Laser Hair Removal is a non-invasive, hair-removal method that uses laser beams in a controlled manner to provide effective and permanent freedom from unwanted hair. However, before opting for laser hair removal, it is vital that its functionality is fully understood.
Laser Hair Removal Procedure
Laser hair removal uses the simple philosophy of using precisely-controlled laser beams for permanently eradicating certain cells in the hair follicles that hold the key to hair growth. This approach of laser hair removal is often referred to as selective or localized hair follicular damage. Presence of melanin in the hair follicles ensures that most of the laser beams directed at the hair follicles are easily absorbed. The laser beams are able to eradicate the action of such cells due to the intense heat they produce that instantly renders them ineffective. This is why laser hair removal is also called Photo-thermolysis.
Since the heat generated by the laser beams is retained within the hair follicles, it doesn’t harm the skin. Laser hair removal is conducted after repeated examination of the stage of hair growth that the patient presents. This is because laser treatments are more successful at curbing hair growth when conducted during the anagen phase. This is the active stage of hair growth and internal heating here ensures that cells within the hair follicles are eliminated more comprehensively.
Variations in Laser Hair Removal Techniques
- Ruby Laser—this is considered as the most conventional form of laser treatment for eradicating bodily hair. It is not suitable for people with tanned or darker skin tones, i.e. its effectivity among people having a high concentration of melanin cells is restricted.
- Alexandrite Laser—this treatment is a considerable improvement over conventional techniques. It is quite fast and has minimal recovery period. It can also be used among people with slightly-dark skin tones. It is more commonly recommended for removal of bodily hair rather than facial or neck hair.
- Nd:Yag Laser—also called the long-pulse laser method, it is applicable across most skin types. However, it is known to present a greater level of discomfort.
- Diode Laser—it is more effective on darker skin tones. It is recommended for treating larger areas of the body as it can cover greater surface area, per session than most other options. This is largely considered as the most sensible option since it uses longer wavelengths that are able to penetrate deeper and overcome hair follicles concentrated with high volumes of melanocytes.
Laser Hair Removal Application
Laser hair removal is used for aesthetic and medical conditions. Hair removal is often sought by people to accentuate their physical looks—a purely aesthetic application. However, in some medical conditions wherein there is exaggerated hair growth, hair removal is medically recommended. Examples of such serious conditions include Hirsutism and Hypertrichosis. These two conditions are known to induce excessive growth of bodily hair. Further, medical conditions like Pseudofolliculitis are often treated with laser hair removal to reduce the chances of infected hair follicles.
Laser Hair Removal Sessions
The total number of sessions needed to permanently eradicate hair is largely dictated by the skill of the attending laser specialist and the condition of hair follicles. As stated, hair follicles are better treated when they are in a particular stage of hair growth otherwise chances of hair re-growth are quite high and this might lead to repeated sessions. The sessions are spaced over a period of few weeks or a couple of months. This allows the attending specialist to oversee the effectiveness of the treatment and the propensity of the hair to grow back.