LASER HAIR REMOVAL
Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™
770 hair removal work?
The Cutera CoolGlide® laser and the
ProWave™ 770 are noninvasive light therapy systems which have been
custom designed to eliminate undesired hair from all parts of the body.
The Cutera CoolGlide® laser and the ProWave™ 770 generate pulses
of intense, concentrated light which are directed through small, cooled
hand pieces which are gently applied to the treatment site.
This energy passes through the skin to the hair follicle, where the
energy is absorbed by pigment in the hair and hair follicle, causing
selective damage to the hair root while protecting delicate pores and
structures of the skin. The energy is pulsed, or "turned on",
for only a fraction of a second. The duration of the pulses is carefully
determined so that energy will be absorbed by the hair follicle without
transferring excessive heat to the surrounding skin.
Some of the hair which was in the treated follicles is wiped off immediately
after treatment, and the rest is shed over the next 2-3 weeks. The hair
roots which have been destroyed are reabsorbed by the body. If you have
ingrown hairs, they will be reabsorbed by the body and the appearance
of the skin will improve greatly over the next few months.
Unlike "hair-by-hair" treatments such as electrolysis, the
CoolGlide® and in particular the ProWave™ 770 use wide beams which
treats many hairs at once. Because the Cutera CoolGlide® laser and
the ProWave™ 770 can treat dozens of hairs with each pulse, it is
possible to treat larger areas -- for example the back, shoulders, arms,
legs and face. The Cutera CoolGlide® laser can be used just about anywhere
on the body, and usually requires no anesthesia. Even sensitive areas
such as the nipples, upper lip and bikini line can be treated easily
and with minimal discomfort.
The ProWave™ 770 is customized for the treatment of large untanned
areas like the back and legs.
The unique design of these systems
allows us to customize treatment, according to your hair and skin color,
hair texture, and location on the body.
Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™
770 differ from older technologies?
Other laser and intense pulsed light
- Older intense pulsed light
(IPL) systems were flash lamps producing a spectrum of light energy
rather than laser light. Those intense pulsed light systems were limited
by their short wavelength and so tended to stun rather than kill hair
follicles, so that there is often an unacceptable amount of hair regrowth,
even after many "intense pulsed light" treatments.
The ProWave™ and the CoolGlide feature programmable LONG wavelength
pulses which can be customized to your skin color, in order to give
the maximum possible safe and effective hair removal treatment, killing
as many hair follicles as possible with each treatment.
- Older laser systems:
- First generation Ruby laser:
694 nanometer (Epilaser™, Epitouch™, Chromos™)
- Second generation Alexandrite
laser: 755 nanometer (Epitouch ALEX™, Photogenica LIPR™, GentleLASE™)
- Third generation Diode laser:
800-810 nanometer (LightSheer™, Apex™)
These relatively short wavelength lasers
can produce good results in some circumstances, but because they produce
light which has a shorter wavelength, their laser energy both scatters
more in the skin, and is mostly absorbed in the top few millimeters
of the skin, above many of the hair roots. This means that sometimes
not enough energy reaches the hair roots, where it is needed. These
short wavelength, lower power systems are effective in some cases, but
in other cases may only stun rather than destroy many of the hair roots
and therefore sometimes cause temporary rather than permanent hair reduction.
Short wavelength lasers can be difficult or impossible to safely use
on people with dark, tanned or black skin. Our fourth Generation Cutera
CoolGlide® laser uses the longest available, deeper penetrating 1064
nanometer wavelength. Cutera CoolGlide® reaches even the deepest hair
roots, which can be 4-6 mm below the skin surface in some cases.
The long 1064 nanometer wavelength of the Cutera CoolGlide® makes it
possible to safely and effectively treat all people -- even those with
tanned, very dark or black skin. Like all lasers, the CoolGlide® works
more efficiently on light colored skin -- so to minimize the number
of treatments you need, try not to have a fresh suntan when you come
in for treatment.
