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Laser Hair Removal FAQ

  1. What are the most popular areas for laser hair removal?

    The most popular areas are female facial hair, bikini line hair and back hair for men.
  2. How long has Ideal Image been in existence?

    The very first Tampa location opened in September 2001. Ideal Image now has laser hair removal center locations all over the United States, and we've performed over 2.5 million laser hair removal treatments.
  3. How long has laser technology been in use?

    The laser was first used in medicine in 1961, nearly 50 years ago! Laser hair removal began about 15 years ago, but has advanced significantly in the past 8 - 10 years.
  4. What is the difference between an IPL and a laser?

    IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is not a laser. While IPLs can be effective for some cosmetic procedures, our experience supports the more powerful, yet safer use of the laser for hair removal.
  5. Are home laser hair removal devices difficult to use?

    No. Home laser hair removal gadgets such as the Tria laser or Silk'n home hair removal systems are by necessity, low powered devices made for home use by those with the correct skin tone, and with no formal training or previous laser hair removal experience.
  6. Will using a TRIA hair removal home device save you time?

    No. When using home laser hair removal systems like the TRIA home laser device, laser hair removal treatment on anything but the smallest of treatment areas will take a considerable amount of time. A reason for this is because systems like the TRIA home laser hair removal device use smaller treatment heads than what's used on professional laser hair removal machines such as the GentleLASE© or GentleYAG©. Another reason is because professional lasers are powered by 220V whereas systems like the TRIA run on a small battery.
  7. What type of results can you expect when using a laser hair removal home device?

    A recent study of an FDA approved Silk'n laser hair removal home device was published by Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, a leading scientific laser journal. The 10 people in the study had 4 to 6 treatments. The results, 4 weeks after the last treatment, demonstrated an average of 36% hair reduction. However, 12 weeks later the hair had mostly returned, and the amount lost was not considered statistically significant. In fact, 4 of the 10 had a higher hair count after 12 weeks than when they started!
  8. What kind of treatment results can be expected from a handheld home hair removal device compared to getting laser hair removal at Ideal Image?

    By necessity, laser hair removal devices for the home are low powered devices which are designed to be safe for non-medical users with no formal training. These are hand held, battery powered units, requiring frequent recharging and which cost several hundred dollars. Compare these to our professional lasers, with specific wavelengths for both light skin and dark skin and which are operated by specially trained medical professionals. These devices weigh over 80lbs. They are high powered, so that they can be fast, and they require special electrical outlets and cost upwards of a hundred thousand dollars each.
  9. How is laser hair removal different from electrolysis hair removal?

    Laser hair removal is much faster. Electrolysis hair removal requires more time because it's a process that treats only one hair at a time, whereas laser hair removal treats many hairs per every laser pulse. Laser hair removal for an area like the underarms for example can be treated in only 20 minutes.
  10. Is the Alexandrite laser the best choice for my skin and hair?

    The Alexandrite laser is considered by many in the field of laser hair removal to be the gold standard laser. This is true if you have a lighter skin type. The Alexandrite laser uses a longer wavelength for penetration to the hair follicle and energy that is particularly attracted to melanin - the target for hair removal. However, if your skin is darkly pigmented you will get the best results with a laser specifically designed for your skin type - the YAG laser. Ideal Image employs both of these lasers in every one of our laser hair removal centers.
  11. What are the risks of hair removal?

    Laser hair removal is a lunch time procedure. There is no recovery time. Patients can return to work or play immediately. These lasers do not remove skin, so the risks are very low. As with any procedure, we have an informed consent that explains all the possible risks.
  12. How old do you have to be for laser hair removal?

    There really is no age limit, but we never treat toddlers. Young people that are not finished growing will develop new hair as they grow, and will require touch ups to maintain the results. We currently do not treat children under the age of 13. Older people usually have gray hair that will not respond to laser.
  13. Is it painful?

    People have compared it to a rubber band snapping against the skin. Compared to waxing the treatment has very little discomfort. Everyone's pain tolerance is different. If you do find it uncomfortable, we can prescribe a numbing cream for the skin.
  14. I have dark skin but I am tired of shaving and dealing with shave bumps and ingrown hairs. Would laser hair removal work for me? Is it safe for me skin?

    Yes. Every Ideal Image center has two distinct lasers: one for lighter skin, and one for darker skin. No matter how dark the skin, our GentleYAG© laser is considered the gold standard for treating unwanted hair on darker skin types. Its longer wavelength safely bypasses the skin and targets the melanin in the hair shaft, destroying the unwanted hair follicle. You will love your results!
  15. LASER stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Should I be worried about "radiation" to my skin?

    No. There are two basic types of radiation, (1) Non-ionizing radiation, and (2) Ionizing radiation. Hair removal lasers produce "non-ionizing" radiation which is simply the radiation of light, and is FDA approved for your skin. Ionizing radiation which represents x-rays, ultra-violet and nuclear radiation is a completely different type of radiation, and is not produced by hair removal lasers.
  16. Isn't there a cream I can put on my face to make the hair go away?

    Vaniqa is a topical medication approved by the FDA for facial hair. Vaniqa can help slow the hair growth for many that suffer from unwanted facial hair, but not everyone. Using Vaniqa as a treatment for unwanted facial hair is expensive, and you must apply it twice a day. If it works you must continue to use it or the facial hair will return.