Laser Hair Removal
The Private Skin Laser Clinic has been a leading provider of laser treatments since 1995, so you can be confident that you’re in expert hands. Our laser hair removal treatments are hospital based and doctor-led, delivered to the highest clinical standards and at the cutting-edge of today’s hair removal methods. We achieve outstanding results for patients of all skin types, including darker skin tones.
How does laser hair removal work?
A laser works by emitting a wavelength of high energy light, which, in the case of hair removal, we can target to create heat and suppress the growth of hair follicles.
All parts of the body can be treated: underarms, bikinis, legs, shoulders, abdomen and back. Several treatments are required and best results are achieved with dark hair. It will not work with white hair.
Can laser hair removal help me?
Whatever your skin colour, the Private Skin Laser Clinic will be able to advise you on the most appropriate laser hair removal treatment.
Why come to the Private Skin Laser Clinic for laser hair removal?
The Private Skin Laser Clinic has been providing professional, doctor-led laser treatments, including laser hair removal, at the Royal Free Hospital in London since 1995. During this time, our team have collectively treated tens of thousands of patients and this wealth of experience will help us give you the best possible outcome.
Laser hair removal treatments are carried out by our experienced laser therapists, all of whom are nurse practitioners. We operate to the highest clinical standards and are participate in research that is shaping the future of laser hair removal.
Laser and IPL Hair Removal Frequently asked questions
Laser and IPL hair removal has revolutionised the treatment of unwanted hair. Different areas of the body and different skin types give different results, so please read below if you are considering laser hair removal treatment:
Laser or IPL?
Most lasers and intense pulsed light sources will give good hair reduction in suitable patients when used correctly. However, IPLs vary a great deal in quality as do their operators.
Different lasers suit different skin colours. We use an Alexandrite laser on white to pale brown skins, and a long pulsed Nd:YAG on dark brown to black skins. We cannot treat sun tanned skins, including fake tans.
What lasers do you use at The Private Skin Laser Clinic?
We use the Alexandrite laser for lighter skin tones. The fastest of all laser types, it uses an Alexandrite crystal as the laser source/medium and produces a 755nm wavelength of light in the infrared spectrum. We call this a red light laser. It offers a good skin penetration rate. If you have a light skin tone – you’re probably someone who sunburns easily – then Alexandrite laser hair removal offers one of the best laser hair treatments available.
We also use the Nd:YAG laser; this is a solid state laser that is effective on all skin types, including brown and black skin tones. This laser has a fast rate of repetition and delivers excellent results when used on larger areas of skin such as the back and legs.
A number of research studies – including this one published in the British Journal of Dermatology in 2012 - have found that laser hair removal tends to offer a longer delay in regrowth than many other hair removal systems and exceeds IPL (intense pulse light) treatment.
Who is suitable for Laser Hair Removal treatment?
Our lasers suit anyone with dark unwanted hair.
White, blonde and grey hairs will not respond. Ginger and pale brown hairs respond poorly. Dark brown and black hairs do best. Men and women can be treated, as can all body parts, and all skin colours.
We cannot treat you if you have even a faint sun tan or are about to get one. Laser treatment does not mix well with sunny holidays.
Is laser hair removal treatment permanent?
No, we do not claim permanence.
Hair follicles have great regenerative powers. Most people will experience long-lasting benefits. The stronger the laser, the greater the effect on the hair but the greater the risk of unwanted effects. Regular treatment also improves results.
It is difficult to predict individual responses as many factors are involved: the thickness of the hairs, different body sites, hormonal differences, how black the hairs are and how strong a laser light can be tolerated.
In general, the hair-free intervals gradually lengthen and regrowth gets sparser and finer.
How does laser compare to other hair removal treatments?
Laser treatment gives longer hair-free intervals than waxing, shaving, plucking, or depilatory creams.
It can treat more hairs than electrolysis due to the size of the laser beam.
Is laser hair removal safe?
The laser makes an extremely powerful beam of red light. This can blind or burn if used wrongly, which is why it’s so important to choose a reputable and experienced clinician to carry out your treatment. Care is taken to protect eyes by limiting the number of people in the treatment room, and wearing protective goggles during treatments is mandatory. The strength of the laser must be carefully adjusted to avoid burns.
