Simply put, Laser hair removal is long-lasting and very efficient. Although, this does not necessarily mean that the hair removal becomes permanent after the application of laser ray. But some people have been observed to experience total and permanent hair loss after an average of seven sessions, there a few who even encountered hair loss in a shorter period of about three times.
The way laser work is by using the laser ray which passes through the skin as heat. The light energy is converted into heat energy as the laser beam goes through the skin, this is what then heats up the hair follicle causing them to stop growing new hair strands for a long time. The time it takes for hair to grow back after laser ray is more compared to shaving or waxing.
Even though laser hair removal is not entirely permanent, but it greatly reduces the amount of hair that grows in that specific area. A study has revealed that laser hair removal works best in people with Fitzpatrick skin type three and four. These are people with skin colors that are fair to beige with golden undertones, and those with olive or light brown, they also possess hair color that is both dark blonde or light brown and dark brown.
A clinical study was conducted by Sonja Grunewald, Marc Oliver Bodendorf, Alexander Zygouris, Jan Christoph Simon, and Uwe Paasch (2013) on the long-term efficacy of linear-scanning 808 nm Diode laser for the removal of hair in comparison to the scanned Alexandrite laser. The clinical research was carried out in a population of thirty-one adults who had various skin types from Fitzpatrick skin type one to six. These people were subjected to laser hair removal for a period of 6 months with an interval of a month between each treatment.
The primary factors they were looking out for was the efficiency of both lasers and how much satisfaction they gave the patient. One was used in the left armpit, and the other was used in removing hair in the right axilla. After the experiment, they observed that the axillary density of hair in the armpits was significantly obliterated.
The only difference observed through the use of computerized hair detection system was only about 1% to 2%. Finally, they concluded that participants with skin type one to four had better results and the hair density was remarkably reduced. Laser hair removal is by far the best form of hair removal when compared to other methods such as waxing, sugaring, tweezer epilators, threading, and shaving, especially regarding long-lasting duration. These other forms of hair removal only eliminate the hair on the surface of the skin but do not affect the underlying follicle which is the source of the hair strands, where they grow from.
There are many unique benefits and advantages of removing unwanted hair with the laser ray. One of these attributes in the fact that it can focus on the particular type of hair one wants to be removed. This is also safe as the beam of light emanating from the laser ray is not hazardous to the skin of a person. In the research earlier talked about by Sonja Grunewald et al., about half of the participants complained about pain, edema, and erythema but they only appeared for a very brief period, and they disappeared permanently.
Removing Hair with Laser
There are different indications for epilation such as the more familiar cosmetic reason in the medical condition – Hirsutism, another is Trichiasis, which is the abnormal growth of eyelashes. On-screen recently, in the concluding part of the year 2017, the movie that starred Hugh Jackman as P. T. Barnum, Zac Efron as Barnum’s partner, Zendaya and Keala Settle. Keala Joan Settle played the role of Lettie Lutz, who is a bearded lady in the musical – The Greatest Showman. Due to the hirsutism of the character, she was stigmatized as a freak, and no one wanted to have anything to do with her. Her role was based on a combination of real-life people, Josephine Clofullia and Annie Jones, who worked with P. T. Barnum during their lifetime.
One could imagine how many times they must have tried shaving but it probably only worsened their situation. Before it was turned into a circus attraction, one can only imagine if they had the chance of getting laser hair removal maybe they must have opted for that instead of choosing stardom in the circus. The invention or innovation of removing unwanted hair is one of those things this new age has thankfully brought to life.
Removing hair with the use of laser beam is relatively fast. Small portions of the body such as the lower lips can take only about 60 seconds while larger areas like the back may require up to an hour to apply the laser ray for the removal of the hair to occur. The mechanism behind the removal of the hair is in the damaging of the hair follicles with the heat from the laser ray.
The function of the hair follicles in the body is to produce hair strands regularly but when these are destroyed they stop the growth of new hair strands temporarily. Although on the further exposure they may be destroyed totally or not, as hair follicle always have a way of regenerating. One needs to prepare adequately for the procedure by staying away from unnecessary exposure to sunlight for a period of six weeks before and after the process.
One should also avoid waxing and plucking before going through laser hair removal. This is because waxing and plucking remove the root of the hair strands temporarily. This would have eliminated one of the primary targets of the laser ray after going through the skin.
The laser ray also targets the melanin especially in people with darker skin and hair colors. The effects that it creates by lightening the color of the hair is that even when the density of the hair is not remarkably reduced, it does not appear as much as it is since the color of the hair strands is now lighter.
Cobb, C. (2017). Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/is-laser-hair-removal-permanent [Accessed 8 Mar. 2018].
Gardner, S. (2017). Laser Hair Removal: Benefits, Side Effects, and Cost. [online] WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/beauty/laser-hair-removal#1 [Accessed 8 Mar. 2018].
Grunewald, S., Bodendorf, M. O., Zygouris, A., Simon, J. C., & Paasch, U. (2014). Long‐term efficacy of linear‐scanning 808 nm diode laser for hair removal compared to a scanned alexandrite laser. Lasers in surgery and medicine, 46(1), 13-19.