be markedly reduced after laser hair removal.
Can pregnant women get laser hair removal?
We prefer not to treat pregnant patients. Should you become pregnant during laser hair removal sessions, we simply finish your package after you deliver. We do, however, treat nursing women.
Are all medications safe during laser treatments?
We screen all of our patients to be certain they are not taking Acutane or Gold injections, both of which have been associated with skin discoloration. We have not had issues with other drugs commonly mentioned as causing sensitivity to light.
Is herpes an issue during laser hair removal?
We suggest our patients with a history of genital herpes, who are treating their bikini area, take Valtrex to prevent an outbreak. There seems to be a slightly increased incidence of herpes outbreaks in patients with a history of genital herpes. Similarly, for patients who have a history of frequent fever blisters on their lips, who are having their lip or chin treated, we recommend the same preventive measures. If we have seen you in consultation, we are able to prescribe for you or you can get a prescription from your personal physician.
I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) will laser hair removal work for me?
Yes, and it works quite well. PCOS patients are women who have a “hormone issue” that results in a male pattern of hair growth. This is often both a physical and emotional issue for these patients many of who are on medical therapy. Pills will not make a noticeable difference in your hair growth but lasers do a very nice job in reducing the amount of hair in those areas. Our goal is to reduce the maintenance that you have to do substantially and reduce the growth of unwanted facial hair tremendously. We tell all of our PCOS patients to expect to do touch up sessions anywhere from 2-3x/year after completing a package. The results in the PCOS patients are some of the most rewarding to us. These women also have increased hair growth on other body parts including the back, buttocks, neck and more and we can treat these areas as well.
Does laser hair removal hurt?
Only 10% of our patients use topical anesthetic creams/ointments during laser hair removal.
We prescribe a compounded topical anesthetic. This medication should be used as directed to avoid side effects. Dr. Cox suggests that you do your first session without a topical and see how you do. We know which areas are the most, and least, sensitive. For instance, the face and neck rarely ever require a numbing cream. The underarms are the most sensitive area, yet they are done so quickly that few use a numbing cream. Part of the expertise in using lasers is knowing how to help you through a session and we know just how to do it. After years of experience we know that pain from laser hair removal is not a barrier to having it done! You’ll see what we mean when you come in.
Does laser hair removal work on red hair?
Redheads may have enough brown in their hair to get good results. The only way we know is to do some test pulses on redheads and see what type of “clearance of hair” we achieve. If we see the hair responds well to the laser, we will suggest you proceed however if there is no response we will not sell you a package. White and gray hair do not have enough pigment to be successful and as a result we suggest these people do not have laser hair removal.
How soon should I expect to see results?
Usually you will see results within 2-3 weeks after your first session. At WIFH, many of our patients see a big difference after their first session with some reporting a 50% reduction in hair but experience has taught us that they will see regrowth and they will use the 8 sessions in our package. So…don’t be misled by the big initial reduction but do enjoy the fact that so much hair is gone for a while.
Laser Hair Removal Testimonials
*Results vary from person to person and are not guaranteed