To understand how laser hair removal works, it’s good to understand how the hair grows. Human hair grows out of follicles beneath the skin. By the 2nd week of gestation, a fetus has all of its 5 million hair follicles in place. A human being will never have any more follicles than this.
Phases of Growth
A shaft of human hair grows out of the follicle and is made out of three layers of keratin, a form of protein. The three layers of keratin are the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle. The cortex and the medulla are where the hair’s pigment is found.
Normally, hair grows about six inches a year in a three stage cycle. In the anagen phase, the hair is actively growing and new hairs push old hairs up and out of the hair follicle. There’s the catagen phase, where the hair stops growing and becomes what’s called a club hair. In the telogen or resting phase, the club hair solidifies. A few telogen hairs fall out every day.
How Lasers Work
Laser hair removal works by damaging or destroying the hair follicle. Dermatologists use special lasers to do this because they are less likely to damage the surrounding tissue. Lasers also destroy the melanin in the hair, which is responsible for its color. This is why laser hair removal works best on fair-skinned people who have dark hair. The procedure works less well on fair-haired people or on people who have a dark skin. This is because one of the risks of the treatment is that the skin around the area can become darker or lighter than normal if the pigmentation of the skin is damaged. A patient should ask the dermatologist if he or she has experience in treating different types of skin.
An area of the body that’s had hair removed by laser can stay hair free for a long time but usually not permanently. There will need to be a few sessions before the hair is gone, and the patient may need maintenance visits to his or her dermatologist.
The Laser Treatment
Depending on the area to be treated, a session can take from a few minutes to a few hours. Afterwards, the patient might have some swelling and redness in the area that was treated, but this will go away. In the meantime, ice can be applied to the area or the dermatologist can prescribe or recommend a lotion or cream to ease the discomfort. The patient should also avoid the sun while the skin heals then use sunscreen whenever they go out during the day.
A patient who’s interested in hair removal by laser should only employ a board certified dermatologist to do this. A patient can also get a recommendation from his or her usual physician or colleagues who’ve had laser hair removal. Many dermatologists also have pages on social media. The patient should vet them carefully before choosing one.
Yvonne Walkman knows first hand how beneficial hair removal can be. It was a huge confidence boost for her, and she uses her freelance writing to express how it can change your life too. That is why she always recommends Hairaway Canada for her hair removal needs. They offer excellent and affordable laser hair removal services. Visit their website today to learn more.