Laser treatments to remove unwanted hair.
Men increasingly want laser hair removal to improve their appearance and increase their self-confidence. Athletes are a particular group of men who use laser hair removal to enhance their performance or to allow taping of areas of the body to prevent injuries. Others, such as bodybuilders and gymnasts, choose to remove hair, so their physique appears more defined. Some men are advised to look at long-term hair removal for medical reasons such as pseudofolliculitis barbae or pilonidal cysts to prevent the hair follicles from becoming inflamed.
Realistic expectations and cost effectiveness need to be discussed before any treatments are started as long term results vary both between individuals and in different areas of the body. We only have university qualified staff using the latest laser technology as we believe patient safety and optimal results are paramount. We don’t price hair removal cheaply just to get you into the rooms and try and upsell you into more expensive treatments.
A laser machine concentrates an intense beam of light in the root of the hair follicle, heating the hair. When enough heat is produced in the hair root, the follicle is damaged or destroyed, preventing new hair from growing. Laser treatment is performed when the hair follicle is in an active growth phase, as this is when they are most vulnerable to heat. Multiple treatments are needed to target different hairs when they are most susceptible. The time between treatments will vary depending on the area being treated.
Laser hair removal is the most effective long term solution for unwanted hair. Unlike shaving laser hair removal won’t cause ingrown hairs. With successful treatment, there should be a progressive reduction in the number and thickness of hairs with each successive laser hair removal.
There are many different brands of hair removal laser machines, which vary considerably in their quality and possible results. IPL (intense pulsed light) is not a laser.
Laser hair removal is a very safe procedure when performed correctly, but skin damage, burns, or inferior results can occur with inferior equipment or unqualified operators. Unlike some other states, Victoria has no regulation to safeguard the public on who can use hair removal lasers, so you should choose your clinic with care.
The best and safest results are achieved when experienced practitioners with the necessary qualifications use a medical grade laser in a medical laser clinic.
We commonly get requests for laser hair removal on the back, shoulders, and chest. The chest area in men seems to be particularly responsive to laser hair removal with most men getting excellent long term clearance. This may relate to the hair roots on the chest being more superficial and consequently more susceptible to laser hair removal. Typically there is a gradual and progressive thinning of chest hair with each laser hair removal session, and many men are happy to just thin chest hair rather than try to eradicate all of it.
Facial hair has become an increasingly popular area for laser hair removal in men. Localised treatments such as between the eyes to remove the ‘monobrow’, targeting unwanted nasal or ear hair, or to target hair high on the cheek above the shaving line are all very popular. Unwanted hair on the front of the neck between the beard line and chest hair is also a popular facial area for men to treat by laser hair removal.
Full face laser hair removal in men is popular in certain situations. In occupations that are unable to have facial hair, such as firefighters, laser hair removal of the full beard area as a long term alternative to daily shaving is a fairly common request. Men who develop chronic ingrown hairs in the beard area after shaving (called Pseudo Folliculitis Barbae) often are recommended to have laser hair removal, as this condition cannot only be quite painful and unsightly but can cause scarring. People who are transsexuals or who are undergoing gender reassignment surgery typically also wish to remove male pattern hair on the face.
The main area on the arms that men request for laser hair removal is the upper arm and shoulder region. This is often done in combination with laser hair removal on the upper back. Typically men request hair removal to the T-shirt line of the upper arm. In situations where the lower limb and forearms are quite hairy, it is crucial, for the best aesthetic result, to blend the treated and untreated areas so that there is not a prominent demarcation line.
Underarm laser hair removal is not as frequently asked for by men, but it is equally as effective in men as it is in women. One group of men who do ask for underarm laser hair removal are athletes, especially triathletes and gymnasts.
It is common for male athletes to remove hair from the legs. Professional footballers and cyclists remove hair from their lower limbs for practical reasons such as to allow for strapping of ankles to prevent injury, better treatment of injuries should they occur and facilitate the regular massages they need. Professional swimmers commonly remove hair from their legs for performance reasons as it is thought to reduce drag from the water. Bodybuilders remove visible hair from all exposed areas, including the legs for aesthetic reasons to better highlight their muscular definition.
The buttocks in men are less commonly treated by laser hair removal than the back and chest, but significant thinning can usually be achieved with only 2 or 3 treatments. One particular group of men where laser hair removal in the buttock region can provide fantastic results are men who have had a pilonidal cyst. This is a particularly painful condition of an ingrown hair almost always located near the tailbone at the top of the cleft in the buttocks. It occurs mainly in young Caucasian men (15-35 years) with thick dark hairs, and the risk is higher if you sit for prolonged periods like drivers. If the cyst becomes infected, it can form an abscess or sinus and be extremely painful and require surgery. Pilonidal cysts tend to be recurrent, which makes laser hair removal in this area an excellent treatment option.
