Laser Hair Removal in our Northern Va office, convenient to Tysons, Vienna, Falls Church, Arlington
Tired of dealing with embarrassing, unwanted hair? Ugly stubble, razor burn and painful ingrown hairs can get in the way of your everyday life.
Looking for a solution that is permanent, affordable, safe and convenient?
Laser hair removal ends the costly, repetitive, and time consuming procedures of shaving, tweezing, chemical depilatories, waxing and electrolysis and offers a 80 – 90% permanent reduction in hair.
It will change your life! No kidding. Laser hair removal will free you from the worry of having someone see something you don’t want them to. It will give you the freedom to be ready for anything at a moment’s notice. You won’t have to turn down that date or last minute invite to the pool because you have a rash on your bikini line or because your face is stubbly. Our clients tell us over and over how much laser has changed their lives.
Am I a Laser Hair Removal Candidate? We're here to help!
The Basics of Laser Hair Removal
Areas of unwanted hair are treated with a focused beam of concentrated light that is selectively absorbed by the melanin in the hair, as well as in the surrounding hair follicle. This causes thermal destruction of these hair follicles and disrupts their ability to regenerate, resulting in permanent hair reduction. Unlike electrolysis, which kills one hair follicle at a time, the laser reaches and treats hundreds of follicles at a time.
All hair grows in cycles that consist of three stages – the Anagen phase (active growth), Catagen phase (dormant growth), or Telogen phase (fall-out stage). Hair can only be permanently destroyed in the Anagen (active) phase when the hair follicles are being fed by blood vessels. The heat generated from the laser light seals off the blood vessels to these active hairs. Our specialized treatment program takes a phased approach to laser hair removal to coincide with this active phase of your hair growth.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal at TLC Medispa in McLean, VA vs. Other Hair Removal Options
What Questions Should You Ask When Choosing Your Laser Provider
What type of laser technology do you use?
We offer the most advanced technology that exists for laser hair removal treatments. Because we use the Cynosure Apogee Elite which offers both Nd:YAG and Alexandrite lasers and the Palomar Vectus which offers a less painful, super-fast diode laser, we can safely and effectively treat all skin types and hair types including tanned or dark skin. We do not recommend treating tanned skin, however, and you should be wary of companies who do. When your skin is tan, your risk of side-effects is increased and your treatment settings must be adjusted accordingly which results in a less effective treatment. All of our lasers have the ability to adjust both the energy setting (joules) and pulse duration setting, thus tailoring the treatment parameters to the client’s skin type and hair color and texture. Others offering these services often only have one laser which typically lacks the capability of adjusting both of these settings, which is a less effective approach.
Who will be performing the procedure and how much experience do they have? What negative effects have clients had when being treated by this person?
Our certified technicians have been fully trained, are certified on multiple laser systems and have performed hundreds to thousands of procedures. Our incident rate is less than one hundredth of one percent. Negative effects observed have been only minor crusting and minor, reversible pigmentary changes.
How happy are clients with their results and do you have any references with whom I could speak?
We are very proud that we have happy clients. We achieve this by being extremely careful and thorough (actually perfectionistic) in our treatments and by being very up front and honest with our clients. We never underestimate the number of treatments that may be necessary to achieve desired results and never promise results we can’t deliver. If you would like to speak with one of our clients we would be happy to arrange that for you.
How do I know I am getting the most thorough treatment possible?
Faster is not necessarily better. If a treatment is too fast, there are areas that are being missed and you are not receiving a very thorough treatment. This means more sessions and more money in the end. We believe that you deserve to receive the most thorough treatment for your money. Some companies offer a full body treatment in 1 hour which is just not possible – even with the fastest machines. Even with the Vectus, one of the fastest machines available, a full leg treatment takes 45 minutes. This should give you an idea of how much surface area is being missed with these 1 hour “full body” treatments.
Do you offer a guarantee?
Do not believe anyone who offers a guarantee. Hair removal results depend on many factors such as skin color, hair texture and color, hormones, frequency of visits, etc. and will therefore vary from person to person.
What if I require additional treatments once I complete my prescribed package?
After completing a 6 treatment package, any additional treatments you might need are offered at a discounted rate.
Am I required to purchase a treatment package?
No. We understand that this is an expensive procedure. You may also purchase treatments individually.
How to Prepare for Your Laser Treatment
- Make sure to stop waxing, tweezing, plucking or threading 3 – 4 weeks prior to your appointment.
- Do not bleach or use depilatories for 2 weeks prior to your appointment.
- Discontinue use of topical retinoids, hydroquinone, topical acid products, benzoyl peroxide, clairsonic brushes or other scrub products on the treatment area one week prior to your appointment.
- Discontinue use of photosensitizing medications one week prior to your appointment.
- Discontinue use of self-tanners 7 – 10 days prior to your appointment.
- Make sure you are not tan or sunburned. Limit sun exposure on the treatment area for at least 3 weeks prior to your treatment.
- Shave the treatment area either the evening before or the morning of your appointment. The closer the shave, the better. For areas that are difficult to reach such as your back or the back of your neck, please have someone shave for you. If you don’t have anyone to help you, we will shave the area for a fee. Please notify us in advance so that we allot enough time for your appointment.
