The laser emits a soft beam of light that passes safely through the skin and is absorbed by the hair follicle. The energy is transformed into heat, which permanently prevents the hair follicle from producing new hairs. Although laser hair removal effectively delays hair growth for long periods of time, it usually doesn't result in permanent hair removal. Several laser hair removal treatments are needed for initial hair removal, and maintenance treatments may also be needed.
Laser hair removal is most effective for people who have fair skin and dark hair, but it can be used successfully on all skin types. The FDA has approved several lasers for what they call “permanent hair reduction.” This is simply a matter of reality because laser treatments cannot remove all unwanted hair permanently due to a couple of reasons. Laser hair removal is permanent when the hair follicle is destroyed. When the hair follicle is only damaged, the hair will eventually grow back.
During laser hair removal, the laser emits light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. However, hair can grow back, especially if the follicle is damaged and not destroyed during the laser hair removal procedure. The energy of the alexandrite laser is better suited for lighter skin tones, while the YAG laser focuses on unwanted hair on darker or tanned skin. Removing unwanted hair from the body and face is generally done safely and effectively using laser hair removal therapy.
In general, darker, thicker hair performs better, while thinner, lighter hair is more difficult to remove. However, people who undergo waxing can expect some of the hair in the target area to grow back. After laser hair removal and between scheduled treatments, avoid sunlight and don't use a tanning bed for six weeks or as directed by your doctor. Whether or not hair grows back depends on a number of factors, including the type of hair that grows back and the ability of the person removing the hair.
Repeated treatments are often necessary because hair growth and loss occur naturally in a cycle, and laser treatment works best with hair follicles in the regrowth stage. Other rare side effects include graying of treated hair or excessive hair growth around treated areas, especially on darker skin. Laser hair removal is not recommended for eyelids, eyebrows, or surrounding areas, due to the possibility of serious eye damage. Read on to learn how laser hair removal works, how long it lasts, and the costs of laser hair removal procedures.
When the doctor activates the laser, the laser beam will pass through the skin to the hair follicles.