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Laser Hair Removal: A Basic Understanding


Laser hair removal is one of the newest cosmetic procedures available today. The process is to permanently remove hair from any part of your body that you wish by the use of a light at a designated wavelength, which is projected into the skin by way of a laser hand held instrument.

What the laser accomplishes, after it's reached into the interior of the skin, is to focus on the hair's pigment. The laser destroys the follicle of the hair but does not damage the remaining hair tissue around it.

While laser hair removal can be quite effective and has been so for many, it is new, and, as compared with older hair removal treatments, relatively untested. What this means is that we really don't know yet just how safe or unsafe it might be and the potential for side effects. The other issue with the newness of this laser hair removal process is that no one has used it for long enough to have continuity of statistics that would indicate the rate of response to the laser hair removal treatment and the rate at which the hair grows back after each laser hair removal treatment.

Two of the most important elements to consider in qualifying potential laser hair removal candidates are skin color and hair color.

1. Skin Colour. Light skin makes laser hair removal easier to perform. Due to the lighter pigmentation, the laser hair removal results happen more quickly. Fewer treatments are required, and better, faster results are obtained. People with darker skin can be treated, but results are slower. They just have to be content with the knowledge that it will take longer to see results and a greater number of treatments are probably going to be needed.

2. Hair Colour. Laser hair removal works best on dark hair. The reason for the difference is the pigment pheomelanin, which is found only in red or blonde hair. It is very hard for a laser to penetrate pheomelanin. On the other hand, the laser goes easily through eumelanin, the pigment found in black and brown hair.

Treatment costs can add up to more than $1,000 as multiple treatment sessions may be necessary to obtain optimal results. This is largely due to the fact that laser hair removal is most effective for hair which is in the anagen phase (the growth phase). Since hair grows in cycles, not all of the hairs are in the anagen phase at any given time. Thus, more sessions are necessary to target hairs while they are in anagen.

How much and how long an individual respond to complete hair removal by laser hair removal differ from case to case. So, no hair removal clinics can guarantee 100% permanent results by a certain period. Consumers are nevertheless well advised, to consult with licensed professional and reputable laser hair removal centers.