Laser hair removal/reduction is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the US for several years.
Here is the basic concept: A laser is able to selectively target certain components in the skin based on color (chromophores). Lasers used for hair removal are specifically designed to transmit laser energy to pigment in the hair shaft. Since most people have hair that is at least slightly darker than their skin, the laser energy is absorbed by the hair shaft and transmitted to the hair follicle which is destroyed. At any given time, only a certain percentage of your body hair is in growth phase, and a majority of the follicles are in the resting phase, usually about 5 treatments over several months are needed to destroy the majority of the hairs.
While immensely popular, two major hurdles have limited many people from getting rid of unwanted hair.
#1: Discomfort. Since the pigment in the hair is essentially burned, treatment can be uncomfortable.
#2: Skin injury. Since we have the same pigments in our skin as our hair, the laser could burn the skin.
A new machine was recently released to overcome these 2 limitations. The Soprano Xli laser uses the same wavelength as the Lumenis Lightsheer (which was the gold standard for years), but it delivers the laser energy in a much more gentle fashion. It causes almost no discomfort in most people, and it is safer for a wider variety of skin color types.
Allure Medical is right now the first location in Michigan to offer this laser. Since this is the new Gold Standard, expect to see much more of this laser!