Too many of us know what it’s like to deal with unwanted hair. All we want is smooth skin without the hassle and expense of endless hair removal treatments. With the Palomar Starlux IPL hair reduction system at Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA, you can put an end to this frustration.
Easy Hair Reduction With IPL Treatment
How It Works
Where other hair reduction methods work by pulling, shaving, or burning off the hair, IPL systems are more sophisticated. They work by getting to the literal root of the problem: the hair follicle.
The IPL device emits pulses of light which are attracted to the color in the hair shaft. The color, or pigment, in the hair shaft absorbs this energy, converting it into a heat that will destroy the hair’s follicle. Once damaged, the hair follicle will not be able to grow new hair the way it once did and your problem is essentially solved.
The Palomar Starlux
Older IPL technologies had some limitations. They couldn’t be used on the face, they couldn’t be used by anyone with anything but the lightest of skin coloring, and they could only work on very dark hair. Technology has advanced since then, and the Palomar Starlux is on the cutting edge of IPL technology.
This combination laser and IPL device is suitable for nearly any skin color and works on most hair colors. The only hair it cannot treat is grey, white, and the very lightest blond. The machine itself comes equipped with interchangeable handpieces to make it simple and fast to treat different skin types and areas of the body.
The Starlux also includes laser technology, so you can also schedule a laser rejuvenation to treat vascular or pigmented lesions, prevent acne breakouts, and more. Talk to us if you’d like to set up a treatment schedule to treat multiple issues and get the look you want.
The Concept of Hair Reduction
Some medspas and clinics consistently refer to IPL hair treatment as “removal.” At Nunnally Dermatology, we want to be sure you know exactly what treatment is all about. The term “removal” can be slightly misleading, as no light or laser treatment is capable of completely removing every single hair permanently. Instead, IPL can offer permanent hair reduction.
Causes of Unwanted Hair Growth
For some of us, unwanted hair pops up in only a few places and is easy to treat. For others, disease, medications, hormonal changes or irregularities, hereditary factors, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and even trauma can cause excess hair growth. IPL is capable of permanently reducing the amount of excess hair, but it is important to remember that the underlying medical issue could cause new hair to grow if it is not addressed.
When you meet with a professional at our dermatology clinic, we can help you take steps to treat the underlying issue as well as help you get an immediate start on reducing that unwanted hair. The result will be more than just a cosmetic improvement. You’ll also enjoy the psychological benefit of feeling better about your overall health and your appearance.
Reasons for Multiple Treatments
The number of treatments necessary to get you the results you’re looking for will depend on several factors, including:
- The size of the treatment area
- How dense the hair is
- How coarse and thick the hair is
- The precise contrast between your hair and skin color
Each time you have IPL treatment, the light energy damages follicles that are in the active growing stage. Hair grows in cycles, and not every hair in the treatment area will be in the active stage at the time of treatment. IPL can’t affect follicles that are dormant, so you’ll need to wait a few weeks after treatment and return for another round to catch the next group of hairs as they enter the active growth cycle.
At any one time, an IPL treatment can effectively eliminate at most 80% of the hair, depending on your hair’s unique growth cycle. For most people, four to eight treatments are enough to get the permanent hair reduction they’re looking for.
Getting the Best Results
Talk to Us
Your first step is to meet with Dr. Nunnally and get an expert evaluation of your hair and skin concerns. Hair and skin are closely connected, and the way you choose to deal with your unwanted hair will also affect your skin. In addition, the same issues that are causing you excess hair growth can also cause skin issues you may never have guessed were connected.
At your consultation, we can help you understand why you have excess hair as we learn what areas you want to have treated and what your ultimate goals are. When we’ve had a chance to talk and evaluate your skin and hair concerns, we are then in the position to give you expert advice on the best possible treatment.
IPL laser hair treatment is very safe and effective, and as long as you prepare properly you should expect no complications or side effects. Be sure to avoid tanning and self-tanning creams. This ensures maximum contrast between your skin and hair and will give you the best result.
If you take any medications that make your skin photosensitive, you’ll need to stop taking them for a while before treatment. Medications that make your skin sensitive to light come with a warning on the bottle, but talk with us about what you’re taking just to make sure we cover everything.
