About Laser Hair Removal

Getting rid of unwanted facial and body hair has been a dream for women and men for centuries. Relative to shaving or waxing, it saves time and money, prevents ingrown and infected hairs, reduces irritation to the skin and provides long-lasting results.

hair removal

Laser hair removal at our Calgary laser clinic utilizes light therapy that is emitted from a medical device to arrest future hair growth. It is based on the principle of light being attracted and absorbed by a pigment called melanin-- which is contained within hair follicles. The light damages the hair follicle causing a hair removal effect.

Treatments for laser hair removal are fast and convenient, and the technologies employed at Sante Medical can safely and efficiently treat all Fitzpatrick Scale skin types (Caucasian, Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Brown).

How Laser Hair Removal Works

The hair on the body grows in three phases from hair follicles in the dermal layer of skin. The rate of hair growth differs between individuals and can be divided into three phases:

  • The first phase, called the anagen phase, is where the hair from the follicle grows actively. Laser treatment for hair removal is effective on hairs that are in the anagen phase, as this is when the follicle is most rich with melanin
  • The second phase, called the catagen phase, is where the follicle becomes smaller and consequently stops hair growth
  • The final growth phase, called the telogen phase, is where hair growth begins again pushing old hair out of its follicle

The percentage of hairs in the anagen phase at any one time varies. This explains as to why you need to have multiple sessions of laser hair removal in the same area, as not all follicles are going to be in the anagen growth phase where melanin is present.

hair removal

Common areas treated

Laser hair removal is commonly used by men and women to remove unwanted hair on the face, neck, armpits, chest, back, genital area, arms, legs, fingers, toes, and feet. In fact, the only area that can’t be treated is eyelashes.

Number of treatments required

Results of laser hair removal vary greatly from person to person. Patients with fair skin and dark hair require fewer treatments.

Multiple treatments can prolong the duration of hair loss — up to years in some cases — but hair regrowth is still possible. For best results, you might need four to six treatments spaced some weeks apart. Additional periodic maintenance treatments — perhaps once every 12 months — might be necessary in some cases.

Advanced Hair Removal Technologies

At Sante Medical, we use three medical grade technologies specifically designed for hair reduction.

Palomar ICON is an advanced laser and pulsed light platform used for several indications. It can be fitted with the MaxR pulsed light handpiece, to remove hair on all skin types. The large spot size quickly covers bigger areas such as the back, legs, and chest, and a companion hand piece called the MaxRs pulsed light hand piece has a smaller spot size perfect for smaller areas such as the face, underarms, and bikini line. Another hand piece, MaxYs, is ideally suited for the removal of difficult to treat finer and lighter hair.

Forever Bare BBL, a state-of-the-art light treatment, provides one of the most comfortable hair removal treatments available, with lasting results for a broad range of light to dark skin types. While other hair removal treatments apply energy to a given spot all at once, Forever Bare BBL treats with continuous movement and multiple lower fluence pulses at a high repetition rate. This advanced method evenly heats follicles to the precise temperature for fast and easy hair removal, greatly minimizing the likelihood of missed areas that occur with other hair removal devices. A thermoelectrically-cooled sapphire crystal on the hand piece provides continuous skin cooling before, during, and after the treatment for added comfort.

During your complimentary consultation with our patient coordinator, the most suitable laser will be selected, as determined by your hair colour, skin type and desired treatment areas.


Preparing for Laser Hair Removal

There are some precautions we ask patients to take before their laser hair removal procedure:

  • Avoid sun exposure (either from sun exposure or sunless tanning products) the two weeks leading up to your procedure. This will mitigate the risk of hyper or hypopigmentation (skin lightening or darkening).
  • Avoid any plucking, waxing or electrolysis. These hair removal methods can disturb the hair follicle and interfere with laser hair removal. Shaving is OK.
  • Avoid using active skincare products that could make the skin more sensitive
  • On the day of your procedure, do not to use deodorant, make-up, perfumes, or anything else on the treatment area.

Laser Hair Procedure

Your medical aesthetician will first clean and prep the area to be treated. Depending on the laser or light source used, both you and your medical aesthetician may need to wear appropriate eye protection.

Next, the laser is glided over the skin, releasing pulses of laser light. An automatic cooling system called a Zimmer removes heat from the skin surface for the duration of the procedure to protect the skin and reduce any discomfort. Some patients report minor discomfort similar to that of being snapped by an elastic band.

The procedure can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the area being treated). Follow-up treatments are typically scheduled two to three months apart.

Following your procedure

You might notice redness and swelling for the first few hours after laser hair removal. To reduce any discomfort, apply ice or an aloe gel to the treated area. Avoid sun exposure — both natural sunlight and tanning beds. When your skin has healed, use sunscreen whenever you are in the sun.

Visible stubble will develop over the next 1 to 3 weeks as the hair shafts are expelled from the dermis.


Show me the Results

"I started laser hair removal at another clinic a few years ago and it hurt. Because I was going to Florida, I thought I would try again at Sante Medical based on a referral from a friend. The staff are really friendly and my laser tech put me at ease. And the treatment itself was painless and the laser head they use was much bigger than what the other clinic had so the treatment was fast. Thanks Sante for giving me the smooth legs I wanted all these years!"
- Candace B.