CoolGlide® also allows the operator to adjust the duration of the pulse
of laser energy to best suit the thickness of the hair shafts on different
parts of your body. Some older laser systems lack this degree of fine
The gold plated ClearView™ cooling head on the CoolGlide® laser provides
an extra margin of safety and comfort, allows the operator a clear view
of the area to be treated, and does not require pressure on your skin.
areas of the body can be treated?
ALL parts of the body CAN be treated
(and ARE treated) with the Cutera CoolGlide® hair removing laser. In
women, the most common areas for treatment are upper lip, chin, bikini
line, arms and legs, and underarms. In men, the most common areas for
treatment are shoulders and back, and the beard area. While it is technically
possible to treat even the eyelashes and eyebrows, we do not treat those
areas at the present time. The top of the eyebrows can be treated when
the forehead is treated. The ProWave™ 770 is customized for the treatment
of large untanned areas like the legs and back
are the benefits of CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™
770 hair removal compared to alternative treatments?
The primary benefits of CoolGlide®
laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal include:
- Larger areas may be treated
with less discomfort than with electrolysis, waxing or tweezing.
- The CoolGlide® and ProWave™
combine speed, comfort and long lasting results.
- The CoolGlide® works on
any area of the body where a hair-free appearance is desired. The ProWave™
is mainly used on large areas like the back and legs.
- The CoolGlide® and ProWave™
are safe for use on pregnant women -- who respond well because their
hair is often thicker and darker during pregnancy.
Shaving, waxing and depilatory creams
remove the hair but leave the hair follicles intact, so the hair re-grows
within one to four weeks in most cases. CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™
770 hair removal offers you a long-term reduction in both the amount
of hair, and also in many cases a reduction in thickness and color of
hair shafts which do grow back.
Hair removal methods like plucking,
waxing or sugaring which cause irritation may actually stimulate hair
growth. This happens because one way the body defends itself against
having hair pulled out is to produce thicker, stronger hairs which are
harder to pull out next time. Another advantage of CoolGlide® laser
and ProWave™ 770 treatment is that your skin can be kept nice and
smooth between treatments by shaving -- you will never again have to
grow your hair out long enough to be waxed or sugared. Occasional waxing
can be useful to temporarily get rid of white hairs and fine peach fuzz
hairs after you have completed a course of Cutera CoolGlide® laser
or ProWave™ 770 treatment.
Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™
770 hair removal offer long lasting results, and even if hair does eventually
grow back it is usually finer in texture and lighter in color than the
original hair, and much less of a cosmetic problem.
What are the advantages
It has been said that:
"Removing hair by electrolysis is like mowing grass -- one blade
at a time!"
With electrolysis, the operator inserts
a needle into the hair follicle and tries to have the needle tip reach
the hair root. The operator then triggers a small electrical charge
to disable the hair root. The hair from that follicle is then removed
Electrolysis can be an excellent technique
for the removal of:
- small numbers of hairs
- hairs from areas where it
is difficult to use the laser (under the eyebrows, near the eyes, and
in the ears and nose.)
- white, red and blonde hair
(which do not absorb laser light efficiently).
Electrolysis can be useful for white
or light colored hairs which do not respond to laser treatment, or if
there are only a few dark hairs which need to be removed. Some people
who have a mixture of dark and white hairs will have CoolGlide® laser
or ProWave™ 770 treatment to remove as many of the dark hairs as possible,
then have electrolysis to remove any leftover white hairs.
Hair removal is much faster with the
CoolGlide® laser or ProWave™ 770 because each "pulse" of
laser light disables a large numbers of hair follicles, and pulses can
be delivered as often as twice every second. Electrolysis operators
can only treat those hairs that they can see and which they can reach
the follicle through the hair shaft. The Cutera CoolGlide® laser and
ProWave™ 770 treat all "active" follicles, even if the hair
has not yet reached the surface of the skin, is "ingrown",
or if the hair shaft is not straight.
