Q&A with Dr. Soni of North Jersey’s Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Center


Thinking about laser hair removal? UA gets all the hairy details about this trendy procedure

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

According to Rebecca Herzig’s 2015 book, Plucked: A History of Hair Removal, “99% of American women have tried laser hair removal, and at least 85% regularly remove hair from their faces, armpits, legs, and bikini lines” (goodreads.com). Additionally, IBISWorld recently reported that hair removal businesses are part of an $11 billion industry. With such staggering numbers, Urban Agenda decided to take a closer look at why so many people are going under the laser instead of the razor.

With locations in Summit and Englewood, Ethos Spa Skin and Laser Center is the local authority on highly effective cosmetic procedures including laser hair treatments. They offer the Cynosure Elite Plus laser that can treat all skin types, allowing them to accommodate many different clients. So, we decided to enlist the help of the Spa’s medical director and physician, Dr. Hardik Soni, to answer our biggest questions about laser hair removal.

Ethos Spa

Are laser treatments better than other hair removal techniques?

There is nothing in comparison to lasers when you consider the speed and efficacy, but it is most effective on darker colored hair. Lasers have gotten safer and more efficient, especially when used on the right skin and hair.

 What’s the best skin and hair color for the procedure?

Risk tends to be higher for darker skin tones while lighter skin types rarely have complications. Darker, thicker hair responds best to the treatment while lighter colored hair such as red, blonde, gray or white may not be suitable for laser hair removal.

How does it work?

Laser hair removal works on the principle of selective photothermolysis. This means that a beam of light is used to target the pigment in the hair follicles to destroy them.

 What does it feel like?

The most common description is that laser hair removal is like the snap of a rubber band. Everyone has different pain thresholds, but most find it to be a very manageable experience. Some places will offer topical numbing cream as well as cooling air to mitigate the discomfort.

 Are there any side effects?

Most common side effects include pigment changes to the skin such as hypopigmentation (lightening of the treated skin) or hyperpigmentation. Other effects include burns and rarely scarring. In the proper hands, risk is minimal.

 How many laser treatments do you usually need?

Most clients will require 6 sessions to see a significant reduction in hair growth. Some clients - especially men - may require 12 to 15 sessions for significant reduction.

 Is it permanent?

While reduction for some clients can be permanent, hair growth can recur at any point since it is affected by change in hormones. Post pregnancy, thyroid conditions, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and certain medications can require more treatments to get significant reduction or they can lead to regrowth.