CoolGlide® Laser & ProWave 770 Hair Removal

I have worked since 2000 with the Cutera CoolGlide® laser for hair removal, and have found that this is reliable and cost effective for my patients. In 2005 we added the Cutera ProWave™ 770, which allows for quick treatment of large untanned areas like the back and legs.

We are pleased that physicians and their staffs from the United States and from various parts of Canada have recognized our expertise in hair removal and laser removal of unwanted blood vessels, and have visited the Niagara Falls Dermatology and Skin Care Centre to study our techniques, and to learn our systems and procedures.

Many people in Ontario are interested in learning more about laser hair removal. I have prepared this detailed information, including prices, to help you understand this major advance in laser hair removal.

Laser Hair Removal Consultation

Consultations can usually be arranged within a week or two simply by calling us at 905-356-7744. Treatment can often be done the same day as the consultation, or within a couple of weeks after the consultation.

Our staff can take the time to discuss your wishes and options, and answer your questions. No referral is required.

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1. How do Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal work?

The Cutera CoolGlide® laser and the ProWave™ 770 are noninvasive light therapy systems which have been custom designed to eliminate undesired hair from all parts of the body. The Cutera CoolGlide® laser and the ProWave™ 770 generate pulses of intense, concentrated light which are directed through small, cooled hand pieces which are gently applied to the treatment site.

This energy passes through the skin to the hair follicle, where the energy is absorbed by pigment in the hair and hair follicle, causing selective damage to the hair root while protecting delicate pores and structures of the skin. The energy is pulsed, or “turned on”, for only a fraction of a second. The duration of the pulses is carefully determined so that energy will be absorbed by the hair follicle without transferring excessive heat to the surrounding skin.

Some of the hair which was in the treated follicles is wiped off immediately after treatment, and the rest is shed over the next 2-3 weeks. The hair roots which have been destroyed are reabsorbed by the body. If you have ingrown hairs, they will be reabsorbed by the body and the appearance of the skin will improve greatly over the next few months.

The surface of the skin is protected by built-in cooling systems which help to protect and soothe the skin during treatment of your unwanted hair.

Unlike “hair-by-hair” treatments such as electrolysis, the CoolGlide® and in particular the ProWave™ 770 use wide beams which treats many hairs at once. Because the Cutera CoolGlide® laser and the ProWave™ 770 can treat dozens of hairs with each pulse, it is possible to treat larger areas — for example the back, shoulders, arms, legs and face. The Cutera CoolGlide® laser can be used just about anywhere on the body, and usually requires no anesthesia. Even sensitive areas such as the nipples, upper lip and bikini line can be treated easily and with minimal discomfort.

The ProWave™ 770 is customized for the treatment of large untanned areas like the back and legs. The unique design of these systems allows us to customize treatment, according to your hair and skin colour, hair texture, and location on the body.

Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 treatments are a safe, fast, gentle and effective method for hair removal. In just a few treatment sessions using the gentle power of one of these systems, you can greatly improve the appearance of skin where there is unwanted hair.

2. How do Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 differ from older technologies?

Other laser and intense pulsed light systems include:

  1. Older intense pulsed light (IPL) systems were flash lamps producing a spectrum of light energy rather than laser light. Those intense pulsed light systems were limited by their short wavelength and so tended to stun rather than kill hair follicles, so that there is often an unacceptable amount of hair regrowth, even after many “intense pulsed light” treatments.We waited until the Cutera ProWave™ 770 became available in 2005. The ProWave™ features programmable LONG wavelength pulses which can be customized to your skin color, in order to give the maximum possible safe and effective hair removal treatment, killing as many hair follicles as possible with each treatment.
  2. Older laser systems:
    • First generation Ruby laser: 694 nanometer (Epilaser™, Epitouch™, Chromos™)
    • Second generation Alexandrite laser: 755 nanometer (Epitouch ALEX™, Photogenica LIPR™, GentleLASE™)
    • Third generation Diode laser: 800-810 nanometer (LightSheer™, Apex™)

