If it sounds too good to be true…

Ever found yourself driving along and seeing a sign that reads, "Laser Hair Removal for Underarms $125 for 6 treatments" and you think  - "Perfect!  This way if it doesn't work, I will have only wasted $125."  Have you ever been tempted by this?...

Well here's what happens next….
6 treatments later, (which are usually 2-4 weeks apart - which when treating the body is unheard of with a real laser), you are told you are one of the unlucky ones who need more treatments.  You continue to throw money at the problem with very little result.  

Permanent Laser Hair Removal is performed with a Laser, however, most clinics use an IPL (intense pulsed light) machine.  Most of those IPL machines are inexpensive technologies with very low energy.  Therefore they are only able to destroy the very dark course hair at best.  Medium and light brown hair will never be picked up with this type of  machine.  Why do they use these IPL machines?  Because they are a fraction of the price of a medical grade laser, and because they already have an IPL in the clinic for a variety of other treatments.  

A high powered IPL is fantastic for Photo Facials - which is where an IPL shines.  It is great at treating sun damage, pigmentation, rosacea and diffused redness.  However, it is not the right tool for hair removal. 
This is one of the reasons we offer free consultations, with a test patch, enabling you to learn the differences and see them for yourself as well.  We use the Cynosure Apogee Elite system - which is a very high powered, medical grade Laser, requiring an experienced technician.   You will see an incredible difference - even with just one treatment!  There is a reason we chose to spend $$$$ on our equipment.  

We have recently received an increase in new clients that have been to other clinics prior, and been disappointed.  Some have shared their stories with us…

I was going to another clinic for a year and a half and did not really notice a great result. When I heard about Freedom Medi-Spa from a family friend, I decided to have a consultation to compare. The treatment plan is entirely different from what I had gotten used to. I was being seen approximately every 3 weeks. In my consultation I learned the treatments would now be 8 weeks apart - because there would not be any hair growth earlier than 6 weeks! Now I am seeing that to be true. The hair has shed and the area is clear, which has not happened in the past. The treatment is more painful, but obviously that is worth it. I was also explained that for my hair type, many other machines would not have the power to destroy them. Love the difference already! I have already started recommending Freedom to all my friends!
— Nicole, Toronto
I had a big problem with ingrown hair and went to numerous clinics prior to coming to Freedom Medi-Spa.  I was recommended to do Laser hair removal treatments and found fault with every clinic I tried.  Either the technicians did not seem to know how to work the machine properly (there was little to no result), or the attention to detail was horrible.  After searching for clinics with the Cynosure Apogee Elite laser, having treatments done at a few of them, then finally having a consultation at Freedom - realized I found my home and began my treatments immediately. My first impression was the clinic felt relaxing and clean – cleanliness was very important to me.  The results, care, attention to detail and the way I was made to feel comfortable from the first moment I walked in – all play a role in why I am still a client 4 years later.  I love this place and the staff!
— Yana, Richmond Hill
I spent roughly 3 years getting laser done in various areas, the results were sporadic and in some places I ended my treatments with more hair than I started with. I have been doing laser with Vanessa over the last year, and I could not be happier. I am finally seeing results and I don’t find myself worrying about hair removal the way I used to.
The team at Freedom has always been friendly, kind and helpful. I am so happy that I switched to Freedom for my laser hair removal. I only wish I switched earlier.
— Diana, Woodbridge
Unwanted hair has troubled me for as long as I can remember. I finally got to a point in my life where I could afford to have it removed permanently and this elated me.
In my quest to find the right service provider, I went to a reputable local clinic and asked if their hair removal system was permanent, and if the machine they used was truly a laser and not an IPL machine. I was assured of the permanence and that the machine was in fact a laser.
They advertised a so called “special” at 1/2 price for 6 treatments if purchased beforehand. I purchased the 6 treatments which took place with 5 and 6 week intervals and without instructions. Regrettably at the end of the 6 treatments, they had my money and I was left with the hair that I so very much wanted gone. I approached the owner and explained my disappointment hoping for somewhat of a compromised resolution. Alas I was told that 6 treatments were only the minimum and that I was probably one of those unfortunate people who would require 12 to 13 treatments. A consultation never took place, no test patch, no explanation as to what to expect - only an exchange of money and false assurances.
After a recommendation from a trusted friend I booked an appointment and saw Daniela at Freedom Medi-Spa. I didn’t want to drive over 2 hours for treatments – but thought I would at least consult with her to see if there really was a difference. It was at this instant that I realized how poorly I was treated and how unprofessional the previous spa was.
During my consultation with Daniela, she explained the process, discussed the frequency of treatments and the expected results. She took the time to examine my skin and do a patch test. During my first treatment, I was baffled when my treatment took 3 hours in comparison to a mere 45 minutes with the previous spa. The big differences I noticed were the equipment used – Freedom’s laser concentrates on a small area at a time targeting each hair follicle - whereas the other machine had a large wand that they moved up and down very quickly on the entire area. The other big difference lies largely on the technician, as a wise person once told me: “What good is it to have a Ferrari if you don’t know how to drive it?”
Daniela also explained the importance of the intervals between treatments, what to do if you were exposed to sun, when to shave and how to prepare for these treatments. After the first treatment the results were remarkable and my confidence in permanent hair removal had been restored.
The team at Freedom exude professionalism, knowledge and courteousness and I feel tremendously fortunate to have been referred here. I have recommended their services to my friends and will continue to do so as I know this is the one and only place to come for permanent hair removal or any of the other services that they offer. I trust them and that makes the 2 hour drive worth it!
— Tina, Cambridge


