How Laser Hair Removal Actually Works
Laser Hair Removal is a continually growing industry with more and more people seeking a permanent solution to ridding themselves of unwanted hair. The ideal candidate for treatment has fair skin and dark hair. The reason for this is the laser targets anything with dark pigment as it's chromophore is known as "melanin". Since the goal of Laser Hair Removal is to destroy the hair follicle at its source to stop regenerating, the only way for the laser to "see" the base of the follicle where regeneration occurs is by using the 'dark' pigment of the hair as a guide. The dark hair absorbs the light energy as it passes deep into the dermal layer causing the heat to destroy the follicle at it's root. However, hair follicles are constantly going through a "Hair Growth Cycle", known as the Anagen phase where the hair is attached at the root and is new or actively growing, the Catagen phase where hair begins it's transition to shed disconnecting from the root and finally the Telogen phase where the hair is completely detached from the root and is preparing to shed. Only 20% of hair follicles are in an active growth phase at a time and this is why laser is not effective for all hair in just one single session. Multiple sessions are required for permanent results, which is why the true term for laser hair removal is known as Permanent Hair Reduction -because hair is reduced by approximately 20% at most with each session. With advancements in laser technology today, patients with darker skin types are able to see results although more sessions may be necessary than someone with lighter skin due to the fact that great care needs to be taken so that the skin's pigment is not compromised.
Any facility promising permanent results within a specific amount of sessions or "forever" should be taken with a grain of salt and is not expressing knowledge in how the hair growth cycle actually works. Typically at least 6 sessions are necessary in order to see dramatic results, but maintenance treatments may be necessary and should be expected.
Hormones trigger hair growth throughout different phases of our life, for example, puberty, pregnancy, menopause and hormone imbalances involving a raised level of androgens such as in Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Hypothyroidism. This means even when hair has been gone for years post Laser Hair Removal treatment, it is possible to see hair growth again down the road.
For further questions on how Laser Hair Removal actually works, please feel free to call us at 561-255-0272.