Learn All About Laser Hair Removal Treatment
If you are a man or woman who is interested to learn all about laser hair removal then you are not alone! Laser hair removal is a massive industry, and for good reason. Laser hair treatments are inexpensive, effective, fast, and safe, making them an excellent choice for people trying to get rid of unwanted facial or body hair.
If you are new to the concept, though, you might be wondering about the treatment process – such as how many appointments it takes to work, and why it’s important to follow a schedule.
• How Many Laser Treatments Do I Need?
As a general rule, you can see up to 25% hair growth reduction after your first hair removal appointment but these results do depend on the part of the body being treated, hair colour and whether you were shaving or waxing before your first hair removal appointment. For some people, it only takes around 6 visits to the technician, while others require a dozen or more for extremely light or fine hair. We recommend that you plan on 8 to 10 treatments that are evenly spaced out depending on the area of your body that is being treated.
Why Are Multiple Laser Treatments Needed?
Multiple treatments are a must with laser hair removal. To explain why, we first have to look at the way hair grows in the follicle. There are several phases to this process, starting from growth at the root all the way to the eventual breaking or shedding of the hair. These stages of hair growth are known as early anagen, anagen, catagen, and telogen.
The hair cycle can be compared to the seasons. Early anagen is like the spring, where growth occurs under the surface and a new hair pushes away the old growth. The anagen stage is like the summer, with the follicle receiving healthy nourishment from the body which can be seen with vigorous hair growth. This phase can last days or months and even years depending on the area of the body.
Catagen (like autumn) is when the hair follicle loses its nutrient supply from the body and so the hair stops growing. The hair finally detaches entirely from the hair follicle in the telogen (winter) phase. The hair remains in the follicle but it can be easily pulled out with next to no pain. Although the hair may still be in the follicle, the follicle starts to once again slowly draw nutrients from the body and a new hair develops and slowly pushes the old hair out as the process begins again.
Why is this important? Because laser hair removal is effective only when the hair is in its anagen phase. Although it can be inconvenient for laser hair removal purposes, that each hair is in a different part of the hair growth cycle, it is actually a good thing. If each of our hair follicles followed the same cycle then all of our hair would shed out at the same time. How interesting would it be for all of our eyelashes or eyebrows to fall out all at once! So, as a result, multiple laser hair removal treatments are required so as to treat each follicle when it is in the anagen phase. The timing between each appointment will be based on the area of the body that is being treated as different parts of the body grow hair more quickly or slowly than others.
• How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
You may think that the laser simply burns away unwanted hair, but the science is a bit more complicated than that.
A high intensity of light, referred to as intense pulsed light (IPL), from the machine hits not only the surface of the skin and hair, but penetrates all the way down the pigment of the hair and is absorbed into the follicle itself, where the hair growth is occurring. This intense (but painless) light damages the hair growth part of the follicle, causing it to lose the ability to grow new hair during its next anagen phase. The newer laser (IPL) hair removal technology works fantastic is pain free and very effective at eliminating hair growth from dirty blonde to black.
The result? Smoother skin that lasts for years, with possibly one or two annual maintenance treatments if needed as some hairless follicles may start to grow hair years down the road.
• What Hair and Skin Types is Laser Hair Removal Best For?
You might be wondering if your skin is too light or too dark for laser hair removal. The good news is that the vast majority of skin types, according to the Fitzpatrick scale, can be treated with our machine – up to a Type 5, which is a fairly dark tone. (Skin Type 6 is too dark – the lasers burn the skin before the heat can reach the follicle properly, just like a dark shirt absorbs more heat than a light one in direct sunlight.)
While the light can heat up hair follicles and skin like UV rays, it’s important to note that we do not use UV light in our machines. It is a wavelength of red, with short bursts of intense energy concentrated in a very small area, where it can travel down the hair to reach the follicle and interrupt the growth phase.
Is My Skin Too Dark for Laser Hair Removal?
When it comes to UV rays, light skin burns more easily than dark skin – but the opposite is true with our laser hair removal equipment. For this process, dark skin will absorb more energy and have a much higher potential of holding that heat and suffering damage. So if your skin is extremely dark (i.e. Type 6 on the Fitzpatrick scale), laser hair removal may not be right for you. If we think you fall in this category, we will advise you before we begin any procedures.
Does Laser Hair Removal Work On Blonde Hair?
The way our laser works is that it automatically scans for contrast between dark hair and lighter skin. So, the darker your hair is, the better your laser removal chances are – especially if your skin is dark, too. For example, people with darker skin tones often have black hair, so the contrast still works in those cases.
As long as your hair is darker than your skin tone, the laser treatment should work on you. Even blonde hair still has some pigment in it, so generally speaking, it reacts to the laser removal process.
However, there are some important things to be aware of. If you are a blonde who loves to tan, the effectiveness of laser removal treatment drops dramatically, because the fine hair on your body will not stand out against the darker skin tone. It’s best practice to come in without a tan in order to make the treatment easier, as well as reduce the risk of burning your skin under the laser – since it would already be damaged from the tan, that’s definitely something you want to avoid.
Can I dye my hair darker to improve the contrast for the laser?
This is a common question, and the short answer is no. Dyeing your hair only colours the outside of it, not all the way down to the base of the follicle. Since the light follows the hair down into the roots, if the colour changes partway through, the energy of the light will stop there and dissipate into the surrounding skin. Not only will it leave the hair in place, it can damage the surrounding tissues, too. So leave that dye on the shelf!
Check back often as we will continue to update this blog with more areas on this topic. This is the blog to help you learn all about laser hair removal treatment!
Click here to view our Laser Hair Removal page.