IPL Laser Information
What is IPL??
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a technology used to perform various skin treatments including hair removal, skin rejuvenation (e.g. the treatment of skin pigmentation, sun damage, and thread veins) as well as to alleviate dermatologic diseases such as acne (currently not available).
The technology uses a high-powered, hand-held, computer-controlled flashgun to deliver an intense, visible, broad-spectrum pulse of light, generally in the visible spectral range of 400 to 1200 nm. Various cutoff filters are commonly used to selectively filter out lower wavelengths, especially potentially damaging ultra violet light. The resulting light has a spectral range that targets specific structures and chromophores (e.g. melanin in hair, or oxyhemoglobin in blood vessels) that are heated to destruction and reabsorbed by the body. IPL shares some similarities with laser treatments, in that they both use light to heat and destroy their targets. But unlike lasers that use a single wavelength (colour) of light which typically matches only one chromophore, and hence only one condition, IPL uses a broad spectrum that when used with filters, allows it to be used against several conditions. This can be achieved when the IPL technician selects the appropriate filter that matches a specific chromophore.
What is a PhotoFacial?
A photofacial is a 45-minute procedure in which intense pulses of light are used to penetrate deep into the skin. IPL photorejuvenation then causes collagen and blood vessels below the epidermis to constrict, reducing redness and age lines, as well as bringing melanin to the surface (age spots) which then later sluffs off. The procedure involves only minimal discomfort, while the redness and swelling that sometimes occur after treatment disappear shortly. If you have a lot of pigment in your skin, it can take up to a week or more for the increased pigment to fade. Most benefits of a photofacial occur gradually in the weeks following treatment. For even greater cosmetic enhancement, patients may also follow an anti-aging skin care regimen to help target fine lines/wrinkle in-between treatments. Treatments should generally be spaced about 4 wks a part.
What should I expect after my photofacial?
Depending on what you are having worked on and the extent of the issues, you may see anything from no immediate change at all, to severe redness and sunburn sensation. This is all normal! If you are working on pigment, you can expect any dark spots to get DARKER and any other discolouration to also surface. This is what we want. The pigment will then take about 7-14 days to slowly sluff off, revealing smoother, lighter skin. DO NOT try to exfoliate off the pigment faster. This is can lead to permanent scarring. Just leave it be and let it do its thing. Photofacials show their TRUE RESULTS IN APPROX 2-3 WKs after the treatment! Even after the pigment has come off, within the next week you will continue to see your skin brighten and the texture improve. This is why it is recommended to wait a month between treatments.
Most people need an average of 3-6 treatments to lift all the underlying pigment and fine lines. After that, it is maintenance every few months to keep any fresh sun damage at bay. So REMEMBER, SPF EVERYDAY, even when its cloudy and especially when you are driving in the car!
Can anyone have IPL?
Sadly, NO. There are quite a few Contraindications to IPL treatments. Some of which are a solid NO and others that just need a Doctors note.
Some, but not all Contraindications include:
- Pregnant or Breast feeding mommas (due to the change in hormones)
- Cancer of any kind in the last 6 years
- Boys under 18, Girls who haven't had their periods for at least 1 year
- Light sensitive conditions (ie. lupus) or medications
- Sensation altering conditions (ie. diabetes)
- African American skin type (machine specific). There are certain machines that can work on skin type 6, so just make sure you go to a reputable location to avoid burns)
* Consults are complimentary. Please don't hesitate to ask your questions in person (and have a test patch performed).
Can you treat ALL hair types and spots??
No. IPL works on the melanin (colour) in the hair/spot which means that it will NOT WORK ON WHITE HAIR as there is no pigment left in the follicle. White hair will need electrolysis for permanent removal. Blonde hair is very difficult as it has minimal pigment but it can be worked on. It may just take a few more treatments then someone with dark hair.
The Ideal client would be light skin and dark course hair. This is because the laser will then be focusing all its energy directly into the hair follicle and not onto the surface skin.
As for spots, I can not work on anything raised (ie, moles, skin tags) They must be completely flat, like a freckle.
If I have white hair can I just dye it for the removal?
No. This is because dye only reaches the surface hair and we are killing it from the root (which would still be white).
How do I prepare for hair removal?
