Let’s face it, dealing with excess body hair can be tedious and embarrassing for both women and men alike. This is why laser hair removal has been all-the-rage since its commercial introduction in 1997.
Finally, a more permanent solution was offered to replace traditional hair removal methods such as shaving, waxing and tweezing which provided only short term results. For decades, this non-ablative service has offered convenience in terms of both a time-saving and cost-effective hair removal solution. Imagine all the time you could save if you didn’t have to shave! And what else could you spend your hard earned money on instead of costly wax appointments month after month?
When we think about hair removal methods, we often think about the commonly requested areas of the legs, underarms, bikini and back, but what many people don’t realize is how life-changing laser and IPL hair reduction can be for women facing hormonal disruption in the body.
Hormonal Hair Growth
Hormonal imbalances can create many distressing symptoms in women of all ages. Symptoms of hormonal disruption may include:
- Changes in Weight
- Anxiety and Depression
- Reduced Sex Drive
- Sensitivity to Cold and Heat
- And many more
One of the most common symptoms, and unfortunately the most visible, is a condition of excessive hair growth called Hirsutism. Hirsutism presents itself as male-like pattern hair growth, which means hair growth on areas more commonly seen in men such as the face, chest and back.
What Hormonal Conditions Cause Hirsutism?
Sometimes the exact cause of Hirsutism can be difficult to pinpoint. However, there are several hormonal conditions that have been correlated with male-pattern hair growth in women.
Including but not limited to:
- Menopause– Ovaries no longer release eggs, natural decline in reproductive hormones.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS)– causes an imbalance of reproductive hormones.
- Excess Male Hormone Production– abnormally high Androgen levels in women.
- Chronic Systemic Inflammation– connection between higher androgen levels and PCOS
A Solution for Hirsutism
Although permanency may vary due to hormonal conditions, women can experience relief from Hirsutism with laser hair reduction treatments. Most women with Hirsutism have to address unwanted hair growth more often than those who do not have this condition. This means shaving and waxing areas with more frequency- sometimes even twice per day- compared with the average person. With laser and IPL hair reduction, women with hormonal hair growth can look forward to hair free days and even weeks in between their hair reduction sessions!
It is always recommended to treat the root cause of Hirsutism. This could mean a balancing of hormones and/or treating underlying chronic inflammation. Medical treatment along with or even before hair reduction offers a more complete and permanent solution to male-pattern hair growth.
What Is Laser Hair Reduction?
Laser, which is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, has been transformative for women who experience hormonal imbalance. This non-ablative treatment works by targeting hair in the anagen phase of hair growth, which is the stage where hair is actively growing. Light emitted from the laser is absorbed by the melanin in dark hair which then causes thermal damage to the hair follicles. This thermal damage hinders and/or slows any future hair growth.
What is Intense Pulsed Light Hair Reduction?
Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL like laser, targets the hair follicles below the skin and leaves the epidermis intact making it a non-ablative treatment. IPL is different from a traditional laser for a few different reasons. The main difference is that IPL emits short pulses of polychromatic light with less force than a laser. The light emitted from an IPL has a wide-range allowing it to reach a more broad target area. An integrated cooling device and gel are both used to increase comfort during the session.
How Many Sessions Will It Take?
Many factors such as hair density, color and composition will affect the overall treatment. On average, a person will need 9-12 sessions spaced 4-12 weeks apart to achieve permanent hair reduction. However, maintenance sessions may be needed for certain areas or for individuals also dealing with hormonal hair growth. Here, treating inflammation and other underlying hirsutism causing conditions will reduce the need for maintenance treatments.
How Should I Prepare For My Hair Reduction Treatments?
For a successful treatment, hair must be in the active (anagen) hair growth phase therefore; you must not tweeze or wax hair for at least six weeks prior to treatment as this will throw off the hair growth cycle.
To ensure a safe treatment, sun exposure and tanning beds must be avoided for 4 weeks prior to your appointment, and photosensitive medications (antibiotics, steroids, etc.) must be avoided for 2 weeks prior to a laser treatment.
If the facial area is being treated, any sensitizing topical face treatments must be delayed for 10-14 days prior. This might include alpha-hydroxy acids and most products meant to treat acne and wrinkles.
Is there any down-time after treatment?
Fortunately, most modern light based hair reduction treatments are tolerable with very minimal after-treatment discomfort. Patients are able to return to daily activities immediately following treatment. Some people may experience slight redness resembling a mild sunburn after which subsides after only a couple of hours
Why We Chose IPL Hair Reduction
At Spa By OWM, we chose IPL over laser technology for our hair reduction services based on several factors:
- It has a higher safety profile than a laser with much less likelihood of skin burns.
- Its ability to treat large areas quickly and effectively.
- Integrated ice water cooling crystal of the IPL applicator cools the treated area instantly making the process essentially painless, eliminating the need to pre-numb the region.
If you are experiencing uncomfortable hair growth due to a hormonal imbalance, don’t be discouraged! It is recommended that you have your hormone levels checked to target the root of the problem, in addition to minimizing hair growth with IPL hair reduction treatments. The staff at Spa By OWM and OWM Integrative Wellness is experienced in both the treatment of hormonal hair growth and its underlying root cause. Whether you are looking to reduce unwanted hair, balance hormones, or both, we have the experienced staff to meet your needs. Call today to learn more about our hair reduction and other Spa By OWM medical aesthetic services.