20 Apr How Laser Hair Removal Works
How It Works
To understand how laser hair removal works, it’s helpful to understand how your hair works.
How Your Hair Grows
Hair grows from deep within hair follicles, which are thin cavities embedded in the skin. Hair does not grow continuously but grows in a three-phase cycle.
- Anagen Phase. This phase is where the hair actively grows. The Anagen phase typically lasts for several months and is the best phase for Laser Hair Removal.
- Catagen Phase. During this brief phase, the hair bulb regresses and begins to shrink.
- Telogen Phase. The final phase is a resting phase which lasts a few months. During the Telogen phase, the hair is released from the follicle. After the resting phase is complete, the hair will restart the Anagen or growth phase.
While the rate at which hair grows differs by individual, the length of the hair growth cycle generally depends on the type of hair and area of the body. For example, the active growth phase of the hair on your head may last several years, while hair on the body has an active growth phase that may last only a few months.
During laser hair removal procedures, a laser device emits light energy that travels through the skin and is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle and hair shaft. Pigments are the substances that give skin and hair its color (also known as melanin). The energy absorbed damages the pigmented hair follicle, which impairs its ability to grow. Hair follicles that are in the anagen, or active growth phase, have more pigment and absorb more energy, and typically respond the best to treatments. For this reason, it typically takes multiple treatments to achieve the best results – it’s important to “catch” your hair in this active growth phase when you are receiving treatments.
Technology We Use
There are many devices for laser hair removal however, we use the best in laser technology, the Cynosure® Elite+™. The Elite+™ uses two proven laser wavelengths that provide treatments for patients of all skin types. Treatments with this system are fast, effective, and safe.
With spot sizes up to 24mm, the Elite+™ laser provides fast treatments, allowing you to resume your normal activities as quickly as possible. These larger sized spots make for quick treatments of larger areas such as the back, legs, or chest. Smaller spot sizes are used for smaller areas, such as the upper lip.
The Elite+™ contains two different types of laser wavelengths that provide effective treatments on patients of all skin types. One of the lasers is better for lighter skinned patients, and the other is better for darker skinned patients.
The Elite+™ system has been in clinical use for many years and has been proven safe in many clinical publications.
What To Expect On The Day Of Treatment
Prior to your procedure you should make sure the area being treated in freshly shaven. This will allow for effective energy delivery of the laser device to your hair follicles, thus providing a more effective treatment. During the treatment, the laser specialist will guide the device over the treatment area. As he or she does, it will deliver light energy, which travels through your skin and is absorbed by the hair follicles. You may feel cold air blowing throughout the treatment for added comfort. You will also hear a slight beep as the laser delivers this energy into your skin. It is normal to feel a slight snapping like a rubber band as the energy is being delivered.
The hair follicles that absorb energy from the laser will be damaged. Hairs that were present in the follicles at the time of treatment will fall out over the next couple of weeks and future hair growth will be impaired. Since not all hairs are actively growing at the same time multiple treatments are required for optimal results. As the follicles in the transitional and resting periods return to the active growth phase, you may notice some hair regrowth but not as thick as it was before the treatment. This regrowth will become thinner and lighter with each subsequent treatment until there is little, to no hair at all.
Looking for a professional hair removal treatment?
Book an appointment today with NKD Laser Clinic.
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