Before we go ahead with any treatments, a test patch is performed. This is generally done a few days prior to the actual treatment.
For the test patch you will come in with SOME HAIR INTACT (a few days growth minimum). This will allow me a proper assessment of the colour/texture of the hair to ensure the machine is set to the proper settings for YOUR treatment.
For the actual treatment, you will need to be CLEAN SHAVEN. Why? Because we need the laser to be focused directly into the follicle to kill it from the root. If there is hair above the surface and laying on the skin, there is a large possibility of also burning the skin as it burns the hair. A fresh shave the morning of your appointment is most ideal. I will re-shave the area if it already has regrowth by your appointment time, but this will be a dry shave and can cause minor razor burn if there is a few days growth. Being properly prepared for your appointment is ideal.
PLEASE NOTE: Completely unshaven individuals will be charged a $50 shaving fee added onto each appointment fee. If you would rather pay this fee then take care of it yourself, please let me know during booking so that I allow enough time to take care of that for you.
How do I know if I want a Bikini or Brazilian??? I don't want to be bald!
You don't have to be bald! lol
To clarify - a Bikini is anything you see outside of your panty line. If you want ANYTHING slightly more then that, you are in the Brazilian region.
A Brazilian will clean up FRONT TO BACK, but it is completely up to you on how much or how little you leave in the front. I recommendation clients shave the way they want it left! So, on treatment day, shave EVERYTHING EXCEPT the "patch" you would like untouched. This will then becomes my guideline on where (and where NOT) to laser.
Is it painful?
Not at all!!! I have so many clients that have heard horror stories about how painful it is. Or they have actually stopped prior treatments due to pain and are afraid to try it again. Well don't be afraid. The Sharplight DCP has cool tip technology that cools the surface skin to -8 while it pulses. This ensures minimal discomfort. The most you should feel is a slight pinch, like an elastic band. Anything more then that, let me know and we will adjust the settings!
Is there redness like after waxing?
This very much depends on the area and the client. Generally speaking there are minimal signs that you had anything done. Sometimes there is immediate redness from the cooling tip which is gone in 5-10 mins, other times there can be intense redness and bumps (this is rare, yet is actually a good reaction and not to be worried about - slightly more prevalent in areas with thick course hair ie backs or Brazilians, rare, if ever, on the face)
Can I wax/pluck between treatments??
NO!!! We need all those follicle in place and ready to be zapped! You CAN shave or bleach between treatments. Unlike waxing where everything needs to grow out between treatments, laser allows you to keep everything smooth even between treatments. As treatments progress, you will find you are going longer and longer between shaves.
How many treatments does it take?
Most areas require about 8 treatments, but this varies depending on the skin type and coarseness of the hair. Blonde hair or darker skin tones will need more treatments then someone with a pale complexion and dark hair.
Is it permanent and/or guaranteed?
Will the hair that we kill now come back? NO, BUT the body can produce new follicles which can grow new hair, hormonal changes as we age can play a factor in future hair growth, and there are even a very small percentage of hairs that we just can't kill will a laser, no matter how many times you zap it. This is why we call it a
PERMANENT REDUCTION instead of removal and it will not come with a guarantee.
Regarding Massage Treatments
What should I wear (or NOT wear) during the massage?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to this question. You can wear as much or as little as you like, as long as you are comfortable. As the therapist it is most productive to be able to work skin to skin instead of through clothes but if you feel uncomfortable we can work around whatever you leave on.
I will mention that if you are in need of Glut work, it IS RECOMMENDED that you are in the buff, but only the part of the body that is being worked on is ever undraped at any given time. You should never feel "exposed" and if you do, kindly mention this to your therapist so they can make you feel more comfortable :)
Do I Tip??
I play by a simple rule: You don't tip your doctor, but you tip your hairdresser.
Thus, if you are in for a treatment or you have a specific problem that you need worked on, then NO, you don't need to tip because it is therapeutic and you wouldn't tip your doctor. BUT, at the same clinic, if you are in for something relaxing or pampering, a feel good treatment, then YES, it would be nice to leave your therapist a little something...because you would tip your hairdresser.
Please Note: Tips (at least here at Sprout) are never expected, but always appreciated.