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One of the most common targets for cosmetic intervention is hair, whether the patient feels that they have too much, too little, or a combination of both problems. Unwanted body hair on any area of the body or face can be embarrassing, and leave the person feeling inhibited and self-conscious. Constant attention with waxing or tweezing is costly and painful. Luckily, Dr. Sheena Kong's San Francisco laser hair removal treatment makes it possible to remove unwanted hair from any face or body area, leaving a smooth, clear skin texture, without the lumps and bumps associated with some other types of hair removal treatments.

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Laser Vs. Other Hair Removal Methods

If you suffer from unwanted body hair, you may find yourself dedicating hours of your weekly routine to its removal. Shaving, plucking, waxing, and chemical removal methods can be arduous and even painful, and need to be performed again and again to maintain results. Shaving, for example, is an abrasive method that irritates the skin and whose results are extremely short-lived: within a day or two, hair is already growing back, often appearing thicker, darker, and coarser than before. That doesn't even take into account the irritation, itching and burning sensations in your skin during hair regrowth after shaving. Waxing can be painful and tweezing meticulous, and neither lasts long before you're back where you started. Over-the-counter chemical shaving replacements often irritate the skin and can produce unreliable results.

Only one method is known to produce consistent, long-lasting results: laser hair removal. Rather than just cutting the hair or removing it at the root, laser hair removal takes it a step further by targeting the hair follicle itself and preventing it from re-growing new hair. This method involves the use of brief, intense pulses of light that penetrate the skin and target the hair follicles, halting growth. You will be given a pair of goggles to protect your eyes from the bursts of lights, and a cooling gel will be applied to your skin to protect it from rising temperatures and keep you comfortable. Our laser hair removal treatment is a safe procedure associated with only minimal discomfort, and many clients see permanent reduction in hair with only a few treatment sessions.

What Are the Benefits of Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal in San Francisco is a safe, effective treatment option that produces long-lasting results. Benefits of this non-invasive procedure include:

  • Minimal side effects: Temporary symptoms, such as minor skin irritation and redness, typically subside within a few days.
  • Long-term cost effectiveness: Laser hair removal may cost more up front, but it can mean significant savings in the long run when you no longer need to pay for wax treatments, depilatory products, razors, shaving cream, or other hair removal expenses.
  • No hair growth needed for treatment: Unlike waxing and other hair removal methods, surface hair is not needed for laser hair removal. This means you can shave and remain fuzz free before your treatment session.
  • Precision in treatment: Advanced lasers selectively target hair and hair follicles without damaging the surrounding skin.
  • Quick procedure: Each laser pulse takes a fraction of a second to treat many hairs simultaneously. In one second, the laser can treat an area the size of a quarter. The upper lip can be treated in less than a minute, while larger areas, such as the legs, can take longer.
  • Predictable results: For most patients, effective, long-term hair removal can be achieved in three to seven treatment sessions.

Laser Hair Removal Q&A

Woman feeling her armpit

Does Laser Hair Removal Carry Risks?

Complications are rare with laser hair removal. Although it is very uncommon, people with darker complexions are more likely to develop blisters. Scarring and changes in skin color are also rare. More common potential side effects include temporary redness and swelling after treatment.

What Can I Expect in a Laser Hair Removal Procedure?

Before the procedure begins, the hair in the treatment area may be trimmed with scissors. You will be given goggles to protect your eyes, and topical anesthetic will be applied to your skin to make the procedure more comfortable.

A cooling device or cool gel will be used to protect your skin. Dr. Sheena Kong will activate the laser and pass a laser beam through your skin to the unwanted hair follicles. Heat from the laser targets the hair follicles to inhibit hair growth.

Am I a Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a popular treatment in San Francisco that produces predictable, long-lasting results. Although advanced laser technology has now made it possible to treat some types of lighter hair, generally, this treatment option is best suited to individuals with pale skin and dark hair. You may be a good candidate for laser hair removal if you:

  • Have unwanted facial or body hair
  • Want long-term hair removal results
  • Have lighter skin and darker hair for best results

Is laser hair removal painful?

