A smooth and hairless body had been desired and in fashion throughout the history, long before the laser was invented!! In the past, waxing, shaving and electric hair removal have been used to remove hair, some even together with the hair bulb. However, only the laser gets rid of the hair follicle; the source from which the hair grows out. Which method is the most effective these days? Also, which method should you look into before selecting hair removal method that suits you best?
Laser hair removal devices
Since 1990s, when the first lasers designed for hair removal appeared on the market, this method of hair removal has become one of the most frequently performed procedures in beauty clinics. The long-term destruction of the hair follicles, and the adjacent hair structures responsible for the re-growth of the hair itself is achieved most effectively using Diode lasers with a wavelength of 810 nm. Next in line in term of effectiveness are the Alexandrite Lasers with approx. 755 nm followed by Neodymium-Yag systems with approx. 1040 nm. For the sakes of the full spectrum of information, it is also worth mentioning the E-Light devices which combine the IPL light energy with additional high frequency alternating current.
Effective laser hair removal uses the principle of Selective Photothermolysis, which involves the destruction of the hair follicle and the structures responsible for growth by means of light emitted from the device. The thermal radiation is absorbed by the melanin within the hair follicle, the heat flows towards the hair bulb and area of vascular supply. As long as sufficiently high level of temperature is maintained for the required period of time the hair structures get irreversibly damaged, making it impossible for the hair follicle to produce new hair. In general, individuals with dark, strong hair and light skin tone get the best results from epilation. However, thanks to selective technology and a dash of innovation, Diode lasers can also work effectively on thinner, red and blond hair. Laser hair removal device successfully removes the hair in the anagen (growth) phase, this is why timing of the treatment is extremely important in order to achieve the maximize effects of each treatment session. During the remaining two phases of hair life cycle – catagen (transition) and telogen (resting/shedding) phase – the effect of the laser on the hair is limited hence the need to repeat the procedure (3-6 treatment session) at regular intervals every 4-8 weeks.
The wavelength and the effectiveness of hair removal treatment
Although, the effectiveness of the Laser hair removal is to some extent influenced by the individuals’ skin type, hair colour and hair growth phase, the overall effectiveness of the treatment is primarily determined by laser’s wavelength and the duration of its pulse. According to the principle of Selective Photothermolysis, the energy of the laser absorbed by melanin destroys only the hair follicle, without damaging the surrounding skin. Due to the fact that hair follicle can be located even at a depth of 5 mm, it is generally assumed that the longer the light wave, the better result of the treatment. This kind of favourable conditions are met by a laser beam of the length of 700-1000 nm. Hair removal devices with lower parameters, such as for example IPL device, should not even be called a laser! They can overload the surrounding skin with excessive light doses, provide only to temporary hair loss. Diode lasers are characterised with the highest wavelength – 810 nm – their additional parameter, namely extended duration of the pulse enhance their effectiveness as it allows to carry out the procedure on individuals with a higher skin phototype without causing burns. Thanks to the advances in Laser Hair removal technology, the head of LightSheer ™ with ET ™ or ChillTip ™ tips with a cooling option allows you to remove all the hair from any area of the body. Thanks to faster skin cooling, there is no risk of developing burns or experiencing pain. Finally, Laser hair removal with the use of above mentioned lasers is a guarantee of a very high level of comfort and safety during the procedure.
Which laser should I choose?
Currently, the diode laser is considered to be the best option available to all those who struggle with the problem of unwanted hair. The most effective and strongest types of Lasers, on sales on today market, are themedically certified LightSheer ™ system by Lumenis company. These Lasers are particularly effective in the case of ingrowing hair and hirsutism (excessive hair growth on parts of the body where hair growth is usually minimal) caused by androgens. The LightSheer DUET gives your Laser Therapist two handpiece choices depending on the needs of the client. The LightSheer High Speed handpiece uses breakthrough vacuum assisted technology in combination with diode laser light to allow quick and comfortable hair removal from large areas of the body. For example, hair can be removed from back area or legs in just 15 to 20 minutes, without the need of applying numbing creams. This technology makes laser hair removal available to individuals with darker complexions, sensitive skin, or even in case of telangiectasia. The LightSheer DUET is also equipped with a gold standard LightSheer ET™ handpiece with ChillTip® cooling system for smaller areas greatly reducing the risk of burns of discomfort which may be caused by overheating the skin. The LightSheer DUET allows the Laser Therapist to truly customize treatment depending on the hair, skin type and even on lifestyle.
What to look for?
Before you decide to use Laser hair removal treatment, it is worth to understand what you want in terms of equipment itself and the beauty salon where the treatment will be performed.
- Old Laser heads – An efficient device ensures a visible effect after the first session (usually a minimum 30% reduction of visible hair). In order to achieve the effect of permeant hair removal, the procedure has to be repeated several times. However, to say that one treatment session is not enough to notice any progress and that results can only be seen once the whole cycle of treatment sessions is completed is simply not true. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for beauty salons to perform treatments using old Laser heads. The result of this malpractice is that the treatment is far less effective and obviously becomes more expensive and extends over the longer term simply because it requires more sessions to achieve desired result.
- No pain at all – Every treatment is associated with a sensation that can range from mild tingling to stinging or even pinching. In case of individuals with darker hair, the sensations can get even more unpleasant. If you cannot feel anything, not even slight discomfort, it probably means the laser is not working correctly or that your hair is too bright.
- Laser brand – The name of the manufacturer and the model of the Laser hair removal device is a sign of quality. Information about the latest products, techniques and maybe even Q&As should always be available on the websites of product manufacturer and beauty salons offering the treatments. It is always worth to visit the websites and ask for certificates.
- Experts advice (Physician / Laser therapist) – Laser therapist will select the most suitable treatment for each individual. The knowledge gained from both clinical experience and research allows Laser Therapists to develop special procedures, in cooperation with manufactures of the products, in order to achieve the best, and the most effective result. ALWAYS search for trusted and certified beauty salons with highly qualified staff.