Laser hair removal is an office procedure that is very effective in reducing unwanted hair in the treated areas. According to the 2011 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report published by the American Society of Plastic Surgery, laser hair removal is among the top non-surgical procedures performed in the United States.
How does laser hair removal work?
During the treatment, the laser passes through the skin and targets the hair follicle to damage it while preserving the skin. The laser targets the pigment in the hair follicle. Both light and dark skinned people can be treated with laser hair removal. For best results, multiple treatments are required.
Why does laser hair removal require multiple treatments?
Multiple treatments are required because hair growth is cyclical. Three phases of hair growth are anagen (growth), catagen (regression) and telogen (resting). At any one time, your hairs are in different stages of the growth cycle. Unfortunately, the hair can only be treated with a laser during the anagen or growth phase. As a single treatment is performed, only a percentage of the hairs are treated. The hairs in the catagen and telogen phases are not treatable and will continue to grow normally. This can give the appearance that the hairs have grown back or the treatment has failed. Therefore, we stage laser hair removal to best target the hairs in the active growth phase.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
The goal of laser hair removal is to permanently reduce the amount and darkness of unwanted hair, but will not remove all hair. Therefore, laser hair removal is more accurately laser hair reduction.
Is there any down time?
Laser hair removal has minimal downtime and is performed in the office. Some mild redness can be present at the hair follicle after treatment. The treated hairs will fall out over the next couple of days. You should practice sun protection after any laser treatment of the skin.
Who is not a good candidate?
- Someone with recent sun exposure
- Someone who is pregnant
- Someone who is taking medications that make you more photosensitive