- If you are worried about pain during your treatment, you may take some pain reliever 30 – 45 minutes prior to your appointment.
Who May Not Have Laser Hair Removal Treatments?
- Women who are pregnant
- Anyone who is taking photosensitizing antibiotics
- Anyone undergoing chemotherapy
- Anyone who is tanned or sunburned
- Anyone who is using topical retinoid products, hydroquinone, topical acid products, benzoyl peroxide, clairsonic brushes or other scrub products on the treatment area. Please discontinue use of these products one week prior to treatment.
- Anyone using self-tanners
- Anyone with white, gray, blonde or red hair
Laser Hair Removal FAQs
Does it Hurt?
Everyone’s pain threshold is different. Some people say it feels like a slight sting and others say the sensation is more pronounced. The sensation is only evident at the time we are pulsing the laser. Once the technician stops pulsing the laser, the sensation stops. For those individuals that experience significant discomfort, a topical anesthetic can be used. However, only a very small percentage of our patients require this. Unfortunately we are not able to provide this but often your own doctor may prescribe it for you. Compared to electrolysis and waxing, most clients should find our process very tolerable.
After treatment, there may be some redness and/or tenderness which usually lasts only a couple of hours but can last up to 48 hours. This is comparable to very mild sunburn and is not painful. Aloe vera gel or hydrocortisone cream can be used in these cases.
How does the Laser remove hair?
The laser emits a very specific light beam that is absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicle. The laser is pulsed, or “turned on,” for a fraction of a second. The duration of the pulses has been carefully determined so that enough energy is absorbed by the hair follicle to disable it but not so much that excess heat is transferred to the surrounding skin, resulting in safe and effective hair removal.
What is the advantage of using laser?
Lasers are precise instruments that can be adjusted to the exact parameters that will specifically disable the hair follicle. The laser uses a wide beam that treats hundreds of hair follicles at once instead of treating hair-by-hair like electrolysis. Because of this, large areas such as legs, arms, or a back can be treated in a short amount of time. You will see results that last far longer than tweezing, waxing, shaving, chemical depilation, or other temporary treatments.
How long will it take?
Because the laser treats many hair follicles at a time, facial areas (lip, chin, etc.) can be treated in five to ten minutes. Small body areas (underarms, bikini, etc.) take less than 15-20 minutes. Larger body areas (full back, legs, arms, etc.) usually take about 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the size of the area and the density of the hair.
What happens to the skin after treatment?
Within several minutes of the treatment, the treated area may become slightly red and sometimes bumpy. Some experience a sensation similar to mild sunburn. This reaction subsides within a few minutes to a few hours and the area returns to normal. Since the laser does not burn or cut the skin in any way, no bandages are necessary. You are able to reapply your make-up, return to work, and continue with your normal daily activities. It is recommended that you do not expose treated areas to the sun for several days following treatment. If sun exposure is unavoidable, make sure to apply a high quality sunblock with at least 8% zinc oxide every hour that you are in the sun.
How many treatments will I need?
The laser works by disabling hairs in the active phase of the growth cycle at the time of treatment. Since most hair will be in the dormant stage during treatment, an average of 6 – 8 treatments is usually necessary to disable a majority of the follicles. Because everyone is different and we all have different hormone levels and medical influences, some people may need additional treatments to reach their desired goals.
How often do I need to come in for my treatments?
This depends on which area of the body you are having treated. For the face, treatments are spaced 4 – 6 weeks apart. For treatments on most areas of the body such as bikini and underarms, treatments are spaced 6 – 8 weeks apart. For the legs and back treatments are spaced 8 – 10 weeks apart
Is Laser Hair Removal permanent?
The lasers we use have received FDA approval for “permanent hair reduction.” Once we disable the blood vessels supplying the hair follicles, those particular follicles are permanently destroyed and will not grow back. However, not all of the hair follicles on our body are active and as we get older, inactive hairs will become active. The laser will not keep those hairs from becoming active but once they are, we can treat them successfully. Treatment areas that are influenced by hormones such as the chin can form new follicles more frequently and tend to require more touch-ups. Certain hormone conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and even pregnancy can cause new follicle formation and thus more treatments/touch-ups may be necessary.
Does Laser Hair Removal work on blonde, gray, white or red hair?
Unfortunately, it does not. Occasionally we can get it to work on blonde or red hair if it is dark enough and the skin color is very light. Please schedule a consultation so that we can do a test spot. Normally those with blonde or red hair that is dark enough to be treated will require additional sessions to reach 80 – 90% reduction in hair.
Can I have a Brazilian treatment while menstruating?
Absolutely. Just make sure to use a tampon during your treatment.
Where can I get numbing cream?
You can purchase over-the-counter 4% lidocaine at CVS or Target. If you feel you will need this, make sure to purchase it prior to your treatment. For best results, numbing cream should be applied approximately 45 minutes before your treatment and kept in place with plastic wrap. (When the numbing cream dries out, it becomes ineffective.) You can also get a stronger numbing cream prescription from your doctor. Most clients do just fine without topical numbing products however. We can also provide ice packs during your treatment if necessary.