The hassle and skin irritation that comes with shaving on a regular basis is enough to drive anyone mad. Laser hair removal was first invented in the 1970s to help relieve men and women from the constant inconvenience that comes with traditional hair removal. Since the treatment was first invented the process has come a long way; today’s laser hair removal is now quick, painless and highly effective at removing even the most coarse, dark hair.
What is it?
Laser hair removal uses laser light and the heat it generates to evaporate the body’s hair right at its root. Laser hair removal has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the permanent reduction of hair growth. Laser hair removal consists of a manually-wielded hair removal wand, which when focused on a specific area of the body, removes all traces of hair both above and below the skin. Before you begin the doctor will provide you with special goggles to help protect your eyes during the procedure. The procedure is painless, although the patient will experience a warming sensation on areas of the body where they are being treated. Most dermatologists administering the treatment also use a cooling device which blows cool air onto the skin to relieve any discomfort felt by the patient.
How does it work?
There are several types of laser hair removal, but the most common technique uses selective photothermolysis (SPTL). Selective photothermolysis is the use of high-intensity lasers at a controlled wavelength and interval to help remove the hair and its root with high thermal temperatures. Laser hair removal targets the hair’s follicle. Light is absorbed more completely by darker matter, so laser hair removal also targets the dark melanin surrounding the hair follicle, which helps promote hair growth. The heat and intensity of the laser evaporates the hair and its follicle and also stunts the production of melanin leading to permanent hair reduction. Most patients usually see the best results when the opt for 3 to 8 sets of treatment. There are minimal side effects from laser hair removal, however the skin may be tender to the touch for one or two days after the procedure. The patient may also experience a slight tingling sensation, much like that experienced after a sunburn. Gentle washing with soap and water the use of aloe lotion can help keep the treated area clean after the treatment and reduce the tingling sensation.
Laser hair removal permanently reduces hair growth, meaning when hair begins to grow back it will be more fine and significantly less in quantity than the original hair that was in that area. Laser hair removal can be performed on a number of areas of the body, but the most common areas include the face, armpits, legs and bikini line. Laser hair removal has proved to be most effective on individuals with darker hair; however, treatments are also effective on individuals with lighter hair and constant improvements are being made to the process and its effectiveness.