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Laser Hair Removal...You Get What You Pay For

Laser Hair Removal has somehow turned into something that every esthetician on every corner offers - at a VERY minimal cost.  How is that possible?  This question is posed quite often.  I would like to disspell the myths of Lasers and educate you on why a spade is not always a spade.  Most estheticians, spas and yes - shockingly even medical clinics, use a low powered IPL machine which will NEVER produce the same result as a medical grade laser.  Why?  Because good quality technologies cost a lot of money.  

Lasers are each made to target specific skin types.  If the incorrect laser is used for your skin/hair type, the result may be poor, or worse - you may burn.  At times, if not enough energy is used, it may de-pigment the hair - leaving it white and untreatable for any machine (other than electrolysis).  

Why not purchase one of those dirt cheap online "deals" for unlimited laser hair removal?  Most times these deals come with your very own fresh out of school - or better yet, still in school, technician.  Some are working to accumulate hours and are not paid.  Also, they usually have you coming in more often (4 week intervals or less).  In the end, you have paid almost the same amount and have at least 50-70% of the hair remaining.  

What to look for when shopping around for Laser Hair Removal…

I have listed these in order of importance.
         
    • STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGIES - Must be the best laser for your skin/hair type
    • HIGH POWERED TECHNOLOGIES WHICH PRODUCE EXCELLENT RESULTS IN FEWER TREATMENTS - for most areas you should be treated in 6-8 week intervals (with little growth in between treatments), for approximately 5-7 treatments.  (After which you should only require 1-3 touch ups) (These are averages - we do have clients who need more and others who need less).
    • DIFFERENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR DIFFERENT SERVICES (Not 1 machine for every service) - we use the Alexandrite laser for hair removal in lighter skin/hair types, the ND:YAG for darker skin/hair types, the IPL for Photo Facials (inc. broken capillaries, Rosacea, sun damage, age spots, etc.), the INTRAcel for Skin Tightening, Skin Resurfacing, Scars, Deep/Fine Lines/Wrinkles, the DermaPod for Microdermabrasion and our Silhouet Tone Electrolysis machine with disposable needles and caps for Electrolysis.
    • EXPERTISE - The Clinic Director MUST have a Minimum of 10 YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY
    • EXTREMELY HYGENIC AND SAFE - Follow all recommendations from Health Canada - using only high quality sterilization techniques and use of disposable items where possible
    • CLIENTS ARE AT EASE QUICKLY (all treatments are personal and each client should be made to feel comfortable)
    • WARM FRIENDLY STAFF AND ATMOSPHERE - a place where you know the team actually cares about your results and wellbeing.

So, when shopping for Laser Hair Removal or any Medical Spa treatments, remember, more important than cost - is VALUE.  What are you actually paying for?  As with most things in life...you get what you pay for.

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W5 Segment - "Don't Get Burned"

 

W5 had a special this past weekend called, "Don't get burned". They did a good job of highlighting some horror stories and uncovering some of the disgusting practices that go on in this unregulated Laser industry.  However, I did not appreciate the way they made estheticians out to be ignorant while the physicians were portrayed in a much more respectable light. I did appreciate Dr. Bargman's honesty. He admitted to injuring clients at one time or another. These are the risks. Laser has risks.   An experienced

technician/doctor/esthetician will tell you so and will outline them. Check out the show here.