The short answer is: it depends. Patients experience varying levels of discomfort based on the area that is being treated, the coarseness of the hair, skin tone, and overall pain tolerance. You may experience some minor discomfort, similar to a pin prick a snapping sensation.

Your San Francisco laser hair removal treatment will be tailored to your needs. Dr. Kong applies a cooling gel before each treatment to make you more comfortable.

After the procedure, you may feel a slight burning or itching sensation similar to a mild sunburn. The sensation subsides within one or two days.

Are the Results of Laser Hair Removal Long-Lasting?

Laser hair removal is a long-term solution for excess hair on face, back, arms, bikini zone, chest, abdomen and legs. With several treatments you can expect to be hair-free for years.

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Take?

Dr. Sheena Kong uses an advanced laser hair removal system that is very efficient. For example, for hair on the upper lip, your treatment may require only a few minutes. The laser effects the hair follicles in an area about the size of a quarter, so larger areas will require more time, but generally the treatment is very fast. You will need several appointments over a one to two month period to achieve full results.

Will Laser Hair Removal Work for my Skin Type?

If you are planning to undergo laser hair removal, your skin type and tone is a consideration. The laser is attracted to the darker pigment in the follicle. Dr. Kong should evaluate your skin and the areas with excess hair to advise you which hair reduction treatment will be most effective for your skin type.

Does Laser Hair Removal Work on Underarms?

Imagine never having to shave or wax again – that is the beauty of laser hair removal. Ready to have smooth, hair free underarms for the long term? Laser hair removal may be the answer for you.

Why Do I Need Several Treatments?

Your hair grows in cycles. While some follicles are producing hair, others go dormant. During the active phase, when the follicle is producing hair, the laser can target the follicle so it can no longer grow hair. The dormant follicles soon start producing hair again and can then be targeted by the laser. Your treatment will be spread over about four to six weeks so that the majority of producing hair follicles are rendered inactive for the long term.

Why is Laser Hair Removal so Popular?

Many people who struggle with excess hair eventually become tired of the constant waxing or plucking. To keep unwanted hair at bay requires waxing about every four weeks, which over time, is expensive. Laser hair removal makes it possible to have smooth, hairless skin and never again worry about waxing or shaving, with significant savings in the long run.

How is Laser Hair Removal Different from Electrolysis?

Laser hair removal has some important advantages over electrolysis. Electrolysis is effective, but addresses one hair at a time, a lengthy process. With laser treatment, a larger area can be treated, quickly and effectively. For example, to remove excess hair on the upper lip may require about ten minutes, and the underarms only about twenty minutes.

What Is Recovery Like After Laser Hair Removal?

After laser hair removal in the Bay Area, your treated skin may look and feel like you have a mild sunburn, which typically subsides in one or two days. Cool compresses and topical treatments can help. You may apply makeup the day after the procedure.

The hair growing in the areas treated with this groundbreaking hair removal system fall out over the next month. Be sure to wear sunscreen during this time. You can return to work immediately after the procedure. Avoid strenuous activities, particularly contact sports, until any redness subsides and your skin is no longer irritated. Contact us today for arguably the best treatment of laser hair removal San Francisco has to offer.

Preparing For Your Treatment

Correctly preparing for your laser hair removal appointment will increase the procedure’s effectiveness. Do not spend time in the sun or use self-tanning lotions before your appointment. You want to maintain as much contrast as possible between your skin tone and hair color.

The great thing about laser hair removal is – you can still shave! You don’t have to wait for hairs to grow in to have laser treatment. Simply avoid waxing, tweezing, or any other hair removal method that removes the follicle.

Wear soft, comfortable clothing that is either loose or leaves the area you want treated exposed. Make sure your skin is clean and refrain from using lotions, ointments, or cosmetics. Dr. Kong will guide you through each step of the process and give you any additional instructions prior to your appointment.

