Introduced about 2 decades back, laser hair removal treatment is now widely accepted by dermatologists as a safe and effective method of removing unwanted hair from small and large areas of the body. Laser therapy is also approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Today, laser treatment is being preferred over other methods of hair removal because of its speed and efficacy. To get effective results and to ensure safety, you should get the laser treatment conduced by a skilled and experienced professional. Laser treatment is highly popular for removal of unwanted body hair from the face, underarms, legs, pubic area, back, chest, abdomen and shoulders.
How does laser therapy work?
In laser hair removal therapy, an intense, pulsating beam of focused laser light energy is passed through the skin targeting dark pigment, called melanin, in hair. The intense heat of laser light burns the hair follicle causing permanent damage and thereby prevents the growth of new hair. Laser does not heat or damage the surrounding skin.
Laser therapy is not a permanent method of hair removal as many people claim it to be. However, it does keep unwanted body at bay for several months and even years altogether.
Comparison with electrolysis
Electrolysis is another popular method of hair removal that has been around for more than a century. Discussed below are differences between laser therapy and electrolysis treatment.
-Method of treatment – Electrolysis is an invasive technique in which a needle penetrates deep through the skin in the hair follicle whilst laser is a non-invasive technique. In this method, only light energy is used for hair removal
-Time taken – Electrolysis consumes more time than laser treatment as it treats single hair follicle at a time. Laser on the other hand, targets dozens of follicles simultaneously and hence takes less time. Small procedures may only require a single session
-Re-treatment – Since electrolysis destroys a follicle permanently, a treated hair follicle is not to be treated again. In case of laser, if a follicle treated with laser light begins to grow hair in due course, you may have to treat the same follicle again
-Effectiveness – The FDA currently allows the term “Permanent Hair Removal” for electrolysis. It is effective on all hair colors unlike laser. On the other hand studies prove that laser hair removal is faster, less painful and more reliable hair removal treatment than electrolysis but is effective for only some hair colors.
Parameters that affect the result of laser treatment
Since light is absorbed better by dark objects, laser therapy works best with dark coarse hair. Light skin and dark hair are an ideal combination, however new laser machines are now able to target dark black hair even in patients with dark skin. Besides, the skill and experience of the professional matters a lot in the case of laser treatment.
Number of sessions required for laser hair removal
To achieve effective results, multiple sessions of laser hair removal may be required. The number of sessions depend on various factors such as area of the body treated, skin color, coarseness of hair and gender. Besides, hair grows in several phases and laser treatment is only effective in the growth phase. Several sessions are needed to eradicate all hair in phases of growth. Normally 5-7 sessions may be required to make an area completely hair-free but the number of sessions may increase to as many as 12 sessions of hair treatment.
Intervals between sessions
According to current parameters, interval between sessions of laser treatment may be spaced 4-6 weeks apart for most areas. However, intervals between treatments have not been standardized and depend upon individual response to treatment. For stubborn areas such as the underarms, chest and back several sessions may be required at 6-week intervals. It is recommended that one should wait until treated hairs have been shed and enough hairs have come in after the hair-free period to have another treatment.