These relatively short wavelength lasers can produce good results in some circumstances, but because they produce light which has a shorter wavelength, their laser energy both scatters more in the skin, and is mostly absorbed in the top few millimeters of the skin, above many of the hair roots. This means that sometimes not enough energy reaches the hair roots, where it is needed. These short wavelengths, lower power systems are effective in some cases, but in other cases may only stun rather than destroy many of the hair roots and therefore sometimes cause temporary rather than permanent hair reduction. Short wavelength lasers can be difficult or impossible to safely use on people with dark, tanned or black skin. The cooling system in 800 nm lasers usually relies on a sapphire window, which is only 1/10 as efficient as the gold plated copper cooling head in the Cutera CoolGlide®. Because the sapphire window of the 800 nm lasers has to be pressed on the skin while the laser is triggered, there is a risk that stray hairs will be burned into the skin. By comparison, there is no contact between the laser aperture and the skin when the Cutera CoolGlide® laser beam is applied to your skin.

Our fourth Generation Cutera CoolGlide® laser uses the longest available, deeper penetrating 1064 nanometer wavelength. Cutera CoolGlide® reaches even the deepest hair roots, which can be 4-6 mm below the skin surface in some cases.

The long 1064 nanometer wavelength of the Cutera CoolGlide® makes it possible to safely and effectively treat all people — even those with tanned, very dark or black skin. Like all lasers, the CoolGlide® works more efficiently on light colored skin — so to minimize the number of treatments you need, try not to have a fresh suntan when you come in for treatment.

CoolGlide® also allows the operator to adjust the duration of the pulse of laser energy to best suit the thickness of the hair shafts on different parts of your body. Some older laser systems lack this degree of fine control

The gold plated ClearView™ cooling head on the CoolGlide® laser provides an extra margin of safety and comfort, allows the operator a clear view of the area to be treated, and does not require pressure on your skin.

3. What areas of the body can be treated?
ALL parts of the body CAN be treated (and ARE treated) with the Cutera CoolGlide® hair removing laser. In women, the most common areas for treatment are upper lip, chin, bikini line, arms and legs, and underarms. In men, the most common areas for treatment are shoulders and back, and the beard area. While it is technically possible to treat even the eyelashes and eyebrows, we do not treat those areas at the present time. The top of the eyebrows can be treated when the forehead is treated. The ProWave™ 770 is customized for the treatment of large untanned areas like the legs and back.
4. What are the benefits of CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal compared to alternative treatments?

The primary benefits of CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal include:

  • Larger areas may be treated with less discomfort than with electrolysis, waxing or tweezing.
  • The CoolGlide® and ProWave™ combine speed, comfort and long lasting results.
  • The CoolGlide® works on any area of the body where a hair-free appearance is desired. The ProWave™ is mainly used on large areas like the back and legs.
  • The CoolGlide® and ProWave™ are safe for use on pregnant women — who respond well because their hair is often thicker and darker during pregnancy.

Shaving, waxing and depilatory creams remove the hair but leave the hair follicles intact, so the hair re-grows within one to four weeks in most cases. CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal offers you a long-term reduction in both the amount of hair, and also in many cases a reduction in thickness and color of hair shafts which do grow back.

Hair removal methods like plucking, waxing or sugaring which cause irritation may actually stimulate hair growth. This happens because one way the body defends itself against having hair pulled out is to produce thicker, stronger hairs which are harder to pull out next time. Another advantage of CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 treatment is that your skin can be kept nice and smooth between treatments by shaving — you will never again have to grow your hair out long enough to be waxed or sugared. Occasional waxing can be useful to temporarily get rid of white hairs and fine peach fuzz hairs after you have completed a course of Cutera CoolGlide® laser or ProWave™ 770 treatment.

Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal offer long lasting results, and even if hair does eventually grow back it is usually finer in texture and lighter in color than the original hair, and much less of a cosmetic problem.

5. What are the advantages over electrolysis?

It has been said that:

“Removing hair by electrolysis is like mowing grass — one blade at a time!”

With electrolysis, the operator inserts a needle into the hair follicle and tries to have the needle tip reach the hair root. The operator then triggers a small electrical charge to disable the hair root. The hair from that follicle is then removed with tweezers.

