Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Remova services offered in Bellevue, WA

If you have unwanted facial or body hair, but you’re tired of shaving, plucking, or waxing, a simple solution is available at Serenity Rejuvenation Center in Bellevue, Washington. Dr. Stephen O’Connell and his skilled staff offer laser hair removal to get rid of unsightly hair once and for all. Call the office or use the online booking feature today.

Laser Hair Removal Expertise 

Welcome to laser hair removal at Serenity Rejuvenation Center where the fusion of Art & Science in Medicine culminate in our mission To Improve The Quality Of The Lives’ in of our clients/patients for well over a decade. Serenity Rejuvenation Center is consistently ranked The Best of Bellevue & Seattle in the laser hair removal service category by expertise.com among other venues, instilling confidence in our guests.

ABMS Board Certified Physician / American Society of Laser Medicine & Surgery Fellow - Dr. O’Connell & Serenity Rejuvenation Center are proud to introduce Elite IQ laser hair removal.

Subspecialty Expertise: There is often misinformation found online, and that holds to be true regarding the perceived difficulty regarding treating darker skin types with laser hair removal. Dr. O’Connell & The Serenity Rejuvenation Center Team have a very high level of confidence/experience regarding this patient population, and in fact patients of color make up a large percentage of our treatment demographic.


The non -specific damage of human hair follicles with a laser was noted over 50 years ago. However, it was not until the theory of selective thermolysis was proposed that the concept of selectively targeting a chromophore based on its absorption spectra and size was realized. It 1996, the first successful use of a laser for long term and permanent hair removal was reported. Since 1996, many of the core concepts in laser medicine & surgery remain constant, however the technology has recently taken a large quantum leap, resulting in Elite IQ laser hair

Modern technology
CynoSure Elite IQ

The Elite IQ device offers quick, easy and personalized laser hair removal using smart technology. The Elite IQ, when compared with our Cynosure’s predecessors including ( Apogee, Apogee Elite, & Apogee Elite Plus- all of which we have owned & operated) is definitively more powerful & faster than ever before.


Laser hair removal is the most commonly requested cosmetic procedure in the world. Prior to the advent of laser hair removal (LHR), only temporary methods for removing unwanted hair were available such as bleaching, plucking, shaving, waxing, and chemical depilatories. Threading, a form of epilation using a cotton thread, is a common practice in some cultures. In addition to not providing permanent hair removal, these methods are also inconvenient and tedious.

How does laser hair removal improve quality of life?

1. Saves time
- Decreased time committed to temporary methods of hair removal.

2. Can Reduce Costs Long term
- After the initial investment for laser hair removal treatments then only occasional maintenance should be required.
- Temporary hair removal methods like waxing are often more expensive.
- Save money on the consumable costs of temporary hair removal methods (razors, shaving cream, etc).

3. Comfort
- Decreased discomfort of razor burns, cuts, rashes, and chronic folliculitis are all benefits of laser hair removal.

4. Increased Confidence
- Look , feel, and function better.

5. Reduced body odor
- Many clients report a reduction in body odor in the area (s) where the treatment is/are performed.

6 . Laser hair removal is safe
In the hands of a skilled operator where safety protocols are adhered to by the client, adverse events are rare .

7. Low maintenance
Once the client or patient has completed the initial treatment series, then clients enter a variable maintenance phase.

8. No more ingrown hairs
Laser hair removal is a treatment for ingrown hairs.

Why is it important to have a physician with laser medicine & surgery expertise who is supervising, and/or performing laser hair removal ?

Having an understanding of the various medical device options and offering the best modern technology is key. However, equally or more important is knowing how to use the device. Having a true conceptual understanding of laser principles is paramount in the safe execution of this procedure.

Physician & staff must possess a mastery of laser concepts & treatment parameters to include selection & application of each of the following :
• Wavelength
• Spot size
• Fluence
• Pulse duration
• Repetition Rate

Safety & efficacy are more readily achieved in those who are both knowledgeable and experienced.

Additionally, an understanding of clinical outcomes in the context of pre- existing medical issues such as untreated polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)- is also paramount , as patient education is part of the foundation of trust between provider & the client/patient.

What are the 4 safety concepts To Be Followed Prior To Each & Every Treatment?

•Medication awareness:
Be aware that the presence of certain prescription medications taken orally within 10 days of the treatment can cause the laser to burn your skin. The most common medications that are potentially problematic belong to the drug class of tetracycline antibiotics. For prospective patients who questions regarding specific medications call the office before your scheduled appointment.

•Oils & Topical Retinoids:
Avoid use on the treatment area 7 days before the Treatment.Think about oil & heat, what do we use this combination for? Cooking. The mechanism of action of laser hair removal is heat Easy to remember. Heat & Oil will burn you.