Woman looking over her shoulder while at the beach

Popular Areas for Laser Hair Removal

Both men and women turn to laser hair removal as a solution for unwanted hair. Laser hair removal can be performed virtually anywhere on the body, even the most sensitive areas. Laser hair removal is effective in removing unwanted hair from:

  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Armpits
  • Face
  • Back
  • Stomach
  • Chest
  • Bikini line/groin

Any face or body area that you choose to have laser hair removal can be treated with laser energy, in a customized treatment. Some men choose not to remove all their facial hair and only clean up the outer edges to reduce the number of stray hairs on their neck or cheeks. Women may want to remove hair from the bikini zone, upper lip, or other body area. Dr. Kong will work closely with you to create an individualized treatment plan to remove the unwanted hair. Imagine finally being free of regular waxing or shaving – the long-term savings can be significant.

What is the Difference Between Laser Hair Removal and IPL?

Both IPL and laser treatments are effective for removing unwanted hair. IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal uses a different type of light energy, broad spectrum. IPL light is not focused laser light energy and disperses more broadly. Lasers can target deeper than IPL and may be appropriate for certain skin and hair colors.

IPL Hair Removal

IPL hair removal uses broad spectrum visible light that targets the melanin in the hair follicles. The intense light generates heat that damages the follicle, so it can no longer produce hair strands. The device is effective for removing unwanted hair from a larger area.

Laser Hair Removal

Lasers use focused light energy. Laser hair removal uses this controlled light to penetrate deep into the hair follicle. Skin tone and hair color are considerations when choosing the most effective laser hair removal treatment.

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our office is open starting on June 15, 2020. We consider the well-being of our patients and staff as our highest priority and it is always best to take sensible precautions during a time like this.

Please note the following in regards to all patient appointments:

We are asking patients who experience any of the following symptoms to self-quarantine and cancel their appointments: fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, and/or chest pain.

(This also includes those that have been in contact with COVID-19 positive individuals such as traveling to and from any high risk areas such as New York/New Jersey to self-quarantine and cancel appointments.)

  • All patients will have temperatures taken and are requested to wear a mask throughout their appointments.
  • We are limiting the number of appointments to reinforce social distancing.
  • Only the patients who are receiving a treatment are allowed in the office (pets, children, family and friends are asked to stay at home).
  • For procedures that patients cannot wear a mask, we request patients to obtain a COVID-19 test 3-5 days prior to their scheduled appointments (see below for testing information).
  • These treatments include:
  • Facial laser treatments
  • Facial filler injections
  • Lip injections
  • Thread lifts
  • Ultherapy
  • Thermage

This also includes procedures that are delivered with closer proximity to patients over a long period of time:

  • Smartlipo
  • Inside Out Neck Lift
  • Coolsculpting
  • Thermage on the body
  • Cellfina

(Positive Covid-19 results or lack of tests will result in appointment cancellation.)

For Botox, Hair PRP, Kybella and Coolmini treatments, a COVID-19 test is not required prior to the appointment as long as patients keep masks on during the entire appointment.

Contact our office for setting up a Consultation or Appointment: Virtual Consultation

COVID-19 Testing Information:

For COVID-19 testing, you can do either the nasal swab or the saliva test, of which the latter may be more comfortable.

You can order your saliva test at the following link 2 weeks before your appointment for it to arrive in time; Vault health will prepare the paperwork for your reimbursement. Your first test should be covered by your insurance under the CARES Act:

https://www.vaulthealth.com/covid

Once the test arrives, please schedule your consultation about one week prior to your appointment. With the guidance of a Vault Health nurse, collect saliva for the test and then overnight your completed kit via FedEx (provided by Vault Health). Your results will be available about 2-3 days afterwards. You will then email Dr. Kong at info@sheenakong.com the results once you receive them.

Lastly, in addition to our already extensive level of cleaning and sterilization, we have supplemented these efforts with additional deep cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces. I appreciate your efforts in keeping our practice a safer place!

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Kindest Regards,
Dr. Sheena Kong