HOW DOES LASER HAIR REMOVAL WORK?
The hair pigment (i.e. color) absorbs the optical laser and radiofrequency energies, converting these energies into heat that permanently destroys or injures the hair follicle, thus making it unable to continue to grow hair. Because not all hair is in the growing phase at the same time, a series of treatments is necessary to achieve long-term hair reduction. Laser treatments are repeated every six to eight weeks.
The three phases of hair growth:
Anagen- The active, growing phase of hair. The hair in the anagen phase contains an abundance of melanin. This is the stage treated by the laser.
Catagen- The regression phase when the hair stops growing.
Telogen- The resting phase during which old hair falls out in preparation for a new hair.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT? DOES LASER HAIR REMOVAL REALLY WORK?
On your first visit, we will review your medical history and determine if laser hair removal is right for you. Some patients start their first laser hair removal treatment on the same day as their initial consultation. The length of a laser session typically takes a few minutes to an hour depending on the size of the area being treated. Facial hair is treated in 10-15 minutes, while the legs and back can take up to an hour. Because the laser tends to treat hair follicles that are in the active growth phase, anywhere from 6-10 treatments may be required. This varies among individuals as well as the particular body area.
Patients should expect to have a lot less hair, usually an 80-90 percent reduction in the number of growing hairs. Usually the follicles that remain have been damaged and produce a finer hair than prior to the laser treatments. The need for shaving is also decreased considerably.
The appearance of the treated area immediately after a laser session will vary depending on the extent of the treatment and the skin type. Immediate after-effects, if any, are minor. They may include redness and swelling, which disappear in a short time. After each treatment, patients should avoid exercise and exertion for 24 hours. Perspiration may increased irritation caused by the laser. Patients should avoid sun exposure as well in between treatments. And finally, waxing or plucking hairs between treatments should be avoided as well.