Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a medical and cosmetic hair removalprocedure that targets hair follicles with laser energy. The melanin pigment in the skin absorbs the laser heat. The melanin in the the follicle is responsible for the re-growth of hair. The darker the hair color, the more melanin the hair contains and the more heat it can absorb. When the follicle absorbs enough heat, the re-growth mechanism becomes permanently damaged. The hair follicle dies and the hair falls out. It take quite some time before new hair can be regenerated.
Laser hair removal is not a recommended hair removal treatment for everyone. A very tanned person with blonde hair is the wrong candidate for laser hair removal, while a fair person with dark hair is the ideal patient. The darker the hair the more laser heat the follicle can absorb leading to the permanent damage of that hair follicle. In almost all cases, laser hair removal requires multiple treatments because hair can only be effectively treated when it is in the stage of growth termed the anagen phase. Since hair grows in cycles and does not enter the anagen phase at once, sessions for laser hair removal are spread out to treat hair follicles that were dormant in previous sessions. The number of sessions required varies depending on the person.
Prior to laser hair removal, electrolysis was the favored method. In laser hair removal, the laser shines over an area of skin that encompasses several hairs, treating multiple follicles at once. Electrolysis directs an electric shock to each individual hair and is commonly reported to be uncomfortable. Laser hair removal may cause the skin to feel as if it's lightly sunburned but is fairly pain-free. The best candidates for laser hair removal are people with light colored skin and relatively dark colored hair. People with darker skin may need a lot more treatments and they do run the risk of changing the pigment of the skin in the treatment areas to a much lighter or darker color. This is usually temporary but it is an unwanted side effect.
While patients commonly require three to five sessions for a good result, an upper lip is likely to require fewer treatments than the legs, back or chest.
The Benefits of IPL over Laser:
1. Larger areas can be treated at one time due to the overall increase in total joules per cm2/second.
2. IPL also works on persons who are outside of the acceptable limit for the Fitzpatrick skin pigment grading scale. A type 6 could be treated safely (with sapphire optics).
3. No hair is vaporized so there is much lower risk of pitting around the hair follicle itself (from intense heat). IPL gives added benefits as a result of the hair removal treatment: improved tone, texture, and vitality of the skin is commonly noted.
4. How many treatments will I need? Like laser epilation, IPL is a progressively permanent procedure. This means that improvement will be noted over a series of treatments.