Laser Hair Removal in Seattle
Free Yourself from Unwanted Body Hair
The Serenity Rejuvenation Center Team are experts in the laser hair removal process. We are proud to offer the most cutting edge technology in the Seattle area. The secret to laser hair removal is the clinically-proven technology that targets and destroys cells responsible for hair growth without harming the surrounding skin. It’s a simple approach to hair reduction that’s fast and easy with manageable patient discomfort. The Serenity Rejuvenation Center Team is highly experienced and handles a high volume of clients from all over the Seattle area and state of Washington at our centrally located laser hair removal clinic in Bellevue, WA.*
*Individual results may vary.
The Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
*Individual results may vary.
Laser hair removal enables both men and women to experience increased confidence with their bodies.
People have different reasons for wanting to be hair free, reasons include:
- Many professions have the expectation of a close shave or hair free presentation.
- Gender transformation
- Cultural expectations
- Feelings of shame, embarrassment, or frustration regarding their facial or body
- Temporary hair removal (including daily shaving) is time consuming!
- Skin irritation with the temporary hair removal methods
Improve the quality of life by saving time spent every day using temporary remedies in removing hair. Feel good about your appearance and be confident by starting your laser hair removal (reduction) process today.
Residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish, Bothell, Issaquah, North Bend and the surrounding cities choose to pursue laser hair removal services at Serenity Rejuvenation Center because we are dedicated to patient safety, patient comfort, and the best possible results.
Serenity Rejuvenation Center’s laser hair removal technology/protocols provide other potential benefits as well, such as treatment for the following:
- Sensitive skin secondary to temporary hair removal methods
- Pseudofolliculitis barbae
- Keratosis pilaris
- PCOS related hirsutism (*Unwanted male pattern hair growth on a woman’s face, chest and back). Dr. O’Connell can also treat the underlying medical cause of PCOS.
What are the variables that influence hair growth
Genetics: There’s a wide range of normal hair distribution, thickness and color due to differences in heredity. People from certain parts of the world just have more hair.
Hormones: (imbalance, disease process, medication, menopause)
Medications: Some medications can cause hirsutism.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome: This most common cause of hirsutism is caused by an imbalance of sex hormones that can result in irregular periods, obesity, infertility and sometimes multiple cysts on your ovaries.
- Cushing’s syndrome: This occurs when your body is exposed to high levels of the hormone cortisol. It can develop from your adrenal glands making too much cortisol or from taking medications such as prednisone over a long period.
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia: This inherited condition is characterized by abnormal production of steroid hormones, including cortisol and androgen, by your adrenal glands.
- Tumors: Rarely, an androgen-secreting tumor in the ovaries or adrenal glands can cause hirsutism.
What is the term for excessive hair growth?
What is Hirsutism?
Hirsutism is a condition of unwanted, male-pattern hair growth in women. Hirsutism results in excessive amounts of hair on body areas where men typically grow hair — face, chest and back. Hirsutism can be secondary to a medical condition as noted above.
What Makes Serenity Rejuvenation Laser Hair Removal Different
After talking to many patients through our clinic who have heard of/and or experienced unmanaged pain, injury, poor outcomes, or simply a bad experience, we have gained a greater knowledge as to why these things may be happening. Some of these include:
- No physician involved in the patient’s care: In fact, many places have a phantom medical director who is never at the facility!
- False advertising: Many facilities advertise laser hair removal when, in reality, they are using intense pulsed light (IPL). This treatment is different than laser hair removal and is significantly less effective.
- Improper patient education: When patients aren’t given enough information and education about a procedure, we often find that their providers over-promised or set unrealistic expectations. Dr. O’Connell & the Serenity Rejuvenation staff conduct a thorough consultation discussing expectations before treatment and ensure that all of their patients have a thorough understanding of the procedure, as well as what to expect following the treatment.
- Undertrained/inexperienced personnel performing treatments: Lasers can be dangerous and extremely damaging to a patient if not handled correctly. In the right hands, these tools are perfectly safe. It is vital that anyone who is considering laser hair removal in Bellevue find a practice where a board certified physician is actively involved in patient care.
- Laser hair removal being used on patients who were not good candidates: Not everyone is a good candidate for hair removal. Unfortunately, inexperienced personnel or physicians who are in the game to just make a buck will accept any patients — even those who are not good candidates. At our clinic in Bellevue, we believe that our job as experts is to care for the individual. If someone is not a good candidate for laser hair removal, we will tell them.
- No follow-up: Our staff is always available for follow-up questions and visits from our patients. If any of our patients are experiencing discomfort or have unmet expectations, we are intentional about resolving issues.
- Cooling methods/anesthetics not administered or offered: We use cooling methods and/or topical anesthetics in order to minimize patient discomfort during and after the procedure. We take patient comfort very seriously and ensure that all patients are equipped with instructions on how to appropriately handle any remaining discomfort once they’ve left our office.
- Medical Expertise: Dr. O’Connell has a specific and thorough understanding of hormones and the context that imbalances may play in hirsutism. He is equipped to interpret lab testing through specific labs and to make medication management decisions as an adjunct modality for patients who may benefit.
Dr. O’Connell and The Serenity Rejuvenation Team strive to make sure every patient’s experience is a positive one! We want to educate and inform patients with honest answers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a laser?
Answer: The term laser is literally an acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”
Q: What are other characteristics of a laser?
