How do lasers get rid of the hair?
The key to laser hair removal is the melanin in the hair shaft and the hair follicle. Once we set the wavelength of the laser energy to match your hair and skin color, we deliver the pulse of laser energy. The light energy hits the hair, and the melanin absorbs it. That energy converts to heat, and it travels down the hair shaft into the follicle at its base. This heat damages or destroys the follicle, precluding it from growing hair in the future.
The cycle matters
The key to successfully zapping unwanted hair is the phase of the growth cycle that the hair is in. To be truly effective, the hair should be in the anagen (growth) phase. When hairs are in this phase, they respond very well to laser energy. The catagen phase is an intermediate phase, moving from growth to rest. Hair in this phase still responds somewhat to hair removal energy, but not well toward the end of this phase. The final phase is telogen, which is the resting or shedding stage. Hair in the telogen phase isn’t affected by laser energy, as the body is already in the process of shedding the hair. This doesn’t allow the energy to travel down the shaft and damage the follicle. For hair removal to be truly effective, the hair needs to still be actively anchored in the follicle, which occurs during the anagen phase. Only about 15-20 percent of your hairs are in this phase at any one time. That’s why a series of treatments is necessary — to catch more and more hairs in the growth phase.
Millions of hairs, all living as freelancers
You would think all of the millions of hairs on our bodies would be working together like one big hairy team. Nope. Each hair is like an independent contractor. Every hair on the human body can be in any of the above-described three phases. And since the average adult human body has around 5 million hair follicles (men a few hundred thousand more, women a few hundred thousand less), that means many hairs aren’t in the right phase. That’s why it takes multiple appointments to really get rid of 85% or more of your unwanted hair. To hit more and more of the targeted hair in the right phase, we recommend usually from 6-8 laser hair removal treatments. We know that’s quite a spread, but different people respond differently to laser hair removal, so as your series progresses you can decide if you’re about at the percentage of hair removal you want or if you want to continue with more sessions.
Trust our expertise
Everywhere businesses are adding laser hair removal to their services, but expertise is important. There are two factors that are important in determining the right type of treatment, laser wavelength and pulse duration. Longer wavelengths penetrate deeper under the skin. Pulse durations determine the amount of thermal damage that can be delivered into the follicle. Short pulse durations give more thermal damage, while longer pulse durations are safer for patients with darker skin.
At AnewSkin MedSpa, our team has the highest level of training in the use of custom hair removal protocols for the entire laser hair removal process. That means you can rest assured you won’t have any burning and the hair removal will be as efficient as possible.
Want to ditch the razors and wax? Schedule your first treatment online.