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Know THIS About Laser Hair Removal

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This isn't a bad image to see on a Monday morning, huh? No, it's not a gratuitous inclusion of spiffy male bod, it actually relates to the subject matter. I did crop most of the chippie out, though. My boss made me do it.

I've heard many folks grumble that neither laser hair removal nor electrolysis has solved their pesky hirsute issues. Nicolette Oakwell-Morgan, director of operations at OMI Hair in Toronto, has heard the same thing. "We see so many clients who have spent thousands of dollars elsewhere on laser hair treatments without any significant results," she says, citing misinformation and lack of education in the industry as key problems.

When it comes to permanent hair removal, your body hair's growth cycle is important but so is your skin and hair colour, hair texture and location. As well, according to Oakwell-Morgan, few people know or advise consumers that the follicle needs a certain level of natural moisture to be vapourized effectively by a laser, and that each treatment has to be carefully timed to catch each cycle of growth just as the hair starts to show. And it turns out laser technology isn't the final answer to a hairy situation.

"Laser hair removal results in permanent hair reduction," says Oakwell-Morgan. "We combine our laser with Elos, a radiofrequency-and-light technology that works very well on people who aren't laser candidates, such as clients with finer or non-pigmented hair. We call it maximizing permanent reduction, getting to a point where there is very little hair left and it's too fine to respond to lasers or Elos."

Oakwell-Morgan says OMI achieves 45 to 85 per cent reduction -- in some areas as much as 90 per cent -- and some clients are happy to stop at that point (70 per cent of OMI's clients are men; 65 per cent have darker complexions). "The only procedure to complete a case with the achievement of 100 per cent hair removal is electrolysis. We go that route at the end of the laser/Elos treatments if the client wants the area to be completely hair free."

Oakwell-Morgan is reluctant to estimate the cost of a complete series of treatments. "Each program is entirely individual," she says. "We start with a one-hour consultation to determine the best methods for each client based on a range of parameters from hair texture to growth cycles to previous removal methods used." The length of time treatment takes varies per person as well.

Whatever you need, however, Oakwell-Morgan has been there. "I had a severe hair problem 35 years ago and solved it. I haven't had regrowth at all since then."

Image courtesy of OMI Hair.