Answer: A laser is characterized by one beam of monochromatic, convergent light, characterized by one wavelength.
Q: What is laser hair removal?
Answer: A laser is a prescriptive medical device used to permanently reduce hair on the body and face of our patients.
Q: What lasers are used in the laser hair removal world?
Answer: Think of a true laser as falling into one of three wavelength categories.
At Serenity Rejuvenation Center, we have used all three wavelengths and our preference is 755 nm, which is reserved for very light skin types and 1064nm for anyone with even a hue of olive skin.
An additional caveat worth noting is that there are many laser manufactures out there. Having owned many different devices from several laser manufacturers, Dr. O’Connell can tell you that they are not all the same.
Q: How does the laser work in permanent hair reduction?
Answer: The laser light has a strong attraction to melanin. In our case the target is the melanin in the hair shaft. You can think of the hair shaft as the bus that’s driving the energy to the hair follicle where the heat and energy permanently destroys the hair follicle. So, clinically it is important for the patient not to be pulling the hair out of the skin in between or prior to treatments. Therefore, we instruct no waxing, tweezing, plucking, epilating, or depilatory creams in between the treatment sessions.
Q: What’s the difference between a laser and an IPL? Many facilities advertise laser hair removal and they are actually using an IPL?
Answer: We talked about the acronym for laser. IPL is an acronym for ”Intense Pulsed Light”.
This is a huge source of confusion and frankly false advertising. Unfortunately, many practices are using an IPL device and advertising it as a laser. By strict definition, an IPL device is not a laser, as it is characterized by many wavelengths. An IPL is also synonymous with photofacial, or broad band light which is polychromatic, divergent light generated from a xenon flash lamp.
One way to illustrate the difference is to think of a laser as a rifle and IPL as a shotgun.
Q: What are the expectations from laser hair removal or permanent hair reduction procedure?
Answer: The variables that contribute the most to the efficacy of laser hair removal would be placed into 4 categories.
- Genetics: People from certain parts of the world just have more hair, period.
- Hormones: Examples of hormonal issues:
-In females one of the most common hormonal disorders present in up to 10 percent of women is a disorder labeled polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is very confusing to nearly all patients and most doctors. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is not a primary ovarian issue, but rather an insulin resistance issue. In other words, you can have a negative ultrasound or zero cysts on the ovaries and have polycystic ovarian syndrome. It is really an insulin resistance issue. One of the hallmarks of this clinical diagnosis is hirsutism or lots of hair, irregular menstrual cycles, and infertility.
-Another example would be women transitioning through menopause. As the ovaries slow down production of testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen the adrenal glands continue to produce testosterone. So, while the hormones are low, testosterone now has a higher visible presence (as the ratio changes). Hair follicles are very sensitive to testosterone thereby creating a flux of hair growth from the follicles.
-Another example would be in a healthy male with high testosterone, as the hair follicle is very sensitive to androgens or testosterone. Having an optimal testosterone level is a good thing, but it can come with more hair.
- Body Area: Certain body areas have more hair follicles than others. So, for example the underams will respond more quickly than facial hair. There are 500 hair follicles per cm on the face.
Typically, we say one can expect ON AVERAGE- 6-9 treatments for the body area, and 9-12 for facial hair. However, one should see reduction with each treatment.
If someone has fulminant hormonal issues it can take more sessions.
- Facial Hair: The laser does not work on gray, platinum blonde, or fiery red hair unfortunately.
Q: What are the safety issues that one needs to be aware of before undergoing laser hair removal?
Answer: At Serenity Rejuvenation Center, we try and keep it simple. 4 safety categories.
- Medication awareness: awareness that medications can cause photosensitivity, or a reaction in the sunlight. We use the list of drugs reported to cause photosensitivity as a side effect in the sunlight as a screening tool. While we are not administering ultraviolet light there is some crossover. The list of reported photosensitizing medications is long as if one medication is reported by one individual it goes on the list per the FDA. However, in young healthy people what we are screening for are a couple specific classes of antibiotics; namely tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones, in which case we would want you to be off of for 10 days before the treatment.
- Very important not to use oil-based skincare products on the area that we are treating for one week before and a day or so after treatment. Think about oil in the context of oil in cooking. You put oil in the skillet and turn on the stove, what happens? We want to avoid firing heat and energy into an oily environment which will burn your skin.
- We ask that you are out of the prolonged intensive sun for approximately 1 week before and after the treatment.
- We ask that you refrain from overheating yourself the day of the treatment. Examples would be sitting in a hot tub, sauna, or hot yoga exercise.
Q: Is laser hair removal painful?
Answer: Laser hair removal is unanimously less painful than waxing, as a reference point. Some people find waxing to be very painful. We have packages available that include numbing if pain is an issue.
Q: What differentiates Serenity Rejuvenation Center from other facilities regarding laser hair removal?
Answer: Dr. O’Connell is a board certified physician who conducts every consultation.
Dr. O’Connell has years of experience in operating lasers. All members of staff are highly trained by the doctor personally, and specifically trained on the devices that are used.
The doctor believes that his in depth understanding of hormones, specifically in the context of hair growth, allows him to educate patients appropriately and to offer additional recommendations in treating some of the conditions that lead to hirsutism.
All of the laser technicians are certified in performing laser hair removal services and are thoroughly trained by Dr. O’Connell and senior staff members. Specifically on the devices that are used, as safety is the doctors number one priority.