What are the risks of hair
Short-term side effects may include
a slight reddening of the skin or local swelling which typically lasts
less than an hour, although it may infrequently last a few days. Long
wavelength Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 are less likely
than older devices to cause prolonged irritation, pigment changes or
blistering. Rarely (perhaps 2-4 cases out of a hundred) there can be
increased or decreased pigment in the treated area. This is seldom a
major cosmetic problem, and generally resolves after several months.
Even a single blister (rather like a tiny sunburn) is very rare (less
than one in a hundred). The light from the Cutera CoolGlide® laser
and ProWave™ 770 is safe, simple infra-red light and does not cause
Unlike plucking, waxing and sugaring,
laser hair removal does not run the risk of making hair grow back thicker,
darker or quicker.
laser hair removal "permanent"?
"Permanent hair removal"
means: "ALL the hair is gone, FOREVER!"
There is NO hair removal method (including
laser) which can guarantee "ALL the hair will be gone, FOREVER!"
The most realistic description of the
results after laser treatment is: "long-term hair REDUCTION".
This means: "After three to six treatments most people will see
that the total amount of hair is greatly reduced -- generally by 80%
to 90% -- and hair which does grow is often much finer and lighter in
Lasers have been used for hair removal
since at least 1995, and we know that stable, long-term hair reduction
commonly lasts for many years. In some cases, dormant follicles will
start to produce new hair, or "peach fuzz" follicles may start
to produce black or brown hair, and this new hair if it develops will
respond well to treatment.
It has been suggested
that a 6 month follow-up may be sufficient to assess final outcome after
the final laser hair removal session, because once regrowth had stabilized
(usually within 6 months), there is usually little or no change in hair
counts at 6,12, and 24 months.
much hair will grow back, and how fast will it grow back?
The Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™
770 work by destroying hair roots which are active at the time of treatment,
and which are dark enough to absorb sufficient laser energy. The heat
from the laser denatures the DNA in the perifollicular cells so that
they no longer send a signal to produce the hair protein. The
hair shafts in the treated hair follicles will fall out, or be "shed"
1-3 weeks after treatment.
After the first treatment, hair regrowth
may resume within a few weeks or it may be anywhere from 2-4 months
before any true hair growth is observed, as previously dormant hair
follicles become active, and hair follicles which were stunned but not
killed recover and start to produce hair shafts again. Some people find
that there is not much extra hair reduction after the second treatment,
then they notice a substantial further reduction after the third or
more commonly the fourth treatment. After four to six treatments there
may be little or no regrowth for many years. In other cases you may
wish to have additional treatment after a period of time.
Hair that regrows after laser treatment
generally is finer and lighter in color, and so is much less of a cosmetic
problem. Reductions in coarseness and color can occur independently
of each other.
New dark hair appearing in hormone-sensitive
sites (mainly the face, axillae and genital area) after successful treatment
with Cutera CoolGlide® laser or ProWave™ 770 could result from hormone-stimulated
maturation of previously dormant hair follicles and "peach fuzz"
are at least 4 treatment sessions usually needed?
The Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™
770 work by disabling hairs that are in their active growth cycle at
the time of treatment. Hair follicles in their "dormant" phase
have no hair shaft in them and so will not be affected by the treatment.
Because hair follicles cycle through "active" and "dormant"
phases, additional sessions are usually desired once the "dormant"
follicles become "active", and also to deal with hair follicles
which were stunned but not killed by previous treatment.
The other group of hair follicles,
which could produce dark terminal hair in the future, are the fine "peach
fuzz" follicles which have no pigment and so are not affected by
treatment. If some of these fine little "peach fuzz" follicles
mature into hair follicles which produce black or brown hair, they can
be treated with laser at that time.
At any one time, 50 to 85% of your
hair follicles are in the active (anagen) phase but only 1/4 to 1/3
of your hairs have enough of the pigment in their ROOTS to absorb the
laser beam which destroys the hair root. So, about 1/4 to 1/3 of your
hair roots are good targets for the laser beam, and can be damaged or
destroyed in a single laser session.
The number of treatments desired will
- the desired degree of hair
reduction (as the amount of hair declines, some people become very enthusiastic
and want even LESS hair than they had originally planned on).
