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Laser Hair Removal and How It Works

By Mark Jackson Subscribe to RSS | January 5th 2012 | Views:

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Hair Follicles

In this article we will look in more detail at the technology and attempt to answer the question “How does laser hair removal work?”; we will look at both at home based systems and professional systems.

Laser hair removal revolves all around hair follicles so we should learn a little about them. Hair follicles are an organ which produce hairs. No new hair follicles are formed after birth but its behaviour changes throughout its life. Hair growth follows the 3 following cycles:

Anagen Phase – This is the growth phase. It starts at the base of the follicle. The longer it is in this phase the longer and faster it will grow.

Catagen Phase – This phase allows the hair to renew itself. While in this phase the hair bottom of the hair follicle detaches itself from the hair strand by removing it from the blood supply.

Telogen Phase – In this phase the hair remains dormant for several months. Once the hair is rested the Anagen phase begins again.

How does laser hair removal work?

So how does all that information help us answer the question of “how does laser hair removal work?”. Well laser hair removal systems basically disrupt this process. As you probably know a lasers two main outputs are heat and light, both of these are used in disrupting, and destroying hair follicles. A laser over the area you want to rid of hair will send a beam to the area with enough power to disable (or destroy) the root. However the skin around the root will not be harmed in any way; it’s not targeted. This is because it uses a process called photothermolysis. This is when the laser targets the darkness of the hair; the melanin, and because the skin is usually lighter than the hair, the skin is not targeted at all. The hair however absorbs the heat & light, takes it down to the base of the hair follicles, and destroys or damages the root. The more treatments you have the more damaged the hair follicle will become, and eventually they will be so damaged they get destroyed, which means that hair will no longer grow from that follicle. For these reasons laser hair removal works best on dark hair and light skin because it can easily distinguish between skin and hair. Most systems have safety features to make sure you have the correct skin type, so there is no chance of using a hair removal on the wrong sort of skin and burning yourself. A burn could result from the device not knowing what is skin, and what is hair without safety features. If discomfort is felt around the skin, cooling cream, cooling gels or numbering solutions can be used in order to reduce any discomfort.


Overall it may sound like burning your hair follicles completely & destroying them is dangerous and painful. However the process is much more efficient, safe and painless than that sounds! So the short answer to the question “how does laser hair removal work?” is that it damages the hair follicles in your skin so they no longer produce hair.

Mark Jackson - About Author:
How do laser hair removal systems workAt home laser hair removal treatments

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