Laser Hair Removal
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal involves the permanent destruction of the hair follicle by applying laser energy directly to the skin. Laser hair removal is the #1 request aesthetic procedure. We use the Cutera Xeo platform for our hair removal procedures because it is reliable and safe for all skin types.
A Brief Overview of Hair
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The hair has three growth phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. During anagen, the bulb produces melanin, a dark pigment that is transported up the follicle. This is the “growth phase” of the hair. During catagen phase, the bulb degenerates and stops producing melanin. Telogen is the resting phase of the follicle: the bulb is no longer present. At the end of telogen the follicle detaches and then a new anagen phase begins.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Our laser targets a dark pigment called melanin which is produced in the bulb, or deep part of the hair follicle during anagen phase. The laser generates heat in this pigment, thus destroying the melanin producing cells along with the bulb and remainder of the follicle. Laser hair removal is only effective on hairs during the anagen phase. At any given time, up to 90% of the hairs in a region may be in anagen.
Why are multiple treatments needed?
Anagen phase may last several years, while catagen lasts several weeks and telogen may be one to three months. For these reasons, laser hair removal treatment generally must be repeated several times to catch all hairs in the anagen phase.
What Does the Procedures Involve?
We usually apply a local anesthetic to the treatment area. A thin layer of lubricant is then spread across the area. We use a 1064 wavelength laser to heat the hair follicle. Each pulse of the laser covers a small area, so multiple pulses are typically used. Small areas usually take 5 minutes or less, but large areas can take up to an hour.
Does it Hurt?
Honestly? Most patients equate the feeling to being snapped by a rubber band, so imagine that over and over again. Different areas are naturally more sensitive. We usually apply a strong, local anesthetic to numb the skin; however, some patients also take oral pain medication or request an injectable pain blocker or nitrous oxide. But some patients also use no anesthetic and feel no discomfort. So, it is a personal and individual thing.
What Else You Should Know
- During the course of treatment, your skin will be more sensitive to light. You will need to use a good sun block and avoid direct, prolonged sun exposure.
- Nothing is permanent. You may need periodic treatments to maintain hair free.
- Different skin types and hair color react differently to treatment, so results are impossible to predict.
Results vary patient to patient. Generally, light skinned patients with dark hair achieve better results; however, most skin types and hair colors achieve satisfactory results.
There is no such thing a permanent hair removal. We can significantly reduce the amount of new hair growth.