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Laser hair removal now pain-free

Beauty hurts, but not anymore

Posted: September 4, 2008 6:09 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Registered nurse Janet Anthony uses a Soprano XL by Alma Laser to remove hair from the underarm of Nicole Veto at Infinity Medspa in Valencia. The laser is a painless but warm feeling treatment for hair, the spa is running a special of 6 treatments for $595 regularly $750. For information on the Alma Lasers' SopranoXL laser hair removal system c...

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Hair. Everyone has issues with hair in some way or form. Except, perhaps the Cowsills whose 1969 hit waxed poetic about the dead fibrous protein.

"Hair"
Oh give me a head with hair
Long, beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen
Won't you gimme it down to there (hair)
Shoulder length or longer (Hair!)
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy
Hair (hair hair hair)
Grow it
Show it
Long as I can grow it
My hair ( hair hair hair)
Grow it
Show it
Long as I can grow it
My hair( hair hair hair hair hair hair hair hair hair)...

However, despite the Cowsills love affair with hair, too much body hair remains a vexing problem for men and women who find hair growing in unsightly or inconvenient areas of the body.

For years American women have been besieged by the notion that true body beauty includes sleek, smooth, hairless legs.

To combat the hirsute menace both men and women have sought relief with shaving, plucking, waxing, depilatories and electrolysis. Most of the treatments hurt.

A dozen years ago laser hair removal arrived on the scene.

However, like most technology, the first laser hair removal machines and procedures were less than perfect.

The risks of laser hair removal include the chance of burning the skin or discoloring dark skin with the laser, hypopigmentation (white spots) and acne flare ups.

In addition, pain was another complication of old style laser equipment.

However, in the Santa Clarita Valley, Infinity Med Spa in Valencia offers residents the latest in state-of-the-art laser hair removal equipment. Touted as pain-free, the Alma Lasers' SopranoXL system offers a hair removal experience that has been compared to that of a hot stone massage.

Tim Malan, president and co-owner with Jeff Robbins and Dr. Van Veloso of Infinity Med Spa in the Promenade Shopping Center in Valencia, said people need to educate themselves and do the appropriate research about laser hair removal before signing up.

"People really need to be educated, it is important to go to a reputable place that has good technology and experience," Malan said. "I've seen doctors perform laser hair removal where the person ended up burned so badly they had scars."

Malan and partner Jeff Robbins, decided to invest in the latest technology for their medical spa which uses only licensed registered nurses to perform the procedures.

"Our machine is revolutionary, it emits light at about 112 degrees, so people don't get burned and it is painless," Malan said. "Older machines would run 140-150 degrees, which is how people got burned."
In addition to the heat, old style machines would run at one to three pulses per second.

The Alma Soprano XL runs at 10 pulses per second.

"Which makes it much more effective with less temperature but more coverage," Malan said.

In addition to researching the equipment Malan said it is important to find out who will be doing your procedure.

"You have to be an RN, trained and certified in lasers," Malan said. "We have 10 RNs here and all have had advanced training and are trained and certified. Some places allow LVNs, but legitimate providers frown on that. We insist on RNs only. It's a medical treatment and you want to look at the experience of the providers. Find out how many procedures they have done. We've done more laser hair removal here than anyone in the area. For example we've done thousands of procedures."

Co-owner Veloso is the med spa's medical director and oversees all medical procedures, including popular injectables such as Botox, Restylane, Juvederm and mesotherapy, along with laser therapies - AFT, Pixel, laser hair removal, and others.

Denise Dal Ponte, of Pasadena, did her research and chose Infinity Med Spa for her hair removal procedures.

"I did a lot of research," she said. "I did the initial consultation at Infinity and I just felt most comfortable there."

For Dal Ponte, it was a procedure she had considered for many years.

"My hair was dark and coarse and I felt unsexy," she said. "It was something I wanted to do for a long time. It's so much more manageable."

Dal Ponte had hair removed from her legs, underarms and arms.

"I used to have to wear board shorts, but now I can wear a bikini," she said. "I feel so much more comfortable.

"My husband's happy, too."

Malan said people use laser hair removal to problem hair from all areas of the body.

"We do everything, for women underarms, legs and bikini are most popular. For men the back is very popular," he said. "For many women lip and chin hair is very troubling, women don't like to talk about it. It's something they don't normally tell their friends about."

Laser hair removal, unlike waxing or other temporary fixes, is permanent.

"What we are doing is damaging the hair follicle so that hair won't grow back," Malan said. "Waxing pulls out the hair follicle and then the follicle regrows. You can never have permanent hair reduction by just waxing."

Malan said the spa's state-of-the-art equipment also allows for fewer treatments.

"People need one or two less treatments because of this device and it is virtually painless," he said.
Price of laser hair removal is usually set for a series of treatments. Infinity offers six treatments for $750, but also offers discounted specials.

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