Thinking about laser hair removal but not sure what to expect? Many people have heard about laser hair removal, which has become very popular, and have questions like: Why do I need multiple treatments? Can I get laser hair removal if I have light-colored hair? What about the color of my skin?
These are valid questions!
If you’re thinking of starting laser hair removal treatments, you can usually receive a free consultation so that your provider can take a look at your skin and hair and give you realistic expectations of what kind of results you will see with treatment.
Until then, here’s some information about why multiple treatments and finding a reputable, experienced practitioner to perform the procedure are both necessary when it comes to laser hair removal.
Growth Cycle of Hair
Many people want to know: Is laser hair removal permanent? And: How many laser hair removal treatments will I need?
When considering your treatment plan for laser hair removal, the growth cycle of the hair makes multiple treatments necessary. And while the hair follicles that are damaged by laser hair removal are permanently damaged, laser hair removal is more of a permanent reduction of hair rather than a permanent removal of all hair.
Some specific information to explain:
Hair grows in four phases starting from the follicle, or root, which is underneath the skin. The anagen phase is the growing phase, the catagen phase is the regression phase, when the hair follicle shrinks and begins to detach from the follicle, the telogen phase is the resting phase and occurs when the old hair rests and a new hair begins to grow in its place, and finally the exogen phase is the shedding phase, in which resting hair finally releases from the follicle completely and sheds.
Hairs can be at a different stage of the growth cycle at any given time. Laser energy can only affect hair follicles that are in the active growth phase.
Very simply, the laser damages the hair follicle, causing it to shrink. After that, the hair it can produce is a very fine and slow growing hair.
A single pulse of a laser can treat hundreds of hair follicles in only a fraction of a second, so one treatment only takes a few minutes, but multiple treatments are necessary to adequately reduce hair growth by 75-90 percent.
As you may have heard, hair color does matter in the world of laser hair removal.
While dark hair is ideal because of its pigment, even the lightest blonde hair might have enough pigment for the laser to work. However, most laser hair removal practitioners recommend blondes do not use tanning beds, spray tans, or self-tanners during hair removal treatments for the lasers to work best.
If you are blonde and worry that laser hair removal might not work well for you, stop worrying and just ask. You should be able to find out at your consultation if you are a good candidate for the treatment or not.
All skin types are eligible for laser hair removal. Still, different lasers and wavelengths are necessary to treat different skin types.
Make sure you educate yourself about which laser should work best for your skin type and find a provider that is experienced enough to know the difference as well.
When considering laser hair removal, it’s of the utmost importance that you find a reputable, experienced practitioner who will understand your specific skin type needs. In fact, any time you go in for a skin or laser treatment, you should make sure you thoroughly research the provider and ensure it is a respected company with an experienced and knowledgeable staff.
Still have questions? Your laser hair removal provider should be happy to answer them. (And if not, find a new provider!)