Electrolysis can be an excellent technique for the removal of:

  • small numbers of hairs
  • hairs from areas where it is difficult to use the laser (under the eyebrows, near the eyes, and in the ears and nose.)
  • white, red and blonde hair (which do not absorb laser light efficiently).

I sometimes refer patients for electrolysis, and electrolysis operators sometimes refer patients to me, depending on the needs and wishes of the patient. For example, electrolysis can be useful for white or light colored hairs which do not respond to laser treatment, or if there are only a few dark hairs which need to be removed. Some people who have a mixture of dark and white hairs will have CoolGlide® laser or ProWave™ 770 treatment to remove as many of the dark hairs as possible, then have electrolysis to remove any leftover white hairs.

There can be considerable variation in the results between electrolysis therapists, and the rate of permanent hair loss has been reported to be from 15 to 50%. Electrolysis can be a tedious process and is a difficult undertaking for some patients. Even a small area like the face, for example, in the case of a woman with heavy facial hair, could require electrolysis for 2 –3 hours per week for 2 years, with further treatments over an undetermined period of time, for a total treatment time exceeding 210 hours. Despite its popularity over the past two decades and its use for over 100 years, there is little in the medical and scientific literature about electrolysis.

Hair removal is much faster with the CoolGlide® laser or ProWave™ 770 because each “pulse” of laser light disables a large numbers of hair follicles, and pulses can be delivered as often as twice every second. Electrolysis operators can only treat those hairs that they can see and which they can reach the follicle through the hair shaft. The Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 treat all “active” follicles, even if the hair has not yet reached the surface of the skin, is “ingrown”, or if the hair shaft is not straight.

6. Many people want Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal, but everyone wonders

“How much does it cost?”

You will find that the fees listed below for laser hair removal using the efficient, effective, fourth-generation Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 are surprisingly affordable.

Fees are per treatment session, plus GST, and can be paid at the time of treatment with Interac, Visa, MasterCard, or cash. No cheques please.

Fees paid for Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal may be tax deductible medical expenses, like other payments to doctors and dentists.

Professional services provided by appointment only.

Prices subject to change without notice.

There is no fee for pre-laser consultation.

Consultations about Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal can usually be arranged within a week or two simply by calling us at 905-356-7744 where our staff who have had Cutera CoolGlide® laser hair removal themselves can take the time to discuss your wishes and options, and answer your questions.

No referral is required.

Treatment may be scheduled for the same day as the consultation if there is a time slot is available, or may be scheduled for a later date.

7. What are the prices for the most commonly treated body areas?

The most commonly treated body areas include (per treatment session):
Face
Upper Lip $100
Chin & anterior neck $100
Upper Lip & Chin & anterior neck $150
Cheeks/Sideburns $150
Lower Half Face (upper lip, chin & cheeks, anterior neck): Women
Men $250-$350
Forehead & temples (down to the top of the eyebrows) $150
Outer surface of nose (this may also eliminate some hair in the nose) $100
Full Face (all of the above, when done in one session) $400

Head
Entire neck and nape of neck $250
Back of neck and nape of neck $200
Removal of hair transplant plugs: depends on amount of work required.

Torso: Upper
Areola (nipple area) $100
Sternum (between breasts) $125
Chest $350
Abdomen $300
Chest & Abdomen $600
Shoulders (from clavicle on front & back) $200
Back upper (from level of umbilicus) $350
Back lower (from umbilicus to start of gluteal cleft) $350
Sacrum (from top of gluteal cleft, up 4 inches) $150
Back: Full $600
Complete torso (all of the above, when done in one session) $950

Torso: Lower
Bikini line and inner thighs (around pubic area, not including pubic or buttock hair) $175
Linea (the line from the start of pubic hair to bottom of the chest, up to 3 inches wide) $100
Bikini line & Linea $225
Bikini line & some or all pubic hair & linea $275
Bikini area = The Full Monty = “Brazilian Style” (bikini, pubic & perianal areas,
gluteal cleft & buttocks) — so you can wear a string bikini before you get too old for it! $450
Bikini area & linea $475