Athletes especially those involved in water sports such as swimming, water polo, and triathletes look to laser hair removal in the groin area, as a more effective option than shaving, without the issue of rashes and ingrown hairs. Cyclists also can suffer from irritation in the groin area from hairs and ask for laser hair removal to this region. Some men request laser hair removal in the genital hair, and while this is safe and can be very effective, it is a much more sensitive area to treat by laser and can be uncomfortable.
We don’t recommend treatment before puberty. Treating fine, light or immature hair follicles (vellus hair) may actually stimulate the hairs to develop into thicker and darker mature hairs.
It’s most effective on darker hair. Blonde, grey, and red hairs are less responsive. Laser hair removal will not work well on removing hair if the hair has turned grey or white. Laser hair removal relies on the laser beam being attracted to the pigment in the hair for it to be effective. Grey hair has less pigment, and white hair has no pigment. In time, everyone’s hair turns grey because of age and genetics. As we age, a failure occurs in the ability of pigment cells in the hair follicles to produce pigment. This failure occurs at different rates in different hair follicles and in some hairs will occur rapidly while in others, it may occur over decades. The age at which the first grey hairs occur is mainly genetic, and most men are likely to get their first grey hair at the same age as their parents or grandparents started to get grey hair.
Some factors can increase the rate of greying such as smoking, thyroid disease, Vitamin B12 deficiency, and vitiligo and autoimmune diseases. Typically most Caucasians start to go grey in their mid-30s while Asians begin to go grey in their late 30s. Half of men have a significant amount of grey hair by the time they turn 50. For laser hair removal to be most effective in men, it’s best to start before too many hairs turn grey.
Hair removal using medical grade Class 4 lasers is considered to be a medical procedure rather than a beauty treatment. Specialised eyewear must be worn by patients and by operators when performed. It’s very safe when performed correctly, but skin damage and burns can occur when performed using cheap equipment or by unqualified operators.
Topical anaesthetic creams are widely used to numb the skin for cosmetic procedures but should be medically supervised when used, as have associated risks, although they are rare.
Cheap treatments that are marketed are a sign that compromises have been made on the quality of the equipment, facilities, and the qualifications and experience of the laser operator. The old expression ‘you get what you pay for’ certainly applies.
As a guide, in a medical laser clinic, you can expect to pay $100 to $150 per treatment for small areas like the face or underarms, and for larger areas around $300 per treatment. We offer discount packages if multiple areas are being treated. Contact us for package prices.
This depends on the area being treated, the type of hair, hormonal factors, and the level of improvement required. The majority of clients have a significant reduction in hair growth within 4 to 6 treatments. However, some clients need followup and maintenance treatments. Results can vary both between people and for the same person, on different areas of the body.
If regrowth occurs quicker than expected, or no significant reduction is occurring in the amount of hair being removed, then the laser treatment settings and/or expectations need to be reassessed.
Consumers need to be aware of the unregulated nature of laser hair removal and consider factors other than just price. Just as there are no regulatory controls on the quality of laser machines that can be used in Victoria, there are also no regulatory controls on who can perform laser hair removal or where it can be done.
There is a difference between a beautician who has done a 2-day laser safety course and a dermal therapist who has done a 3-year degree at University. An experienced and qualified laser practitioner can assess and provide realistic expectations, and then treat with appropriate settings on a medical grade laser with the optimal treatment technique. It’s also essential to have medical supervision during treatment to reduce the chance of complications and to assist if any problems arise.
Avoid sun that will darken the skin being treated for 2 weeks before. Suntanned skin cannot be treated. Shave the area you are going to treat a day before your appointment and exfoliate the surface thoroughly to ensure there isn’t any residue on the skin, such as fake tan, and avoid using creams or fragranced products.
Use a recommended soothing lotion to calm any redness or discomfort you may experience after the treatment. It may feel like a mild sunburn immediately after treatment and avoid direct sun exposure on the treated area for at least a week after treatment.
Before and after images are presented purely as a reference point of the results that can be achieved. Everyone is unique and outcomes will vary and realistic expectations need to be discussed on a case by case basis.
Got questions? Or ready to book in? Contact our experienced and friendly team to start your journey to healthy skin with us.