Summer is nearly here, and that means short shorts, sleeveless tops, and swimsuits. It’s bare-skin season and to prep, we spoke with OVME’s Director of Education and Development, Elizabeth Weiler, about all things laser hair removal.
You may have some misconceptions about the treatment; we’re here to break those down. First, here’s the nitty gritty about how the treatment works:
“We are using a laser that heats the hair follicle until it’s destroyed,” Weiler says. “It removes the unwanted hair permanently, with approximately 80 percent clearance after an average of 6 treatments, one year later.”
Let’s start with the benefits of laser hair removal, which are practically endless:
- It’s permanent
- It’s painless
- You don’t have to grow the hair out between treatments
- It can be done anywhere on the body
- There’s no redness or irritation after treatment
Wait, rewind. Did you catch that? It’s painless. “That’s almost unheard of for laser hair removal,” Weiler says, adding that most laser hair removal processes feel like a series of hot rubber band snaps. But at OVME, “if there’s a bite, something isn’t right.” That’s because of the technology OVME uses.
Tell us about it.
“Our technology is very special,” Weiler says—and then she geeks out: “It’s a 755-nanometer Alexandrite laser, one of the most tried and true technologies out there. But it’s different at OVME: Our device is a high-speed, constant-motion Alexandrite laser.”
What does that mean, exactly?
Typical laser treatments are a series of pulses, interspersed with sprays of cryogen—they take long, and they hurt. “But with ours, it’s this constant-motion technique and the cooling device is actually built in,” Weiler says. “We’re basically gliding back and forth in an area … in a sort of methodical, relaxing movement. It may feel similar to a hot stone massage.”
So, to recap: OVME’s version of laser hair removal is quicker, less painful (re: not painful at all), and feels like a spa treatment. Check, check, check. So what’s the downside?
There’s almost none. But take note: the treatment won’t be as effective on lighter hair. “Because the laser is looking for the pigment in the hair, the lighter your skin and the darker your hair—the more contrast there is between the two—the more effective it will be,” Weiler says. That said, the laser is safe for all skin and hair tones and types.
How should I prep?
- Wait 4-6 weeks after waxing or tweezing. “We want hair to be present,” Weiler says, meaning not removed at the root. “Whatever hair is present will be permanently treated.” If you’ve been waxing and want to pivot to laser hair removal, wait 4-6 weeks for the hair to grow back in order to get the most bang for your buck.
- It’s fine to shave between treatments and ideal to shave immediately before treatment, as well. “That way, the laser will selectively heat the hair follicle where it counts, and not treat the length of the hair,” Weiler says.
- Make sure you don’t have self tanner on or haven’t just been on a tropical vacation. “Because the laser is looking for the contrast between the skin and the hair, the lightest version of your skin is the best version to treat with laser hair removal,” Weiler says.
More good news? Laser hair removal can be performed anywhere there is unwanted hair, but the most common treatment areas for women are:
- Face: upper lip, chin, even the sides of the face
- Brazilian (OVME offers full Brazilian, or can help you create and maintain a specific shape or design)
It’s great for guys, too. The most popular areas for men?
• Chest and abdomen
• Areas of the neck that get irritated from shaving
Will I need to come in for touch ups?
Six treatments is the average, but you may need more or fewer treatments based on the area being treated and the level of bare you’re aiming for.
Between treatments, though, don’t be alarmed if it seems like hair is still growing. “Because laser hair removal is performed over the course of multiple treatments, results may not be immediately apparent after the first appointment per se; the hair acts like it’s still growing,” Weiler says. “That’s a little known fact: The hair is toasted, but it needs to be pushed out of the follicle. Maybe a week or so later you’ll notice it just comes off with the razor; it’s not being cut, it’s just falling out.”
Additionally, you may need one more treatment a year or so later, if a dormant hair cycle awakens. The hair that gets treated is treated permanently, but other hairs may grow in separate cycles and appear later.
So you want to have a spa day. The all important question is: What treatments can laser hair removal be paired with?
Almost any, Weiler says. Just be aware of the order of your treatments. Treat yourself to an OVME Hydrafacial or dermaplaning before; or Botox® and fillers after. “As a general rule, you want the last service you receive to be Botox®, so we want to complete your other treatments first” Weiler says.
That’s a lot of information.
Totally, but here’s what’s important: Laser hair removal at OVME is quick, easy, painless and permanent. Meaning you can say goodbye to ingrown hairs, razor burn, 5 o’clock shadows, and dense or coarse unwanted hair.
“It’s just so freeing,” Weiler says, laughing. “To say it’s life-changing sounds dramatic—but it’s true.”