Limbs
Axillae (underarms) $150
Both arms including hands and fingers $350
Forearms, hands and fingers $225
Upper Arms $225
Hands and fingers $125
Upper Legs & bikini line (+ $50 pubic hair & linea or + $225 Brazilian Style) $400
Lower Legs (including feet and toes to 2 inches above knees) $350
Lower legs and bikini line (+ $50 pubic hair & linea or + $225 Brazilian Style) $450
Full Legs (including feet and toes) $500
Full Legs (including feet and toes, and bikini line) (+ $50 pubic hair & linea or + $225 Brazilian Style) $625
Feet and toes $125

Extras
Test Spots $50
Additional “touch up treatments” on small, persistent areas $50-250

8. Is Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal covered by insurance or OHIP?

OHIP will not pay for hair removal.

Most private insurance companies do not offer reimbursement for “cosmetic” procedures like hair removal; however, consult your insurance carrier for more information.

The removal of unwanted terminal hair for the management of hirsutism, congenital or drug-related hypertrichosis, pseudofolliculitis, trans-sexual states, and skin grafts may be covered by some private insurance plans.

9. Is the cost of Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal a tax deductible medical expense?
Like fees paid to physicians, dentists and orthodontists for other medical services, fees to physicians for Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal services are tax deductible medical expenses, so save your receipts!
10. What are the risks of Cutera CoolGlide® hair removal laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal?

Short-term side effects may include a slight reddening of the skin or local swelling which typically lasts less than an hour, although it may infrequently last a few days. Long wavelength Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 are less likely than older devices to cause prolonged irritation, pigment changes or blistering. Rarely (perhaps 2-4 cases out of a hundred) there can be increased or decreased pigment in the treated area. This is seldom a major cosmetic problem, and generally resolves after several months. Even a single blister (rather like a tiny sunburn) is very rare (less than one in a hundred). The light from the Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 is safe, simple infra-red light and does not cause skin cancer.

Unlike plucking, waxing and sugaring, laser hair removal does not run the risk of making hair grow back thicker, darker or quicker.

After Cutera CoolGlide® laser or ProWave™ 770 treatment hair growth will be delayed, AND when hair does grow back, it is often lighter, finer and less dense.

11. Is Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 hair removal "permanent"?

“Permanent hair removal” means: “ALL the hair is gone, FOREVER!”

There is NO hair removal method (including laser) which can guarantee “ALL the hair will be gone, FOREVER!”

The most realistic description of the results after laser treatment is: “long-term hair REDUCTION”. This means: “After four to eight treatments most people will see that the total amount of hair is greatly reduced — generally by 70% to 90% — and hair which does grow is often much finer and lighter in color.”

It is important for you to realize that after having between four and eight treatment sessions it is VERY LIKELY that there WILL BE a very substantial reduction in both the amount of hair and also a reduction in the thickness and color of the hair in the treated areas. You should expect that this reduction in hair may last for many years.
This long-term hair reduction is exactly what most people want, but could be an issue, for example, if you removed hair from an area and later decided that you wanted to have hair in that area.

Lasers have been used for hair removal since at least 1995, and we know that stable, long-term hair reduction commonly lasts for many years. In some cases, dormant follicles will start to produce new hair, or “peach fuzz” follicles may start to produce black or brown hair, and this new hair if it develops will respond well to treatment.

12. Should I expect to be "hair free" in the treated area after the series of treatments? How much hair will grow back, and how fast will it grow back?

No, most patients experience an 70-90% reduction in the amount of hair in a given area after between four to eight treatments, and a reduction in the thickness and color of the remaining hair, but should not expect to be “hair free”. A few patients are satisfied in less than four treatments, and some want or need more than eight treatments, in particular in cases where the hair is relatively light colored.

It has been suggested that a 6 month follow-up may be sufficient to assess final outcome after the final laser hair removal session, because once regrowth had stabilized (usually within 6 months), there is usually little or no change in hair counts at 6,12, and 24 months.

How much hair will grow back, and how fast will it grow back?

The Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 work by destroying hair roots which are active at the time of treatment, and which are dark enough to absorb sufficient laser energy. The hair shafts in the treated hair follicles will fall out, or be “shed” 1-3 weeks after treatment.

After the first treatment, hair regrowth may resume within a few weeks or it may be anywhere from 2-4 months before any true hair growth is observed, as previously dormant hair follicles become active, and hair follicles which were stunned but not killed recover and start to produce hair shafts again. Some people find that there is not much extra hair reduction after the second treatment, then they notice a substantial further reduction after the third or more commonly the fourth treatment. After four to six treatments there may be little or no regrowth for many years. In other cases you may wish to have additional treatment after a period of time.
Hair that regrows after laser treatment generally is finer and lighter in colour, and so is much less of a cosmetic problem. Reductions in coarseness and color can occur independently of each other.

New dark hair appearing in hormone-sensitive sites (mainly the face, axillae and genital area) after successful treatment with Cutera CoolGlide® laser or ProWave™ 770 could result from hormone-stimulated maturation of previously dormant hair follicles and “peach fuzz” follicles.

13. Why are at least 4 treatment sessions usually needed?

The Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 work by disabling hairs that are in their active growth cycle at the time of treatment. Hair follicles in their “dormant” phase have no hair shaft in them and so will not be affected by the treatment. Because hair follicles cycle through “active” and “dormant” phases, additional sessions are usually desired once the “dormant” follicles become “active”, and also to deal with hair follicles which were stunned but not killed by previous treatment.

The other group of hair follicles which could produce dark terminal hair in the future are the fine “peach fuzz” follicles which have no pigment and so are not affected by treatment. If some of these fine little “peach fuzz” follicles mature into hair follicles which produce black or brown hair, they can be treated with laser at that time.

There is NO treatment which will kill 100% of the hair follicles, 100% of the time. Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 use the longest, most deeply penetrating wavelengths, and special cooling, to maximize the number of killed hair follicles and minimize the number that are stunned during each treatment session.

At any one time, 50 to 85% of your hair follicles are in the active (anagen) phase but only 1/4 to 1/3 of your hairs have enough of the pigment in their ROOTS to absorb the laser beam which destroys the hair root. So, about 1/4 to 1/3 of your hair roots are good targets for the laser beam, and can be damaged or destroyed in a single laser session.

Because 1/4 to 1/3 of the actively growing pigmented hair roots are damaged or destroyed in any one session, almost all people will want a minimum of four CoolGlide® treatments to reach a satisfactory degree of hair reduction, and many people will wish to have more than four treatments, most commonly 5 to 8 treatments; and in some cases another session or two in six to twelve months, to eliminate any black or brown hairs which have developed when dormant follicles started to produce hair, or when “peach fuzz” hair follicles mature and start to produce black or brown hair.

The number of treatments desired will depend on:

  • the desired degree of hair reduction (as the amount of hair declines, some people become very enthusiastic and want even LESS hair than they had originally planned on).
  • hair color (people with naturally light colored hair sometimes need more treatments).
  • ethnic and genetic background (people with dark skin sometimes need more treatments).
  • hormonal status
  • area being treated
  • hair density
  • age
  • weight (obesity can increase hair growth)
  • medication (for example medicines like Dilantin and cyclosporine can increase hair growth)

Additional “touch up” treatments on small troublesome areas can be arranged at relatively low cost. There is no safety limit on the number of treatments a person can have. People who have been partially treated with other types of hair removing laser might in some cases need less than 3 CoolGlide® laser treatments to reach a satisfactory degree of long-term hair reduction.

14. Previous laser treatment or electrolysis? No problem!

Cutera CoolGlide® laser and ProWave™ 770 have been successfully used on many people who were not able to tolerate — or did not obtain satisfactory results with — electrolysis, or with older laser and “high intensity light” systems, including ruby laser, alexandrite laser, 800 nm lasers, and Epilight™ systems.

In fact, depending on how much hair is left, people who have been partially treated with other lasers may need only one or two treatments with the Cutera CoolGlide® laser or ProWave™ 770 to “finish the job”.

Feel the difference