Laser Hair Removal is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the world today. At our clinic in Toronto, we have been performing laser hair removal for 20 years and have seen the demand grow.
Literally millions of women (and men!) are happy to say to goodbye to shaving, waxing and plucking forever, using laser hair removal technology. But with so many spas and clinics now offering this procedure, and so much disinformation on the internet, how can you tell fact from fiction?
Here are some do’s and don’t to help you make sure you get the best possible treatment.
Do find a reputable laser hair removal clinic in Toronto!
With hundreds, if not thousands offering this service across the city, who can you trust? Well, as the AAD recommends, it’s always a good idea to look for a clinic where a physician either personally performs the treatment, or certified laser hair removal technicians or nurses work under a doctor’s direct authority.
This is because having a physician involved means you will have a proper exam, to ensure there are no suspicious lesions that need to be dealt with before lasering. Also, there is a higher level of accountability – a doctor is not going to just close shop, go bankrupt, or avoid you if there is a problem.
With medical supervision of your laser hair removal, complications will be very rare, but if they occur they will be dealt with – you won’t just be shunted off to your GP or told to buy some cream. So that’s the first step – find a clinic where you meet a doctor, and make sure you are comfortable.
Don’t shop for laser hair removal by price.
Pricing is often the first thing patients think about but be careful! Laser hair removal in Toronto is a cost-effective treatment if done right, something Vogue magazine has documented. A lot of patients find out that “super coupon deals” turn out to be very disappointing.
If you see a price that is too good to be true, you can be sure it is. “Full Body Laser Hair Removal” for $299 or “Underarms Packages” of 4 for $199 just do not add up. Top quality lasers (the kind used in Hospital Dermatology Clinics) are $100,000 and up, so super cheap prices just don’t make sense.
Usually patients find that the laser hair removal is not permanent and only lasts about 6 months, since the machine may not be top notch, or the technicians are inexperienced and do not use high enough power. Patients may find out that they are continually pressured to buy new packages since many salespeople get a higher commission on the second and third packages.
So, shop around, but remember paying more for a competent clinic that offers great service with proper laser hair removal technology and experience operators under medical supervision is the best bargain in the long run.
Do ask questions!
Laser Hair Removal might seem like a simple procedure. It’s now become very common and part of the mainstream, seemingly offered by every spa and salon in town. But, there are risks and possible complications associated with laser hair removal. It’s important that after your initial research you interview anyone you are considering performing laser on your body – do not be afraid to ask serious questions! And to walk away if you are not satisfied, or if you feel at all pressured.
Some spas employ professional “closers” trained to deflect questions and subtly pressuring you into purchasing packages. Ask to speak directly to the clinic director, preferably a physician in charge, and to the individual who will be operating the laser.
How long have they been performing laser? How long was there training? With whom? What will they do if you experience a complication – a blister, textural or pigment changes, or start to scar? Is there a doctor to manage these possibilities, or will they send you off to your own GP?
What about the laser that they use? Why did they choose this model? What is the wavelength? Do they do a test spot, and how do they determine when and how much energy to use as sessions progress?
Remember, laser hair removal is a time-consuming and expensive process, you have the right to feel comfortable. Any legitimate clinic will have no problem answering you questions. At the Baywood Clinic, we prefer that patients take their time deciding about proceeding with laser hair removal after they visit us for the consultation. We actively encourage them to shop around, compare us to other Toronto Laser Hair removal Clinics. We have found that when they do so, the majority decide to return to us for their laser hair removal treatment.
Don’t fall for one of the Laser Hair Removal Myths!
There are so many myths about laser hair removal it is hard to keep up. You can see some of the most repeated ones here, but there are few more to note.
It’s simply not true that laser hair removal cannot be performed on darker skin types. At our clinic more than 50% of our patients have darker skin, since we operate in downtown Toronto which has a very diverse population. We have had great results on even the darkest skin, all it takes is a very experienced operator, a hospital-grade laser, and attention to detail.
Some clinics advertise that they have lasers that remove hair even if you are tanned. This is not a good idea! For one, it is hard to establish what setting to use if your skin pigmentation changes between sessions. For another, the type of laser that is often used on tan skin is less well absorbed by hair follicles, and so more energy is used. This makes the risk of complications much higher. To be safe, avoid the sun while undergoing your Toronto Laser Hair Removal treatment!
Another myth is a clinic absolutely guaranteeing 100% permanent total hair removal. It is simply not fair to promise this, and we see many patients who had “written guarantees” that turned out to be useless. There is always the possibility, especially in males, and in certain areas, that over time some new hair growth can occur.
This is especially true in men under 35. For females, we find that this is less of a problem. In most cases 80% or more of hair can be removed permanently in 4-8 sessions, depending on location and thickness, among other things. In quite a few cases we do achieve 100%, but occasionally a few years later, a touch up or two is needed. Out policy is always to be honest with every patient.
Do educate yourself about Laser Hair Removal!
There are countless on-line articles and blogs about laser hair removal – like this one from Chatelaine. But be careful! A lot of information is simply regurgitated advertising. It’s OK to scan and research this sort of material, but make sure to look for more verified information as well.
A good place to look is at University Hospital based Laser Clinics – they have a reputation to protect, and accountability. So, the information about laser hair removal that you find there will tend to be accurate and up to date. You can also use your search engine to look up reviews about laser hair removal in legitimate medical journals – they may only have the summary (the actual article may be restricted to subscribers), but you can learn the basics and arm yourself with facts.
In the end though, your decision will come down to trust. You simply cannot learn everything you need to know, or at least be certain if everything you learn is factual. At some point, you need to trust your laser hair removal clinic.
But if you have learned the basics from reliable, respected on-line sources, you are much better able to detect clinics that you are belter off avoiding. An if you are looking for Toronto Laser Hair removal, the Baywood Clinic always welcomes you to contact them and ask as many questions as you want!
What about Darker Skin Types?
There’s been some concern in the media lately about laser hair removal for darker skin tones. The key here, as always, is to find a clinic which has extensive experience in this area. The Baywood Clinic has been providing laser hair removal in downtown Toronto for almost 20 years. The Doctors have extensive experience with all skin types. Being located in central Toronto means that 50% of our patients have Type 3 – 6 skin. Please feel free to visit or contact us at any time if yo are considering laser hair removal and are unsure about your skin type.
Can Laser Hair Removal Get Rid of Unwanted Grey or Blond Hair?
Unfortunately, no. No matter what you are told or promised laser hair removal cannot get rid of any hair that is lighter than a medium brown. Over the years all sorts of promises have been made by laser companies, but they all turned out to be false. They even went so far as using a carbon based liquid that was supposed to soak into the roots of the hair and make it a good target for laser hair removal. But, it did not work. We tried it. And the carbon was difficult to get off the skin.
So until some new technology arises, the only way to get rid of grey hair is to visit us for laser hair removal before it turns grey! Or we refer patients for electrolysis. It is important to find a practitioner who is licensed and trained since it is a skilled procedure.
In the meantime, for the majority of hair colors, our clinic offer expert laser hair removal in Toronto! Visit us today, or send us your questions.