Retain Something to Target
The IPL will need to have hair to target in order to destroy the hair follicle. If you’ve removed the hair and bulb completely through hair removal methods like plucking or waxing, the IPL treatment won’t be effective.
Fortunately, there’s no need to let your hair grow long in order for this treatment to work. You’re welcome to shave, clip, or use a depilatory cream prior to treatment so your skin looks the way you want when you go out. In fact, you will get the best results if you do shave the day before your treatment.
Why IPL Is the Best Method of Hair Treatment
You have options when it comes to getting rid of your hair, so why choose IPL?
Tweezing and Plucking
These methods are inexpensive, and the results last longer than shaving. Because they remove the whole hair shaft and the bulb that connects it to the follicle, it takes time for the hair to grow back again and be visible. Unfortunately, these are also very time-consuming methods of hair removal and often uncomfortable. If you have more than a few hairs to be rid of, it’s simply impractical.
These creams are usually applied in the shower, where they burn off the hair that appears above the skin. They have the advantage of being fairly quick and convenient (especially compared to the time it takes to shave in the shower), but they have some serious downsides. These creams use harsh chemicals to do their job, and these chemicals can do a lot of damage to your skin. They also really only work on the legs, chest, and back. They’re not recommended for use on underarm hair, and they’re especially dangerous on the face.
Waxing has the advantages of tweezing and plucking, plus waxing can treat large areas at once. But waxing can be very expensive, especially over time, it isn’t comfortable, and it can’t be used to treat the face. It’s also no good for simply reducing density, so if you’re a man looking to thin out your beard to make shaving easier and end razor burn, waxing isn’t a viable solution.
While this is a permanent hair removal method, it is very slow. Each hair has to be targeted one at a time, so one treatment session may only get 10% to 15% of the hair you want to target. It can take up to a year to get the results you’re looking for, and meanwhile, the costs add up astronomically. You also have to allow your hair to grow out enough to be targeted, which those of us with unwanted facial or leg hair may be reluctant to do. Finally, this treatment can be painful, and in rare cases, it can even leave scars.
Shaving is the go-to choice for hair removal, and that’s because it’s simple, relatively quick, and deceptively cheap. We say deceptively because the cost of shaving really adds up. The average woman will spend close to $10,000 in shaving products over her lifetime and the average man only slightly less. And shaving has some other downsides, too. For one thing, it can cause razor burn, which isn’t the look we want to present to the world and isn’t comfortable, either. For another, shaving can’t always get close enough, leaving some of us with visible stubble we struggle to hide.
IPL Laser Treatment
IPL is the superior hair removal treatment in every way. It actually removes hair and does so permanently. It isn’t painful. It doesn’t have to be repeated on a weekly basis throughout your adult life, and compared to the costs of waxing and shaving over a lifetime or returning for electrolysis constantly for a year, it’s inexpensive.
At-Home IPL Laser Devices
Most of us who have unwanted hair have at least considered getting an at-home IPL device and doing it themselves. It’s an appealing thought to be able to take care of the problem at home, but there are some downsides you should know about that the makers of these devices don’t talk about much.
Every at-home IPL device on the market claims to be safe and FDA-cleared, and most are. Just because the device is safe, however, doesn’t mean using it is. Every year, the FDA receives numerous reports of people who give themselves burns, scars, and skin hyper-pigmentation with these devices because they either did not use it correctly or did not maintain it properly. When you seek treatment at a professional dermatologist’s office, this is never an issue.
In order to minimize side effects, most IPL devices are less powerful than professional models. While this does protect the user, it also means you’ll need more treatments to get the results you’re looking for. That’s a problem because these devices only last for so many “flashes” before you’ll need to buy a replacement head or even a whole new device. If you’re treating a larger area, like the chest and back or the legs, you could end up erasing any supposed savings over a professional treatment simply by having to treat the area so many times.
Don’t Wait Any Longer
If you have any unwanted hair, you’ve already waited long enough. Stop the endless cycle of shaving, waxing, plucking and worrying that you’ve missed something along the way. Instead, visit Nunnally Dermatology in Baton Rouge, LA today and ask about IPL laser hair removal. It’s time you had the effortlessly smooth skin you want.