- hair color (people with
naturally light colored hair sometimes need more treatments).
- ethnic and genetic background
(people with dark skin sometimes need more treatments).
- hormonal status
- area being treated
- hair density
- weight (obesity can increase
- medication (for example
medicines like Dilantin and cyclosporine can increase hair growth)
Additional "touch up" treatments
on small troublesome areas can be arranged at relatively low cost. There
is no safety limit on the number of treatments a person can have. People
who have been partially treated with other types of hair removing laser
might in some cases need less than 3 CoolGlide® laser treatments to
reach a satisfactory degree of long-term hair reduction.
laser treatment or electrolysis? No problem!
Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™
770 have been successfully used on many people who were not able to
tolerate -- or did not obtain satisfactory results with -- electrolysis,
or with older laser and "high intensity light" systems, including
ruby laser, alexandrite laser, 800 nm lasers, and Epilight™ systems.
In fact, depending on how much hair
is left, people who have been partially treated with other lasers may
need only one or two treatments with the Cutera CoolGlide® laser or
ProWave™ 770 to "finish the job".
Am I a good candidate
for Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™
770 hair removal?
The unique design of the CoolGlide®
laser and ProWave™ 770, and the long wavelengths they use, allow treatment
of people with all skin colors, and treatment of even light brown hair.
Because hair which is naturally blonde, red or white does not have enough
pigment in the roots, it cannot be reliably treated with any type of
laser or IPL device. Fewer treatments are needed when the hair is dark
and the skin is light colored -- so to get maximum effect from each
session avoid tanning, but even people who have black skin can be successfully
treated with the Cutera CoolGlide® laser, and people with white to
moderately dark, untanned skin are treated with the ProWave™ 770.
Children can be treated, for example
if they have a congenital nevus or other problem with excessive hair,
but the children must be old enough (for example, 12 years old) to understand
and cooperate with treatment.
CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770
hair removal are not just for "cosmetic" problems. Patients
with excess hair because of medications (for example, organ transplant
patients who are taking cyclosporine) can benefit from hair removal;
as can patients who have problems with ingrown hair and folliculitis
under prosthetic devices.
hair colors respond best to treatment?
Because lasers and IPL devices target
the PIGMENT in hair roots, they work best on black or brown hair. Naturally
red or blonde hair may respond only partially.
White hair does not respond at all
to treatment - so get your unwanted hair removed before it turns grey
are Hirsutism and Hypertrichosis?
Hirsutism is excessive growth of hair
in androgen (testosterone)-dependent areas of a woman’s body where
terminal hair is not normally found, including the face, neck, chest
or medial thighs.
Hypertrichosis is excessive growth
of hair in non-androgen dependent parts of the body (i.e. Areas other
than the face, neck, chest and medial thighs).
What is Unwanted
Female Facial Hair?
Growth of hair on the face which is
coarser, longer or more profuse than is "normal" for the age
and race of the woman. Unwanted Facial Hair is a chronic problem for
about 22 million American women) who remove facial hair at least once
How can I get the
best value from each treatment?
To get the best results with the smallest
number of treatment sessions, please pay attention to the following
guidelines as you work with us:
Avoid waxing / sugaring / plucking / EpiLady and electrolysis
Because the energy from the CoolGlide™ laser and ProWave™ 770
seeks out and destroys ACTIVELY GROWING hair roots, it is important
(if you want to get the best value from your treatment) NOT to wax /
pluck / sugar / use EpiLady-type pluckers or have electrolysis for at
least EIGHT WEEKS before treatment. These things temporarily remove
the pigmented part of the hair follicle which the CoolGlide® and ProWave™
need to use as a target when they destroy the hair follicle.
Ideally, minimize tanning prior to treatment
CoolGlide™ laser and ProWave™ 770 are the safest and most effective
devices for ALL types of skin, even black people who cannot be safely
treated with other hair removing lasers. Many Italian, Greek, and East
Asian people have been successfully treated with the CoolGlide™ laser
and ProWave™ 770.
