Laser hair removal is the process of removing the unwanted hair. It is done by exposure to laser light that destroys the hair follicle. It was first experimented about 20 years ago. It is now accepted in the dermatology community and it has become very popular. It is widely practised in clinics and even in homes using devices, which are designed and priced for self treatment. Safety and efficacy of this treatment have been published in the dermatology literature.
The primary principle of this treatment is selective photothermolysis (SPTL). It matches specific wavelength of the light and pulse duration to obtain the effect on targeted tissues. It causes minimal effect on the surrounding tissue. Laser can cause damage to dark target matter called melanin due to heating. Melanin occurs naturally in skin. There are two types of melanin in hair. Eumelanin is one kind of melanin which gives hair brown or black colour, and pheomelanin is the other type which gives hair blonde or red colour. Only black and brown colour can be removed in this treatment. This treatment is considered to be the best for black hair. Light skin and dark hair are the best combination to produce the best results. It has been found that many patients experience hair growth even after this treatment. It has been found that these devices only reduces the total number of body hairs and they will result in permanent hair removal.
Number of sessions
• Hair grows in several phases. Laser can affect only the active hair follicles. Several sessions are required to kill the hair
• Multiple treatments depend on types of hair and skin colour to provide long term reduction of hair. Most patients need at least 7 treatments.
• Parameters differ from device to device. Manufacturers and clinicians generally recommend 3 to 8 weeks between sessions.
• It depends on the area being treated. The number of parameters differs on factors like area of the body, skin colour, sex etc…
• Certain areas require considerable treatment to achieve the results.
In olden days laser did not work on light coloured hair, red hair, grey hair, and white hair, however the recent techniques have been successful in treating this. Shedding of treated hairs generally takes 2 to 3 weeks. Hairs should be allowed to fall only on their own. Pulling hair result in pain and hence it is recommended to avoid it.