How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal works by using a combination of light and heat to target hair follicles. A laser machine is designed to emit energy in the form of heat and light, light is attracted to and absorbed by Melanin (the substance within your hair that contains the pigment or colour). Heat travels down the hair shaft to the root where the heat destroys the interconnecting cells that connect the hair root to the blood supply that nourishes it. If these interconnecting cells are completely destroyed a new hair can’t grow, this may take a number of sessions as hair has to be in a particular phase of growth for this to take place. This is a completely safe procedure as the laser will only absorb into these specific structures and will not damage the surrounding skin or tissues.
For laser to work a hair has to be in a specific phase of growth, there are 3 phases of growth
Active growth phase – Hair is nourished by the blood supply which allows hair to grow – 2-6 years
Transition phase – Hair stops growing and follicle detaches from the blood supply – 1-2 weeks
Shedding phase – Hair dies without nourishment and sheds from the follicle – 6-10 weeks
Back to Anagen
Cycle begins again
For laser to successfully work only hairs that are in the Anagen phase will be targeted on each session, hairs that are in the other 2 phases will not be affected. Hair follicles change phases at different rates depending on the area of the body being treated but only hairs in the Anagen phase of growth and will therefore respond to treatment.
Hairs have to contain dark pigment
Laser will only target pigmented hairs and will only work on mid brown, brown and black hairs, the laser relies on this pigment to target the hair for absorption.
If the hair does not contain melanin the laser will not absorb into it and the heat transferred will have no effect. Lighter brown hairs may reduce slightly but they will not be fully removed. White, red and grey hairs will not respond to laser at all. If there is a mixture of light and dark hairs in an area the laser will only target the darker ones and the lighter ones will remain.
We have been using Cynosure Elite lasers for the last 10 years, all of our lasers are FDA approved and have undergone rigorous clinical testing to deem them safe and also to prove they are effective at permanently reducing hair. For lasers to work at their optimum levels they must be fully serviced and maintained, all of our lasers are fully serviced and lamps changed on an ongoing basis to ensure you get the very best results from each laser session that you have with us. Our lasers use 2 different wavelenghts one for lighter skins – Alexandrite 755nm and another for darker skins 1064nm.
There is more published clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of medical grade laser treatment, our lasers have FDA seal of approval (Food and Drug Administration in the US) and have gone through clinical testing to achieve such a standard.
Medical grade lasers give the best results
There are a number of laser hair removal machines available today and for the best results we would always recommend choosing a medical grade laser for your treatments to ensure the best results. You may have heard of IPL and their is a difference between these machines and medical grade lasers.
Why Is Laser Different To IPL?
Lasers are more selective and more effective at targeting melanin within the hair than IPL. Per pulse of energy delivered by an IPL system only 30% of that energy is absorbed by Melanin, when using our Medical grade lasers approx 95% of that energy is absorbed by melanin. This means less sessions and better long term results.
- Lasers penetrate deeper into tissue, IPLs penetrate approx 2mm beneath the skin, laser will penetrate 4-5mm, this is the ideal depth to target the structures that will disable a hair follicle.
- Lasers have more advanced cooling systems, making treatment more comfortable.
- Treatments with laser are quicker and more efficient.
- IPLs cannot be used to treat darker skin types, lasers can treat darker skins very successfully without the risk of pigmentation.
If you are considering laser hair removal it’s important that you research the type of laser being used for your treatment. If you are spending time and money having sessions done you want them to be as effective as possible and you want to see long lasting results. If you have any questions and would like to speak to one of our consultants about laser contact us today to arrange a free consultation.