•Concept of Prolonged Intensive Sun Exposure:
Technically, the prospective patient /client can be tan, however one must avoid prolonged intensive sun exposure to the treatment area 7 days before & 7 days after the treatment .

•Energy Balance & The Avoidance of Overheating Yourself Around the Treatment Time (The Day Of):
We ask that you avoid extreme over heating yourself around the treatment time. Examples might include: hot yoga before the treatment, or a sauna immediately after the treatment. We are placing energy in the form of heat under the skin, and the skin traps heat. So, we want to avoid creating more internal energy or heat, creating a steady energy balance.

Preprocedural Instructions

What to do with the hair before the treatment session?

The body area to be treated must be shaved prior to each scheduled treatment. The hair must be off of the skin ( but chronically under the skin) prior to each treatment session

Does the laser hair removal treatment procedure hurt?

Pain is a subjective phenomenon. Most people tolerate the procedure in the beginning of the series. As the hair gets thinner and finer with each treatment, the laser parameters change, resulting in more discomfort. We have powerful numbing agents in the office. Note that the topical numbing creams need to be applied 30 minutes before the procedure. This needs to be planned and arranged before the scheduled treatment time.

Periprocedural Instructions

What to do in between the treatment session?

Nothing needs to be done to the hair in between the sessions. It is imperative that the hair remains chronically under the skin. In other words, one must refrain from anything that pulls the hair out of the skin or dissolves the hair in between the treatment sessions. Shaving in between for cosmetic reasons is ok.

How often do I get the treatments or what is the treatment interval?

The treatment interval for the face/neck is every 4 weeks.The treatment interval for the body is every 6-8 weeks.

The recommended treatment interval is based on a scientific approximation that every 4 weeks the hair will be in the anagen phase of hair growth on the face/neck. Approximately every 6-8 weeks the hair will be in the anagen phase of hair growth on the body.The laser only sees the hair that is in the anagen phase.

How many treatments will it take? Or what variables (outside of the best technology & operator expertise) contribute to the numbers of sessions required?

There are 5 efficacy concepts

Firstly, the goal is permanent hair reduction on the order of 85-90 percent reduction. 

1.Genetics: People from certain parts of the world just have more hair. In example- If you take someone from south Asia ( india) & someone from east Asia ( Japan) – who do you think has more hair? More often than not the person from south Asia will have more hair.

2.PCOS (insulin resistance family of disorders)
PCOS is the issue we see the most of. PCOS is an acronym for polycystic ovarian syndrome. However, it is not an ovarian problem. In fact, you can have PCOS and not have a single cyst on the ovaries. Conversely you can have cysts on the ovaries and not have PCOS. The acronym and the name of this syndrome is very misleading and should be changed in the medical literature. 1/10 females in the general population has PCOS. What are are the 3 most common symptoms of PCOS?

•Irregular menstrual cycles: If a premenopausal female is having irregular menstrual cycles its PCOS until proven otherwise.
•Hirsutism (which will require more laser hair removal treatments) than the average person- until the issue at hand is treated) . Not every woman with PCOS will have hirsutism, however it is very common.

3. Hormones. The most common scenarios are :- post pregnancy -menopause - naturally occurring high testosterone ( or testosterone supplementation)

4. Hair Color: There is no laser/light based technology that effectively treats grey , blonde, or red hair.

5. Body Area: On average (with exception of untreated PCOS), to achieve that 90% plus reduction For the face 9-12 sessions For The body 6-9 sessions

Periprocedural Questions

What does a typical pattern of hair reduction look like in between the treatments?

The hair will become thinner and finer. The hair will often grow in patchy.

If the hair appears patchy in between the laser hair removal sessions is this normal?

Yes. It is absolutely normal for the hair to appear as patchy growth in between the laser hair removal treatment sessions. The appearance of this might lead one to question whether an area was somehow missed, when in fact this is a normal appearance.

Does the hair fall out of the skin after laser hair removal?

Rarely does anyone experience the appearance of “hair shedding or falling out from the skin”.

Potential side effects of laser hair removal 

What is paradoxical hair growth or hypertrichosis? 

Monitoring progress in a step wise approach conducting in person follow up, subjective feedback, objective before and after photos, and tailoring the plan as we progress through the process. Each individual is unique and modifications & recommendations will be made accordingly. The maintenance phase often encompasses a paired own version of the above approach. 

What is post laser hair removal treatment folliculitis? 

While folliculitis is actually a clinical indication for laser hair removal, the treatment itself can also cause a temporary folliculitis and presents as swelling, erythema, and small bumps on the skin which can last for a couple of days after the treatment session. If this happens over the counter hydrocortisone can help shorten the duration of these symptoms.

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