Frequently Asked Questions

What skin types do you laser?

WE LASER ALL SKIN TYPES! It is important to determine each client’s skin type prior to treatment so that the best machines and settings are used to reach optimal results. The Fitzpatrick Skin Type Chart is used to determine the effectiveness of many skin treatments, especially laser hair removal. Your laser technician will be able to accurately determine your skin type and what machine should be used.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

Yes, most people achieve 80-90+% permanent hair reduction. Contrary to statements made by those unfamiliar with this technology, when laser hair removal is properly performed, it is effective for the vast majority of candidates. Non-responders are primarily limited to those with light blond, white, gray, or red hair. The current technology is capable of 80-90+% permanent hair reduction for ALL skin types, male and female, and for ALL body areas (except around the eyes).  Some patients even achieve virtually 100% removal. Ten to 15% of people do not reach this level of hair removal, but almost all are still very satisfied! The number of sessions needed to achieve these results can vary from 4-10 treatments depending on many factors such as age, skin type, amount of hair, hair color, hair texture, hormones, and more.

What is involved in the laser hair removal process?

The laser hair removal process works by sending a pulse of laser light to a group of hair follicles with enough power to disable or destroy the root while not harming the surrounding skin. A cooling spray immediately follows the pulse to create minimal discomfort without the hassle of creams and gels that other machines require. The laser beam finds the hair follicles by targeting melanin (the substance that gives skin and hair color). It is important to note that the laser process will not work well on people that have red, white, gray, or light blond hair.

How many sessions do I need for laser hair removal to be successful?

It depends on several factors. Thick hair responds better than thin hair and darker hair responds faster than the lighter ones. Four to 10 sessions of laser treatment for dark thick hair may induce about 80% to 90% of hair reduction. Legs are an example of dark thick hairs. The most responsive areas of the body for laser hair removal are the legs, underarms, and bikini area for both men and women. The male back and female face are more challenging and can take a few additional treatments. Results can vary from person to person and some get better results than others.

How long do I wait between sessions?

The average waiting period between treatments is 4 to 6 weeks. This period in between treatments gives your hair a chance to be caught in the “growth phase” of its life and this is when you will get the best results when performing laser hair removal. Your treatment program will be decided at your initial consultation and you will know, and be instructed, on how to care for your treatment area(s) and when to follow up.

What are the risks or possible side effects?

Immediately following a laser treatment, clients should experience reddened and puffy skin. This is termed “follicular edema” and resembles goose bumps. It feels somewhat like a mild sunburn. This effect disappears in a few minutes to a few hours. In the hands of an experienced laser technician using the right equipment, clients will not experience any damage to their skin. Many clients schedule treatments during their lunch break and return to work with no visible indications. On very rare occasions, there are mild burns or skin pigment changes, but this almost always clears completely over time.

Is the process painful?

Most patients compare the feeling of the treatments to the “slapping of a rubber band.” Some people even say it tickles depending on the location of the treatment. The only discomfort, if any, will be during treatment and usually does not linger when you leave. Most patients compare post- treatment to the feeling of a mild sunburn. The most sensitive areas to treat are the back, neck, and bikini area. Our technicians are specifically trained to deal with any discomfort the treatment may cause. If needed, there are pre-treatment medications available through our supervising physician.

I’m concerned about what to do between my treatments. I usually tweeze or bleach. Is this allowed?

Do not tweeze. You can bleach your face, but the root needs to remain so our lasers can effectively target the follicle. Shaving is completely safe. You will not grow more hair if you shave. The best way to come in for treatments is cleanly shaven or with a very slight stubble. We suggest shaving the night before or the day of your scheduled treatment, but not more than one day unshaven. If you come in for treatments with too much hair, we will have to shave you, which takes time and could be irritating to the treatment area.

How long is each treatment?

Treatment times will depend on the size of the treatment area. Underarms for instance take about 10 minutes for both arms. A larger area, like legs or back, can take a full 30 minutes to an hour.

How do I know if laser hair removal treatments are working for me?

You will see results after the very first treatment. You will have fewer hairs and they will be finer and weaker. Your skin will be smoother and your hair pores less visible. The results will become more impressive with each successive treatment.

Is laser hair removal for everyone?

Laser hair removal will not work on white, gray, light red or light blond hair. Also, some medications such as Accutane or other photosensitive drugs will not be allowed during treatment. Patients under 15, pregnant, or have skin cancer, or open wounds in the treatment are also are not allowed to undergo any type of laser treatments. We will go over all these factors, and any questions you may have at your initial consultation.

I had some hormone tests done that showed my testosterone is relatively high. Is laser hair removal safe and effective for me?

If you have an untreated elevated testosterone issue causing the hair growth, you won’t see good results from laser hair removal until your testosterone is under control. Your body will be busy developing new hair, and regardless of how much of the “current” hair is destroyed, it will be replaced by new hair. You will need treatment to stabilize your hormone levels. When the imbalance is under control, you can start your laser treatments and achieve excellent and stable results on the body. In some cases, the facial area will require “touchup” treatments every 3 to 6 months to remain hair free.

I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and I have a lot of extra hair. Will laser hair removal work for me?

Yes, it will but it may require a few more treatments than usual or higher levels of treatment energy. Almost all clients with PCOS are satisfied with their results.

I have peach fuzz on my face or other parts of my body. Can I get treatment?

Peach fuzz and very fine blond hairs typically do not respond well to laser hair removal treatments. If you have this type of hair we would like to see you in person before we determine whether it will work for you. Sometimes one patient’s definition of peach fuzz is not always the case for all.

I have ingrown hairs on my face, legs, bikini area, back, or other part of my body. Would laser help?

Yes, absolutely. Even after one treatment you will notice that many of your ingrown hairs will start to go away. Within a few weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of the scarring and pigmentation caused by ingrown hair, the skin appearance will be improved overall. The bumps will get smaller, the area will be smoother, and the color of your skin will become more even.

I am a dark skinned African American. Can I get laser hair treatment?

Yes, absolutely. Many darker skin types, especially African Americans, believe they cannot get laser treatment. This was true years ago, but not today. Smooth Skin has the most advanced lasers that work great on all skin types. At your initial consultation, we will go over your medical history, give you a personal skin assessment, and discuss your candidacy for laser treatments.

What can you do for men?

Many believe only females seek laser hair removal, but the truth is we have a large number of male clients. That’s because men have discovered laser hair removal is the best way to manage their unwanted body hair. We laser many areas for men, and have successfully treated whole backs, neck, face, scalp, ears, nostrils, buttocks, arms and legs. 

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If you have any additional questions, call us at: 434.964.8714

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2015 Woodbrook Court
Charlottesville, VA 22901