Basics of Laser Hair Removal

ID-10097120Growth of hairs in unwanted areas of skin is a common problem among men and women. There are several ways of hair removal and each hair removal method has its advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the user to select the hair removal method after learning about various hair removal techniques and their advantages and disadvantages. Some hair removal technique may be suitable for hair removal ate some particular areas of skin, over other commonly used hair removal methods.

Laser hair removal is commonly used hair removal technique (laser is also used for hair growth). In laser hair removal, pulses of laser light is used to destroy hair follicles. Destroying hair follicles by pulsed laser light gives a longer lasting hair free skin. Laser hair removal is being used since 1990s and gaining popularity over time. Most dermatologists approves the effectiveness of pulsed laser for hair removal and recommended by many dermatologists.

How laser hair removal actually act in removing hair?

The principle used in laser hair removal is called selective photothermolysis. In this principle there is matching of pulse duration and specific wavelength of light for optimal effect on the targeted tissue (i.e. hair follicles in this case) and minimal effect on the surrounding tissues. On the skin laser can cause localized damage by selectively heating dark objects (melanin pigment in case of skin and hair follicles), but sparing heating light objects and thereby does little if any heating and damage to surrounding tissues in skin. The target tissues (i.e. hair follicles) can be made dark by use of chromophore for better and precise targeting. Chromophore also occur naturally in hair follicles (melanin is a natural chromophore), hence can be easily targeted by laser light.

Most laser hair removal products use melanin for targeting the hair follicles. Melanin is responsible for color of the hair (as well as skin color; due to excess melanin black people have black hair and due to lack of melanin, whites have light skin color) to be black, brown, or blonde. Laser hair removal works best if skin color is light and hair color is black of brown. Laser hair removal also works best for coarse hairs. Blondes with light skin color may not get good result with laser hair removal technique, because of lack of melanin, they may have to use artificial chromophore for laser hair removal. For the same reason, laser hair removal may not work in black people.

USFDA has approved laser hair removal technique for “permanent hair reduction”, which itself indicate the effectiveness of the technique for hair removal. Hair removal may become permanent in many individuals, while in some it may not become permanent, but certainly provide long duration of hair free skin in treated areas.

Because of the efficacy and rapid results, laser hair removal is now a popular hair removal technique and available in most clinics where dermatologists practice. The effectiveness to a large extent depends on the efficacy and skill of the laser operator.

 

Image courtesy of [hin255] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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