What is Hair Removal?
How Does it Work?
The removal or permanent reduction of unwanted hair by laser light depends on the scientific principle of selective photothermolysis. When the correct wavelength of laser light is applied to hair in the treatment area, melanin in the hair absorbs the light, which is converted into heat energy. Buildup of thermal energy causes the destruction of hair follicles as well as associated stem cells and dermal papillae, while the surrounding skin is undamaged. Some follicles will only be damaged or may regrow, so numerous treatments are required to reduce or eliminate unwanted hair effectively for a persistent result.
To successfully remove unwanted hair by laser treatment, one must carefully apply energy so that hair follicles are damaged but nearby skin and tissues are spared. This can be more or less difficult depending on each patient’s individual characteristics such as skin color, hair color, and hair thickness. When treating hair with a laser, one can account for these characteristics by adjusting treatment parameters such as fluence, pulse width, and repetition rate. Many devices are limited in their utility because the different parameters cannot be adjusted independently (if at all). Understandably, treatment of darker skin is more challenging due to the higher concentration of melanin in the skin as a competing chromophore; in those cases treatment may be too painful or cause burning.
Laser energy is applied to hair follicle, heat destroys follicle and prohibits future growth.
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