Last month, we blogged about the basics of laser hair removal – sometimes called laser hair reduction – because we wanted our hair removal clients to understand what this simple procedure can and can’t do. Now we want to delve more deeply into some of the science behind laser hair removal to answer frequently asked questions like why this procedure is so effective and why multiple treatments are usually necessary.
First, you should understand that laser hair removal uses an invisible, specially-calibrated pulse of light that acts as a heat source when absorbed by a hair follicle. This heat penetrates the hair follicle, disabling and then destroying it at the level of the circulatory system – all without damaging the surrounding tissue. Essentially, the hair follicle dies, rendering it unable to grow new hair.
But as simple and as gentle as that sounds, laser hair removal is actually a much more complex procedure when looked at in the context of the human body’s natural processes. Laser hair removal can effectively target only those hair follicles in the Anagen or active phase of hair growth when melanin is abundant. At any given point in time, 85% of the hair on our bodies is in the Anagen phase, and this phase can last for years at a time with the actual duration depending on your genes, health, age, and gender.
Once this active phase of follicle development is complete, the follicle will enter the Catagen or transition phase during which the hair stops growing and the follicle is absorbed, and then the Telogen or resting phase during which the hair in the follicle is shed. Hair growth in these latter two phases will remain largely unaffected by a laser hair removal treatment. Additionally, new hair follicles can begin to grow over time.
Of course, it’s impossible to tell when any one follicle is in the Anagen phase except by plucking out a hair to see if it has an attached papilla, so your initial laser hair removal treatment will target the majority of follicles but not all of them. And the body’s natural cycle of hair growth – during which follicles grow, live, rest, and are absorbed – operates over a 12-15 month period, so laser hair removal is not a quick fix. Instead, it is a long-term solution that will eventually bring about an 80-95% reduction of hair in the targeted area, which is typically enough to mean a dramatic change in not only looks, but also confidence.
Throughout the entire month of August 2012, the New Jersey medical spa is offering a 20% discount off the price of all our laser hair removal packages. If you’re finally ready to throw away your razors and have smoother skin or you want more details about this special promotion, please call us at 201-505-1020.