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How Does Laser Hair Removal Work

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work

Laser hair removal is a safe, painless and the most effective way of removing unwanted body hair. Until recently, the treatment for laser removal was available at clinics and spas only. But recently, FDA has approved a few products that can be safely used at home. Let's take a look at how they work.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Since historic ages, women have been obsessed with unwanted hair. Markets are overflowing with a range of hair removing creams or lotions and several other products. Creams and lotions smell awful and contain harmful chemicals that can damage the skin. Though waxing and shaving are the preferred methods, none of them are capable of removing hair permanently. Moreover, waxing is an extremely painful method. Shaving is a quick method, but it removes hair for a short while only. Also, the hair that grows back is thicker than before. Electrolysis was a popular method of permanent hair removal until a few years back. But it is also a painful method as the person needs to be pricked by several needles. Of all these methods, laser treatment has emerged as the most efficient and popular treatment for hair removal. It is almost a painless method as the person only experiences a slight burning sensation and a snap like that of a rubber band.

How Does a Laser Hair Removal System Work

Laser treatment makes use of laser beam, which is targeted on the surface of the body from where the hair has to be removed. The beam penetrates the surface and is transformed into heat energy. This heat is then utilized to destroy the hair follicle and thus deactivate the growth of hair. As the hair growth takes place in cycles, the hair exhibits different phases of growth. Hence, a single sitting is not enough to deactivate it at once. Commonly, the hair can be permanently removed within 6 to 8 sittings at intervals of every 3-6 weeks. Until recently, you could get laser hair removal done at spas and clinics only, that too at a hefty price. However, the FDA has given approval for home laser treatment products, which means you can now do the treatment yourself, within the confinement of your own home.

The home laser product comes in a kit, along with a charger and a sensor. The sensor is used to determine the tone of your skin. The home laser product can be used by people with light skin tones only. Dark skinned people are likely to get blisters as their skin is rich in melanin. Once your skin tone is accepted by the sensor, you need to undergo a patch test to check that the product does not induce any side-effects. Patch test should be done 24 hours prior to your actual treatment. Trim your hair short and don't wax, for about 2 weeks before the treatment. The laser used for home purpose is a small, portable one that works by transferring pulses of laser energy into the hair follicle, thus making it inactive. The deactivated hair starts falling within 2 weeks of the treatment. The procedures need to be repeated after every 3 to 4 weeks for around 6 to 8 months until the hair ceases to grow.

One has to be particularly careful while using a home laser, as injuries have been reported because of the applying of laser pulse repeatedly on the same area. Though, the product offers variable settings for the laser pulse, the fact that only a single follicle can be targeted by the pulse at a given time makes the procedure lengthy and tiresome. Another drawback is that it can only remove hair that has high content of melanin in it. Hence, people with lighter skin tones and dark hair are likely to benefit the most from this product.

Home laser removal is a good option if you are unwilling to pay the hefty fees charged by a practitioner. Research is being conducted to make the procedure less lengthy and effective even for people with dark skin tones or light hair.