BUT: the lighter your skin color at
the time of treatment, the better the laser beam can get through the
skin to the hair roots, where it is needed.
SO: tanning is not a BIG deal, but
if you avoid tanning and stop using artificial "tanning" creams
for six weeks before treatment, you will get the maximum possible benefit
from each treatment session. People with very dark skin (and people
who are really into tanning) sometimes need one or two extra sessions
to reach their desired degree of long-term hair reduction.
Shaving or clipping the hair? Good
Shaving or clipping the area to be treated is not a problem. In
fact, we like the areas to be shaved the day of treatment or the day
before. Some people find that the skin is less sensitive if it is shaved
at least a few hours before treatment. Another advantage of shaving
the area to be treated BEFORE you come in is that YOU can shape the
area to be treated exactly the way YOU want it to be. This is of particular
importance in areas like the sideburns, temples, and bikini line / bikini
Excess hair should be removed from
the treatment area before CoolGlide™ laser or ProWave™ 770 treatment,
because hair ABOVE the surface of the skin will simply absorb and waste
laser energy and keep it from getting to the hair roots, where it is
Contrary to popular belief, shaving
DOES NOT make hair grow back thicker, faster, darker or more profusely!
So go ahead and shave before treatment, and between treatments!
Hair Dye and Bleaching? No problem!
Because the beam only acts on the hair ROOTS, it is OK to dye and/or
perm hair in the areas to be treated. Likewise, it is OK to bleach hair
in the areas to be treated because bleaching will not affect the color
of the roots.
We are not aware of any medications that should not be taken while
you are getting CoolGlide™ laser or ProWave™ 770 treatment. Anabolic
steroids should certainly NOT be taken unless medically necessary, because
these can increase male-pattern hair growth in some cases. Women to
take injections of Climacteron (testosterone & estradiol) as part
of therapy for menopause and to increase libido often experience unwanted
hair growth, which can be treated with CoolGlide™ laser or ProWave™
770 hair removal.
Recent studies have confirmed our experience
that treatment can safely be done for patients who are taking Accutane™
or using Retin-A™ and similar medications.
Medicines which inhibit hair growth
(for example, spironolactone, Diane-35™ birth control pills, Euflex™,
Androcur™ and Vaniqa™ cream) might slightly reduce the pigment in
hair roots and make laser treatment less efficient, but this seldom
interferes with the effectiveness of treatment. Cutera CoolGlide™
laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal can certainly be done WHILE you
are on those medicines, if you wish. These "anti-androgenic"
medicines produce gradual but temporary effects, and will not remove
unwanted hair from areas that are independent of androgen regulation.
Pre-treatment with medicines like Zovirax™,
Valtrex™ or Famvir™ is NOT necessary, unless you tend to get a lot
of cold sores in the area to be treated.
freckles and tattoos in the area to be treated?
Small moles and freckles do not require
any special precautions. Large, dark moles and freckles which are to
be treated may require a reduction in the intensity of treatment, the
same way that the intensity would be reduced when treating a dark-skinned
or tanned person. Tattoos will be avoided, because exposure to CoolGlide™
laser or ProWave™ 770 could cause fading of the tattoo, discomfort,
or even a burn. Be sure to tell us if you have permanent lip liner or
permanent eyebrow liner, because these are tattoos and special precautions
may be needed if there will be laser treatment in those areas.
What will happen
on the treatment day?
HELLO LASER, GOODBYE RAZOR!
Lasting hair removal has never been this easy!
Other than your regular skin care routine,
there is no standard "prep" for this procedure. It is important
not to wear any makeup -- or at least wear simple water-based makeup
that can be easily removed -- because makeup can sometimes absorb laser
energy. This could interfere with treatment, or even cause overheating
of the skin surface and burning. Makeup can be re-applied immediately
after Cutera CoolGlide™ laser and ProWave™ 770 treatment, if you
There are no restrictions on what you
may eat or drink prior to your appointment -- in fact it is a good idea
to have a nice breakfast or lunch before coming in for treatment.