I enjoyed the segment, and I am very pleased that this is being discussed. It is time to regulate this industry for the sake of all of us. It is incredible that someone can purchase a medical grade device and be trained in a few hours (or even just 1 hour) and receive a certificate.  Below is a copy of my feedback to W5. I will keep you posted if I hear back on this.

Dear W5,
I am a certified Electrologist and have been performing Laser treatments for over 14 years. I too am very frustrated in the lack of regulation in the Laser industry. Thank you for bringing this to light. However, I felt that your coverage was biased and made estheticians look bad and physicians look like the much better choice. You spoke with an esthetician who works from the back of her house and 2 doctors who worked in a clinical environment. The poorly trained estheticians looked so ignorant it was ridiculous. I have trained medical professionals (including plastic surgeons, dermatologists, family physicians) as well as a spas (estheticians, electrologists) in laser services for a laser company. If someone purchases a laser machine, the company they purchase it from typically offers some sort of training and “certification”. Generally 1 – 1.5 days of training was offered with the company I worked with. While this may seem like an appropriate amount of time, it is not. I met many doctors/estheticians/nurses/electrologists. As in any field, there are doctors who care and those who do not. Most of the estheticians and nurses would listen and want to learn as much as possible. They were engaged and determined. Many doctors did not sit in on the training, simply popping in now and then. Most clinics would try to fill the room to have as many trained as possible. I actually trained a couple of clinics that had the receptionist in to be trained as well – just in case! More people getting trained means less hands on time per person. I will say, most of the spas trained, were willing to set aside a number of hours the week post training, to practice on models and each other. However, quite a few of the doctors’ offices would already have bookings for these “technicians” the day after their training. In all cases, I would highly recommend at least taking that first week after the training to log a minimum of 8-10 hands on hours per person, before treating paying clients. I doubt many clinics adhered to this advice. As you point out in your coverage, regulation of this industry is required to protect the consumer – no matter if it is an esthetician, nurse, or a doctor giving the service (note that it is extremely rare that a doctor actually “performs” the service). 
Having said all that, any doctor/esthetician/technician that says they have NEVER injured someone, is either not being truthful or has not performed many treatments. I was pleased to hear Dr. Bargman speak so earnestly. These are some of the risks with laser treatments. With an experienced and qualified technician/doctor, these risks are minimal. I have never permanently scarred someone and I believe that is because I qualify the client, at each and every visit. The settings need to be adjusted dependant on skin colour (inc any tan), hair colour, new medications, etc.
I would love to help out with organizing some sort of association to protect people against these wonderful yet dangerous machines. I agree that there needs to be regulations put in place with quality training and a certain amount of practical hours. When I took my electrolysis training 18 years ago, we had to log 200 hours! I think we need to form a group of caring professionals – doctors/estheticians/technicians, who want to fight for the health and welfare of each person who wants to look better and feel better about themselves. No one should be permanently scarred from Laser treatment.

Thank you for your coverage of such an important topic. Hopefully you can help in finding the solution to this Health Canada black hole. Please do not dismiss the professional, competent and experienced technicians out there.

Daniela Hofmann

Owner of Freedom Medi-Spa

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Laser Hair Removal

With the Apogee Elite laser (Gold Standard Medical Grade Laser), we are able to treat all skin types including tanned skins without damaging the skin.  The Apogee Elite has two laser machines in the one body.  We are able to use the Alexandrite 755nm for lighter skins and permanently destroy even light brown hair (where other machines cannot).  We often have clients come in to treat hair where another technician could not.  

The Nd:YAG 1064nm, is able to treat darker skin types including tanned skins.  However, no machine can treat hair that is lighter in colour then the skin.  If you are a tanned individual and have medium to light brown hair, you will not fare well with the 1064nm.  You would need to lighten your skin to very close to its natural colouring.  Then you would have great results. 

You must shave the area being treated, one day prior to treatment.  This way the laser energy is not being wasted on destroying the hair, instead it is focusing on the root and papilla.  The papilla is what produces a root.  That is what we want to destroy.  When the hair is in the growth cycle (anagen stage), and has a brown/black bulbous root, the laser is attracted and heats up that root.  In doing so, the heat cauterizes the papilla, leaving it unable to receive nutrients from the blood stream and therefore unable to produce a new root/hair. 

Treatments should follow a fairly strict schedule.  The goal is to perform all your treatments at a time when the hair is most likely to be in the growth stage.  This will deliver the best result. Generally facial treatments are 4-6 weeks apart and body treatments are 6-10 weeks apart.

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