Laser Hair Removal and Setting Questions & Answers

Laser Hair Removal and Setting Questions & Answers

Laser hair removal and setting questions & answers: Effective laser hair removal treatment parameters setting is one of the keys to successful treatment.

Adequate energy/fluence for laser hair removal

With darker skin types (higher Fitzpatrick levels), one of the keys to successful treatment is being conservative with settings to prevent post-treatment skin discoloration.

  • One of the ways to do this is to use a wider pulse width (one of the parameters on the laser that should be tailored according to the patient).
  • Another way to ensure safe treatment is to use a lower (yet still effective) energy/fluence.

On the PrettyLasrs device to which you are referring, a fluence of 12J/cm2 is certainly high enough to yield permanent hair removal. As with any laser used for hair removal, you will need multiple treatments to achieve an optimal result. This is because – at any one point in time – each of your (hundreds of thousands of) hair follicles will be in one of several stages of the hair growth “cycle.” (Appropriate) lasers only treat hair follicles that happen to be in their “active” growth stage of the cycle at the time of treatment.

Laser Hair Removal

People respond at different fluence levels, depending on hair color, size,  density, etc. one way to know is if you have follicular edema, swelling around the base of the hair after a treatment and if you feel a pinch or a sensation like hair being plucked.  This indicates the laser is working, and at or very near a therapeutic level.

How to set Laser Hair Removal Parameters?

Hair Removal and the Alexandrite Laser

The most important aspect of laser hair removal is to obtain the proper clinical endpoints without damage to the surrounding skin. These include vaporization or singeing of the hair (did you see and smell it burn), peri-follicular erythema, and edema (swelling and redness around the follicle after the treatment, which typically lasts a few hours). When these endpoints are met, you obtained the proper energy to damage the hair.

We have used the 755nm long-pulsed Alexandrite for 14 years, that setting seems quite low. Typically we might treat someone of your skin type at a starting fluence (energy level) of 16-20 joules/cm2 and adjust from there.

When Using YAG, What Would Be the Right Fluence (Energy) in Terms of Joules Per Cm2?”

We might suggest a third laser. If you are olive skin toned, you will likely not get great results on the YAG laser. We usually treat patients on the Yag laser in the 50 – 80 j/cm2 range with the Sciton Profile. But we typically only treat African Americans or others with VERY coarse hair using the Yag.

With your skin type, you are better suited for the Diode laser, 755nm Alexandrite, or similar. This is why it is so important to choose a practice with choices as the type of laser is very important when it comes to your results.

is 12 joules per squared centimeter a high enough setting to trigger permanent hair removal on Diode Laser?”

The bottom line with laser hair removal is that you should be achieving a steady reduction in the amount of hair you have with each visit. If the hair comes back exactly the same as it was previously, then maybe it’s time to consider a new office.

Too often consumers make decisions about laser hair removal treatments based on price without regard to training, experience, or the laser technology being used. If the Alexandrite laser this practice is using is not ideal for your skin type (not very safe) or the person treating you is not experienced or well-trained, you may very well not achieve permanent hair removal.

To see examples of Los Angeles laser hair removal patients successfully treated with the Diode and Yag lasers, check the link below

when using an alexandrite laser on my legs, how much energy should be used? “

It is not easy to determine the settings over the internet.  Spot size, calibration of the laser, skin type, and pulse width can all affect the fluence (power) settings.

The key issue is that the skin should look a certain way during the treatment.  Follicular edema (redness) and ant bites (small bumps) are normal when providing good treatment.  But a quality laser operator will not focus on the settings, but rather on what the skin looks like during the treatment.

If it felt different to you in the different settings then all the treatments may not have been effective.

I had 3 settings in laser hair removal but still, regrowth continues. Is this normal?

Laser hair removal can take 5 to 10 treatments before you see full results. During this time it is important that you are consistently going every 4 to 6 weeks depending on your laser technician’s recommendation. Make sure you are only shaving between treatments and not waxing or using chemical depilatories. It is normal to see hair growing between sessions, as long as the treatment is being done correctly you should see less hair regrowth each time. Speak with your provider about your concerns.

What is the safe minimum time between laser hair removal treatments?”

We typically have patients do laser hair removal every 4 weeks for the first 3 times and then every 4-6 weeks for 3 times after. This schedule gives great results with hair removal. Some patients do require treatments, every 3-12 months, to maintain results. I recommend getting a formal evaluation from a laser hair removal expert

Appropriate settings for Alexandrite laser?

Worried about paradoxical hypertrichosis.

Paradoxical hair growth (hypertrichosis) refers to the stimulation of hair regrowth caused by laser treatment.  This is a well-recognized phenomenon but it is not possible to predict in advance who will end up with this condition.  Treatment at higher energies with the same or different wavelength these usually effective.  I would seek a provider who has experience treating this condition and let them use their best judgment as to settings since a number of factors including baseline skin color thickness and color of the hair, and others come into play when setting the device. 

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