How Does Laser Hair Removal Work? And Does it Work?

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work? And Does it Work?

Hair.  How can something so simple cause so many problems?  Not only do we need to tackle the hair on our heads (colour, length, style, thickness) but we also have body hair to deal with.  This is a topic on which most people are united: we don't want it, and we want to get rid of it is easily and painlessly as possible.
If you're wondering how does laser hair removal work, you've come to the right place.

What Is A Laser?

Before we can answer the question does laser hair removal work, we need to first understand what a laser actually is.  If you're like most people, the word ‘laser’ conjures up images of giant machines desired by villains threatening to destroy the earth.
Rest assured that the lasers shown in old Batman movies are nothing like lasers used in laser hair removal.  By definition, a laser is an electronic device that generates a beam of light. In the medical realm, lasers are specially designed to be gentle enough for human skin yet strong enough to achieve hair removal.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

We now know that lasers generate a beam of light, but how does this remove hair?  In particular, how does laser hair removal work? If you think back to your high school science classes, you will remember that light can be converted to heat.  The light from laser hair removal equipment focuses on the pigment in the hair, which absorbs the light and converts it to heat. This heat then destroys the hair follicles. 
The heat does double duty: it first attacks the hair follicle bulb, causing that particular hair to die and fall out.  It also destroys the hair follicle stem cells, preventing the hair from re-growing in the future.

The Laser Hair Removal Process

Let's take a look at the laser hair removal process so you can understand exactly what will happen when you show up for your first treatment.
Before your treatments can begin, you will need to have a consultation with one of our trained clinicians.  In this consultation, the clinician will work with you to find out more about you, your issues with excess hair, and the results you are hoping to achieve.  The clinician will also ensure that you are fully informed of the process from start to finish and that any questions you may have are addressed.
At your first session, the laser machine will direct a concentrated beam of light directly at your hair follicles.  The light will concentrate on the pigment in your hair, breaking down the stem cells to destroy the existing hair and prevent future hair growth.

Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

When you've been thinking about laser hair removal, does it work? is probably the first question on your mind, followed closely by questions about whether laser hair removal is permanent.  While laser hair removal is technically defined as a permanent method of hair removal, this definition must be treated with some caution. 
Let's have a look at the definition of "permanent" adopted by the United States Food and Drug Administration.  According to the FDA, laser hair removal is permanent in that it causes a stable, long-term reduction in hair regrowth following a treatment regime.
This means that laser hair removal will permanently reduce the total number of hairs on your body.  However, some hairs are likely to regrow, which can be treated in further ongoing sessions.

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?

To answer the question of how long does laser hair removal last, we need to keep in mind that hair growth is a complicated topic, with hair growing in various stages and at different rates.  Added to this is the fact that medication and hormones (for example, those caused by pregnancy and menopause) can influence the amount and rate of hair growth.
Your clinician will be able to give you a better idea of how many sessions you will need, but most people have between three and eight treatments to achieve their desired laser hair removal result.  Following this, most people can get away with small touch-up treatments every 6 to 12 months.

Does Skin Or Hair Colour Make A Difference?

Here's one of the biggest questions we get asked about laser hair removal how does it work on different skin colours and hair colours?  Remember that medical laser machines target the pigment in your hair. Very light-coloured hair doesn't have much pigment, making it difficult for the laser to perform its task. 
Laser hair removal works best when there is the greatest amount of contrast between the colour of the hair and the colour of the skin.  This means that people with very fair skin and very dark air are the best candidates for laser hair removal.
There are special types of lasers that can be used on people with darker skin.  Your clinician will be able to advise whether your skin and hair colour combination makes you a good candidate for laser hair removal treatments.

Tips For Success

Prepare Before Your Treatment

To get the best results from your laser hair removal treatment, make sure you follow all of the guidelines to prepare your body beforehand.  Your clinician will explain all of these considerations to you during your initial consultation. 
As a guide, you will be advised to follow these guidelines before your first treatment:
  • Reduce sun exposure and refrain from using tanning products and procedures for two weeks;
  • Avoid all types of hair removal or bleaching for four weeks;
  • Avoid any type of exfoliation (including products containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and vitamin A) for one week;
  • Do not use any make up, serums, creams, or lotions on the day of your treatment;
  • Shave or trim your hair just before your first treatment so that each hair is between one and two millimetres long.

Follow Care Instructions

You may feel a little disappointed following your first laser treatment because it will look like the hair removal process didn't work.  Try not to worry, because it is a natural part of laser hair removal that your treated hairs will fall out between two and three weeks following the procedure.  It's important that you refrain from removing the hairs yourself (as tempting as this can be!) because there is always a risk of infection if you do so.
Your clinician will let you know if there are any other skin care regimes you should adopt following your laser hair removal treatment.  This may include avoiding saunas or swimming and wearing tight clothing for the first 24 hours after your treatment.

Book A Consultation

Now that you understand how does laser hair removal works, you can make an appointment to speak with one of our friendly clinicians. Your clinician will be happy to go through every aspect of the laser hair removal treatment process, and will make sure that all of your questions and concerns are fully addressed before we proceed.
It's time to stop dealing with unwanted body hair and take action today.  Start the process by contacting the friendly team at Clinica Lase.