Laser hair removal is a popular procedure for getting rid of unwanted hair. Some claim that laser hair removal is the most effective permanent hair removal technique, but this claim too generalized. There is no certainty that laser hair removal will permanently remove hair. The results are still variable. Individuals respond differently to laser hair treatments. Others may experience permanent hair loss, but in most cases, the hair loss is semi-permanent, which means more laser treatments must be done at intervals.
Who is the ideal candidate for this type of hair removal procedure?
You might think that if you have the money to pay for the laser hair removal treatments, you are the right person for the technique. This is not entirely true. Even if you can afford the treatment, your skin pigmentation needs to be considered. Pigment gives color to the skin and hair. In order for laser hair removal to be effective, the hair color needs to be darker than the skin. So if you have dark, rough hair and skin that is darker or more tanned, you may have to consider other hair removal procedures.
Melanin gives color to the hair. For the laser hair removal treatment to work the way it should, the melanin should be able to take in the energy from the laser. Inside the hair follicle, melanin surrounds the part responsible for producing hair. When the laser destroys the melanin, this part inside the hair follicle is left unprotected. The high amounts of heat coming from the laser will stop any more hair from being produced in that hair follicle.
The darker the skin tone, the higher the level of melanin. This means that dark skin absorbs more of the laser and only a few of the laser are actually able to penetrate through the follicle. To keep the laser absorption of the skin to a minimum, cold compress is often applied onto the skin during a laser hair removal treatment. The laser ends up bypassing the cold skin and heads towards the melanin inside the follicle.
Another way to cool the skin is by using "multi-pulsing" laser technology. The laser is pulsing instead of streaming. This method makes it so that less heat is transmitted at intervals, helping to keep the skin cool while being able to destroy the melanin in the hair follicles.
There are several devices used for laser hair removal procedures. Some of them are:
- A long pulse laser called the Alexandrite
- Diode, which is used on skins that are darker
- Q-Switched Nd:YAG, a laser device that delivers two wavelengths working on deep and near-surface hair follicles
- Ruby, which uses red laser beams that specifically target melanin