Laser & IPL Hair Removal
Laser and IPL hair removal – fast and effective
Laser hair removal served as Dr Mahony’s introduction to cosmetic medicine back in 1999. So our experience with hair removal is long, our expertise unsurpassed. And with our fast new Erose IPL, we offer a completely new level of speed, power, versatility and value in our IPL hair removal service.
Girls: Lower leg treatment with the Erose IPL now only 30 minutes and $169.
Better still: prepay 6 treatments (3hrs total) for a total of only $699
(That works out at only $117 per 30-minute treatment!)
Boys: Chest and abdomen with the Erose IPL now only 45 minutes and$239
Better still: prepay 4 treatments (3hrs total) for a total of only $699
(That works out at only $175 per 45-minute treatment!)
Anybody, almost anywhere: for individual sessions (or a prepaid package) we charge $299 first hour and $200 per hour thereafter.
How can we do these prices?
The Erose IPL emits a flash of light over a whopping 15mm x 50mm when using the largest treatment head. Depending on the energy level chosen, it can emit these flashes as fast as once per second. Theoretically, that would mean covering your entire body surface in around an hour.
In practice, of course, it isn’t possible to accurately carefully and comfortably treat you at that pace. Nonetheless, it is very fast, meaning we can get a lot done for your money.
How do lasers and IPL machines work to remove hair?
Essentially, the light from either a laser or IPL machine will heat dark hair roots whilst not significantly heating surrounding fair skin. As the dark hair roots heat they in turn heat and damage their respective follicles. These damaged follicles are then much less able to produce hair.
When Dr Mahony started doing laser hair removal fully 14 years ago, not much was known about it. Now, information is everywhere, even Wikipedia. Whilst Dr Mahony doesn’t necessarily endorse every word at the following websites, useful further detailed information is available here:
Important points the other sites don’t cover
Many factors affect your chances of getting good results.
- As everyone knows, classic laser and IPL hair removal works best on dark hair. The darker the better. But some patients have hair that looks dark to them, yet find results are not what they expect. In such cases, either the hairs are light brown, or, sometimes, the tips are dark yet the roots are blonde. It really does happen
- Skin thickness affects results. Thick skin has deep follicles that the laser light finds hard to reach. Thin skin has shallow follicles, so the treatment is more successful. For example, treating male facial hair at the level of the neck is much more successful than treating it on the cheek. The difference is skin thickness.
- Older patients respond better. Their skin is thinner. Their follicles are weaker and more easily damaged. Paradoxically, their hair is generally coarser, and so gets hotter with the treatment. All these factors predict a better outcome.
- Blank white patients (Fitzpatrick 1) aren’t the best candidates. Don’t get me wrong: they are good candidates and they do well, but the very best patients are those with Fitzpatrick 2 or even a very light Fitzpatrick 3 skin. This is because i) Fitz 1 patients rarely have really dark hairs, ii) their hairs tend to be fine and wispy, and so absorb less light, and iii) their blank white skin easily gets red with any substantial treatment, and red skin gets sore with further treatment. Whereas Fitz 2+ patients are more likely to have i) black hair, ii) coarse hair, and iii) skin that doesn’t go red if you say ‘boo’.
- Slim patients do better. Their skin is not as thick. Treatment light more easily penetrates to the bottom of the follicles.
- Treatment location on the body is very important.
Sites where hair is commonly thick and skin commonly thin, such as bikini line and underarm, do very very well. It’s no coincidence that a lot of the research on hair removal has been performed testing treatments on underarms.
Then again, its harder to get great results straight away treating the male back, since the skin is so thick. Don’t misunderstand: good results occur, of course, when treating the male back, but results don’t come as quickly and easily as when treating the underarm.
Forearms can be tricky. The skin is thin but also often sun damaged. More care is required to avoid damaging this sometimes-fragile skin.
IPL vs Laser: what’s the difference?
Suffice to say that your hair follicles can’t tell the difference. Whether the incident light is coherent or non-coherent doesn’t matter. Whether the light is all of the one wavelength or all with a suitable range of wavelengths doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is that there is a correct TOTAL amount of light of the correct AVERAGE wavelength applied over a suitable duration from a device with a large spot size. What DOES matter is that there is good contact cooling.
A good laser is better than a poor IPL, and a good IPL is better than a poor laser. Historically, the poorest cheapest devices have tended to be IPL machines, and the best devices have tended to be lasers, but IPL manufacturers have lifted their game, and now offer devices with power, speed and versatility to match or surpass any laser, at a fraction of the cost. If an IPL can do the same job as a laser, but for less money, the result is in effect a better treatment.
(Note that, if you try to research this topic on the Internet, you will find many sites promoting one technology over the other. You will then find, in nearly all cases, the respective writer owns one device and not the other! Whereas we at Peach have both and are familiar with both. We charge both the LightSheer laser and the new Erose IPL at the same hourly rate.)
Painless hair removal?
All devices, whether laser or IPL or even the RF range (which we also offer), work by heating hair shafts buried in hair follicles. They work by damaging follicles with that transmitted heat. Heat hurts. Therefore all effective treatments hurt, at least a bit.
Hair removal clinics can claim “painless” hair removal on the following grounds:
- Weak treatments. If you have a treatments and feel nothing happening, then nothing’s happening. That means no result. But, hey, at least it didn’t hurt, right?
- Redefining the word “pain”. They’ll use words like “stinging”, “flicking”, etc, to describe what is really, if we’re honest, pain.
- Anaesthesia. Of course, the discomfort of laser and IPL treatments can be controlled with anaesthesia. Anaesthetic cream can make a big difference. However, as its penetration is limited, it may not cover the pain completely. Still, we often use anaesthetic cream. The cream adds to the cost, which we have to re-coup from you separately.
- Chilling the skin. This, of course, reduces the discomfort. Both our IPL and our laser offer skin chilling as part of the treatment.
- Inhaled anaesthesia. We at Peach were one of the first clinics to offer laser and IPL hair removal with the adjunct of inhaled nitrous oxide gas (aka “laughing gas”). And whilst laughing gas doesn’t really make you laugh, and, in truth, doesn’t affect much your actual perception of the treatment flashes, it nonetheless makes you feel drunk and relaxed and unconcerned about the treatment. Most patients like it. Some don’t.
If I can tolerate a higher energy, I’ll get a better result, right?
IMPORTANT: You can expect some discomfort with laser and IPL hair removal treatment, but nothing excessive. On a scale of 1 to 10, your discomfort should be no more than 6 or 7 without anaesthetic cream and without laughing gas. Any higher, and the energy level may be too high for your skin.
We have vast experience with hair removal, going back 11 years. Enough to know that some patients will try to coerce the therapist into turning up the laser or IPL in a misguided effort to get better results with fewer treatments and thus save money.
Let us treat you safely. The treatments are now more affordable than ever. So don’t try to be a martyr. Let us know what you are feeling. You really don’t want any skin damage.
How many treatments?
That… really… depends. Occasionally a patient will be satisfied with the reduction achieved by a single treatment. Then again, we have a handful of patients who have been coming to us for years, determined to hunt down and kill every last hair.
Depends on the area being treated. Historically, larger areas such as legs have been expensive to treat, but patients have welcomed the reductions they’ve seen after just one treatment. Today, with our new faster IPL, a more comprehensive course is suddenly quite affordable.
But, across the board, you should think in terms of half-a-dozen treatments. You should see an impact with every treatment, and every treatment should feel significant, and you should calculate on doing around half-a-dozen treatments.