Saturday, 26 May 2012

Laser Hair Removal Results Depend Greatly on Who Performs the Treatment

Laser Hair Removal Results Depend Greatly on Who Performs the Treatment

There are numerous ways in which you can eliminate or at least reduce the amount of hair on practically any part of the body. The most common method of these is waxing or sugaring. Waxing is a process by which a heated, thick, sticky wax is applied to the skin where there is long hair and then the wax solidifies slightly if left for a few seconds. At that time the layer of wax is then removed quickly so that all the trapped hairs pull out their roots as well. It is a painful process that eliminates the hair shaft and bulb (root) in it's entirety. Of course, the hair will grow back in a few weeks and the process needs to be repeated to maintain a hairless appearance. Also of note, the hair has to be long enough to pull out so you need to let it grow a substantial length before having the procedure performed again which is not always the best cosmetic situation, especially if you have hairs on your face you don't like.

Another common method that has fallen slightly out of favour these days is electrolysis. It can be a permanent method for removing hairs and it works on all hair colour types, just as waxing does. It works by putting a very small electrode into the hair follicle shaft in the skin and then allowing electricity to flow through the tip of the electrode (very small amounts) and the result of the process is hopefully permanent and irreversible damage to the cells that help grow the hairs so they do not return. Usually this process needs to be done a number of times before we can say the treatment is permanent and the entire process is very lengthy and time consuming as you can imagine. A whole leg or back would take many hours to do and definitely cause some mild to moderate discomfort.

Today, modern medicine and technology have paired-up to invent a treatment that is both quick and effective. It is called Laser Hair Removal. The main drawback to this technology is that not all colours of hair can be treated. The reason for this is quite simple. A very brief lesson on hair removal lasers. The colour of light generated and used by the laser technician is usually 755nm or 1064nm, depending on the patients skin colour. There needs to be a significant difference between the colour of the hair and the surrounding skin. For example, the ideal patient has very light, white skin and coarse dark hair. In this situation, the laser will heat the dark hair very nicely and leave the skin unheated because the laser energy delivered to that area of skin will preferentially be absorbed by the hair due to it's colour. Imagine two cars outside in the hot sun at midday. The black car will become very hot, while the white one will be relatively cool. That is because black absorbs the light and the white car reflects it away. For a patient with darker skin, we can still treat them but we need to use a longer/different wavelength, 1064nm. We cannot however treat white, grey or red hairs with the current laser removal devices on the market regardless of what the marketing hype might say. Perhaps in a few more years we will be better able to treat all hair types and colours.

Make sure you visit an experienced, medical team for your hair removal. Mistakes happen all the time with untrained personnel and can lead to skin burns and severe scars. Don't take a chance with your skin or your health, it just makes sense.

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