Please shave or clip the areas to be
treated before you come in for treatment. Freshly shaved skin is more
sensitive, and there is less discomfort if you wait at least an hour
between shaving and having laser treatment. Shaving also allows you
to shape the exact area you want treated -- this is sometimes very useful
in the bikini area. Excess hair above the surface of the skin absorbs
and wastes laser energy, and reduces the amount of energy that reaches
the hair root, where it is really needed. Excess hair above the surface
of the skin also increases the chance of burning or irritating the skin.
Everyone in the treatment room must
wear protective goggles while the CoolGlide™ laser and ProWave™
770 are in use.
The length of the procedure itself
can range from a few minutes for the upper lip to an hour or more (for
example, a man’s chest and back). You may save considerable time,
as you reduce or eliminate the need for shaving and other hair removal
If you decide before coming in that
you would like to have additional areas treated, please call ahead so
that we can schedule enough time to accommodate your needs.
The process is very simple...
Anesthetic cream is sometimes applied to the skin before the area
is treated, and sometimes the Zimmer cold air blower is applied to increase
your comfort. The CoolGlide™ laser or ProWave™ 770 pulses are quickly
and evenly applied by our carefully trained and supervised staff.
You can bring a friend or family member
if you like -- quite often mothers and daughters will come in together
Does it hurt?
The CoolGlide™ laser and ProWave™
770 use pure, simple light. You will feel a momentary "snapping"
sensation like a rubber band. There is no bleeding and no open wound
is created. Some people find the FIRST treatment more uncomfortable
than subsequent treatments. Maybe this is because there are more hair
roots which are destroyed during the first treatment; and perhaps also
because some people are more apprehensive during the first treatment,
because they are not sure of what to expect.
Many patients find that they have less
discomfort if they shave the area to be treated at least a couple of
hours BEFORE coming in for treatment, because freshly shaved skin is
often somewhat more sensitive. Shaving before coming in for treatment
also allows you to shape the area to be treated exactly the way YOU
want it. This is of particular importance in areas like the forehead,
sideburns and bikini/pubic hair areas.
While some areas of the body like the
upper lip and pubic hair area are more sensitive than others, many patients
report little or no discomfort. If there is unusual discomfort, please
let us know so that we can apply more cooling or adjust the settings.
People who have had waxing, sugaring,
and/or electrolysis (or treatment with other lasers) usually report
that CoolGlide™ laser and ProWave™ 770 cause less discomfort, and
sometimes there is no discomfort.
Another possible explanation for reduced
discomfort with the Cutera CoolGlide™ laser and ProWave™ 770 compared
with other forms of treatment is that the long wavelength of this equipment
delivers more energy into the deeper part of the skin where the hair
roots are -- and wastes less energy in the top 2 millimeters of the
skin where many of the nerve endings are.
In addition, both the CoolGlide™
laser and ProWave™ 770 have the ability to reduce the
frequency of pulses and increase the cooling time in sensitive areas,
to maximize your comfort.
A specially formulated anesthetic cream
is occasionally used in very sensitive areas or by those who think they
have a very low pain threshold. This cream is a mix of benzocaine, lidocaine,
and tetracaine and is very effective.
Many people find it helpful to simply
take two or three plain Tylenol and/or Advil a couple of hours before
coming in for treatment. A combination of Tylenol and ibuprofen works
very well because one is analgesic and other is anti-inflammatory.
Some women who find that they are less sensitive after their menses
prefer to schedule their treatment sessions to avoid the premenstrual
and menstrual time.
does the hair sometimes look like it's growing for 1-3 weeks after laser
CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770
destroy hair roots which are active at the time of treatment, but do
not remove hair shafts instantly. Hair shafts in the treated hair follicles
will fall out, or be "shed" mostly in the first week after
treatment, with all of the treated hairs falling out within 2-3 weeks.
It is normal that some hairs in the
treated area may not fall out within 2-3 weeks. These will be treated
in the next session.