Whether you’re a reasoned professional or brand new to the industry, you should be using best practice techniques to get the best results for your clients.
In this blog, we’ll talk about some laser hair removal techniques you should be using.
But if you’d rather just watch a video, we’ve got you covered:
The first laser hair removal technique that you should know is gridlines.
It’s very important that you grid the area that you’re working on so that:
(1) you don’t miss a spot and
(2) you don’t go over the same area twice.
It also helps if you get distracted mid-treatment – if the client needs to use the bathroom, or you get a phone call. You can tick off the little grids as you go so that you know what you’ve done.
It’s also good to grid an area so you can monitor the clinical endpoint of your treatment.
You can go back and have a look where you have treated and see if the client has had:
(a) a good response or
(b) an adverse reaction.
A good response in this case would be follicular oedema where the little follicles swell up and also follicular erythema where the follicles go pink to red.
An adverse reaction would be swelling, burning a rash or an itch.
If I didn’t mark it out, how would I know where I’d been? A client could get a phone call mid-treatment or need to go to the bathroom. It’s so easy to miss a spot.
The second hair removal technique that you should know is proper skin contact.
Proper skin contact includes a few things. It includes:
(1) being parallel to the skin while following the contours of the body and
(2) applying the correct pressure while contacting the skin.
Make sure that you’re parallel to the skin, contacting the skin. The laser light, when you’re just flicking it to the side, you’re only contacting 30 percent of that beam to the skin whereas you want to be getting 100 percent of that contact every time, so you don’t want to be flicking it out at the ends.
In order for laser light to penetrate efficiently into the skin and target the hair follicle, there needs to be a certain amount of distance between where the laser light comes out and where it targets the skin. If you are skimming the skin, you are changing the focal point of where the laser light focuses onto the skin to create the energy required to heat the hair follicle.
When you’re lasering someone’s skin, the laser hand piece or distance gauge has to be directly onto the skin, firstly so that you don’t create an uneven surface where the laser beam comes out which in turn can create burn marks on the client’s skin, and secondly it gives you the correct focal point so that when the laser beam hits the skin, it can convert to the correct amount of energy to heat the hair follicle.
In your settings, you set this energy to go into the skin, but if you’re flicking it out the ends, that amount of energy isn’t being absorbed.
If you’re skimming the skin, you’re creating a higher chance of burning the client’s skin because you can’t guarantee that the laser beam is penetrated through the skin. What you’re doing is you’re superficially targeting the epidermis as opposed to allowing the laser light to penetrate through the epidermis. If you don’t follow the contours of the body by staying parallel to the skin and you skim the skin around the corners of the elbows and the knees as an example, you then can create a high chance to leave a burn mark. Also, you’re simply not giving the client an efficient treatment because all the energy is being focused on the and not going down into the hair follicle itself. That’s going to mean missed patches and then, you will have hair that grows back that hasn’t been treated. And no client or clinician wants that.
When laser light comes out, it comes out into this beam that focuses. There’s a distance in that section. If you then go higher, then that beam – that focal point – changes again. It can scatter.
As you’re lasering across the skin across the body, maintaining contact with the skin and following the curves and the curvatures of the body and the contours of the body, you also have to ensure that you have the right amount of pressure. This creates a comfortable experience for the client. It makes them feel that you are in control and you know what you are doing.
It’s like going to the hairdressers and having someone just very softly massage your head and shampoo your hair. It doesn’t create a confidence.
It makes them feel that you don’t know what you are doing. But, when there is a bit of pressure, it
(1) creates confidence
(2) allows all of the energy to penetrate down into the dermis where the hair follicle sits and
(3) we can also minimize the depth of the dermis so that the hair follicle can sit higher in the dermis, so that when you put a bit of pressure, you’re actually shrinking the dermis to a point where all the energy can be focused on the hair follicle – flattening it a little bit.
Again, if you’re doing it too high, it won’t do anything. It’s the same when you’re skimming. If you’re skimming and you’re not actually creating enough pressure, the energy from the laser light and the laser beam is not concentrated enough to reach your target chromophore which is the hair follicle.
The reason why we need to have contact with the skin and also create enough pressure and not skim the skin, but it would be better to stamp the skin as you go along is it gives you, the technician, an indication of where you’ve been because you can kind of seen where you’ve been. It does leave a little bit of a light indent of where you’ve lasered.
The third technique you should know is the honeycomb or Olympic ring pattern.
A honeycomb pattern mimics what a honeycomb looks like. You’ve got rings that overlap each other by 20 to 30 percent. As you go along one line of rings, you come down, but you start either outside that first ring or just on the inside of that first ring, and then you work your way across, so then you’re working in this zigzag pattern of honeycomb-like structure pulses.
This means you don’t miss any spots, and lets you know where you’ve been. Most importantly, it gives the client the best possible outcome. You don’t want to have your client coming back with hairy spots.
Not only do you not want to miss a whole grid, but you don’t want to miss paths within the grid which is why this honeycomb pattern works really well. It gives you, the technician, a structure to work with, and it also gives the client again that second level of confidence to know that you know what you are doing because you have a pattern that you’re working with.