We keep the skin surface chilled with cold air and ice packs. It is not thought to cause cancer.
How does laser hair removal work?
The bright laser light heats up anything that is dark. The hair follicles can be damaged by heating up the black hairs in them. Most of the follicles on your body are resting and hairless at any one time. These resting follicles are not be affected by the laser light. However, by repeating the treatment with each new crop of hairs, eventually most follicles will be lasered.
A lasered follicle takes longer to recover, depending on how hot it got.
The technique depends on there being more dark pigment in your hair than in your skin, so that the hair follicles can be heated whilst the skin is kept cool. This is why most unwanted effects occur in darker skin types. Recently suntanned skin is particularly vulnerable to dark marks. Fake tans will also cause problems.
What are the unwanted effects of laser hair removal?
There is some discomfort, which is brief and can be relieved with the cold air.
The treated area will be red and may have goose bumps for an hour or so. The skin may feel sensitive for a day or two.
Some peeling or scabbing may occur with temporary changes in skin colour, usually in the form of dark marks. Images to the right show such temporary unwanted effects.
Under-powered treatment may stimulate hair growth. This is a possibility when being cautious with brown skin types. Rare unwanted effects include scarring, patchy loss of skin pigment, loosening of dental veneers and thrombosis of small veins.
The risks of laser hair removal are significantly lower in the hands of an experienced practitioner or clinician.
How strong should the treatment be?
The stronger the treatment, the better the results on the hair but the more unwanted effects on the skin.
With high power treatment these consist of redness, swelling and tenderness for a few days. On darker skin types, dark circles may form for a week or two. These occasionally fade to leave pale marks that last for many months.
For the longest hair-free intervals in the least number of treatments, you should have treatment at the limit of your skin’s tolerance; this will mean experiencing a few of these unwanted effects. We will be guided by you as to how strong you would like your treatment.
What preparation is required before laser treatment?
It is very important that you stop plucking and waxing for many weeks before starting treatment.
You can trim or shave. We know this may be difficult for you but is important for good results. You must also resist plucking hairs between treatments.
Fake tan must have faded completely.
What aftercare is needed?
A plain moisturiser such as Aqueous Cream should be applied gently to prevent peeling.
You should also get into the habit of wearing a strong sun block on exposed areas. This should be factor 25 or stronger. This applies to all skin colours and is very important. If your skin darkens a little in the summer or while on holiday, then you will be more likely to get burnt at your next treatment.
Who is responsible for my care?
Your treatment will be carried out by our qualified laser nurses, Sisters Waite, Sargent, and May. They have many years of laser experience. As a doctor-led and hospital-based practice, the Private Skin Laser Clinic is under the direct supervision of consultant dermatologists.
What results can I expect?
It is difficult to predict exactly how well you will do. There are wide variations depending on body area, skin colour, hair colour and strength of treatment. As a guide:
Women with white skin and black hair treating underarms bikini and legs should have very scanty regrowth after four to six treatments.
Women with black facial hair and white skin should achieve good control, with hair-free periods of six to eight weeks and scanty regrowth after six treatments. You will probably want occasional top-up treatments. Brown and ginger hair will do less well. White and blonde hairs will not respond.
Women with brown skin should achieve hair-free periods of four to six weeks on the face and eight to twelve weeks elsewhere. Regrowth will be finer but is likely to be persistent.
After six treatments, women with black skin and African-type hair should be hair-free on the face for about eight weeks. Elsewhere on the body the hair-free period will be about 12 weeks. Regrowth should be fine and scanty. Only occasional top-ups will be required.
Men’s backs will become hair free for about eight weeks with the regrowth getting finer after six treatments. You are unlikely to become completely hair-free.
Men’s beards take lots of treatments as hair in the goatee area can be very persistent. Shaving rash and ingrown hairs respond well to just a few treatments, especially in Afro-Caribbean skin types, although the beard can look patchy.
How much does laser hair removal cost?
Please refer to Fees for current pricing.