Laser Hair Removal is a becoming a popular treatment, as the current fashion for both men and women is to have the clean look consisting of little or no body hair. Excess or unwanted hair growth is usually a result of genetics, hormones or certain medications. Recent advances in the technology have meant that the hair removal treatments are now a lot more effective and there is less risk of side effects from occurring, making it safer for consumers.
When discussing Laser Hair Removal, it is important to note that the body has 3 cycles of hair growth – Anagen (active), Catogen (transitional) and Telogen (resting). The laser energy destroys hairs in the Anagen or active phase, targeting the cells at the base of the hair follicle which are responsible for hair growth. As Laser Hair Removal targets only the hairs in the active phase, only a percentage of hairs are treated with each session. A series of treatments is required to clear an area, though less hair will return with each treatment and the regrowth will become fine, soft and sparse.
Laser hair removal treatments target melanin which is the dark pigment contained within the hair. Red hair contains a different type of melanin and consequently the treatments can be less effective for redheads.
The area must be shaved prior to treatment to allow the laser energy to be directed under the skin, and not to heat up the surface by having dark hair above the skin level. Any plucking or waxing must be stopped for several weeks before starting treatment, as the hair needs to be in the follicle for it to work.
The effectiveness of the Laser Hair Removal treatments is mostly dependant on the quality of machine used, the parameters or correct setting and proper candidate selection. An ideal candidate for Laser Hair Removal has light coloured skin and dark coloured hair. This stark contrast of colour allows the laser light to easily target the hair and pose little or no risk of harm to the skin. This is also why it’s important to avoid sun exposure and tanning when undergoing a course of permanent hair removal treatments.
It is important for the full area to be treated by the laser with each hair removal appointment so hairs are not missed. Any missed patches will require additional treatments in the future and the area may look patchy or have uneven hair growth. Hairs that do not fall out or shed within about 14 days have usually not been treated effectively. This is due to poor spacing by the operator or incorrect technique, which can often be avoided by finding a reputable laser clinic that has licensed and experienced operators.