Permanent laser hair removal is widely used and is an ideal solution for women who no longer feel like having a daily shave or waxing every two weeks.
UNDERSTANDING LASER HAIR REMOVAL
The laser hair removal is interesting in that it destroys the lower two-thirds of the hair follicles. For this purpose, the light energy of the laser beam targets the melanin which is responsible for the coloring of the hairs. Melanin absorbs light which is then converted into heat. In order to denature the germinal zone and obtain permanent hair removal, the device heats the bulge and the matrix up to the threshold of cell coagulation. To make new hairs, the germinal matrix receives orders from the bulge. When the matrix is destroyed, the hair can no longer grow back. To get to this stage, the laser causes two types of lesions under the skin: hyperthermia and coagulation necrosis. Hyperthermia, which is the rise in temperature, causes disorders in the cells. Coagulation necrosis is due to the denaturation of proteins and collagen. The tissues will subsequently turn into scar tissue or will be eliminated. This is the necrosis of tissue structures.
WHO CAN PERFORM LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
The laser hair removal is performed by doctors . Before any procedure, an initial consultation is performed to analyze the phototype and determine if all the conditions are met to allow laser hair removal. Indeed, the phototype and the color of the hairs are essential factors in the success of laser hair removal. This permanent hair removal technique is indicated for people with very white skin and very dark hair. However, laser hair removal can be performed on other types of skin and hair, but with a different device, the Nd-YAG laser. The latter is used on people with a phototype 4 to 6 and tanned skin. The Nd-YAG laser emits a wavelength of 1064 nm while an Alexandrite laser emits 755 nm.
Many people hesitate to take the plunge for fear of pain. It should be noted that the sensation is different from one patient to another. It all depends on the sensitivity of the skin, the density of the hair and the area being treated. Parts such as the fingers, neck, labia majora on the bikini line or the areola of the breasts are more sensitive than the legs or thighs. However, the tingling sensations felt are brief and stop as soon as the laser shot is finished. Patients usually experience a tingling or warmth which can be reduced by applying a cold gel. A numbing cream can be used by people who cannot stand the pain. It is applied in a thick layer on the skin 1 hour 30 minutes before waxing.
HOW PERMANENT LASER HAIR REMOVAL WORKS
Laser hair removal involves removing hair from the root . Unlike waxing, the hairs are not pulled out, but destroyed with a laser beam. The latter sends a wavelength directed towards the hair bulbs. Melanin absorbs light and starts to heat up, damaging the hair follicle and preventing it from making new hair. It should be noted that the hairs do not disappear immediately. They grow back less quickly and become finer and thinner over the course of the sessions.
Laser hair removal is a medical act that must be performed by a qualified doctor. In addition, the practitioner must necessarily schedule a consultation with each patient before any treatment. This interview allows him to analyze the phototype and to determine if all the conditions are met for a permanent laser hair removal. During this session, he performs some tests to observe the clinical reactions and adjust the dose: erythematous papular reaction, crackling of the hair, retraction … The doctor must also inquire about the patient’s skin reactions after the session, in order to adjust the dose during the following sessions.
Laser hair removal is performed based on the hair cycle which can last between 4 months and a few years. A hair cycle has three phases:
- the anagen phase;
- the telogen phase;
- the catagen phase.
The anagen phase corresponds to the period of hair growth. It lasts between one and three months. During this period, the laser is effective because the hair root is loaded with melanin. It is this which absorbs the light sent by the laser.
The telogen phase is located before hair loss. It is a bit of a rest period. The laser is not effective during this phase. The hairs in the catagen phase must thus be treated subsequently.
The catagen phase corresponds to the start of hair involution. The bulb rises towards the skin surface to be expelled. The laser is not effective during this period.
The success of permanent hair laser treatment therefore depends on the phase of the hair’s life, ie the growth phase. You should know that in a given area, 10 to 30% of the hair is in the growth phase. The laser thus works on the hairs in the growth phase and the others will be targeted during another session. This is why several sessions are necessary to obtain the final result.
LASER HAIR REMOVAL: FOR WHOM AND IN WHICH AREAS?
Laser hair removal is performed on both men and women . It can be performed on all areas of the body and face. In women, the areas generally treated are the face, the strict chin, the neck, the décolleté, the shoulder, the upper arms, the hips, the upper parts on the outside of the thighs as well as the legs. In humans, the areas generally treated are:
- shoulders ;
- upper back ;
- upper arms;
- the chest ;
- the cheekbones.
The ideal is to wait for hormonal maturity to start permanent laser hair removal, around 25 and 30 years old for women and 40 years old for men. However, in the event of disabling hair, the treatment can be carried out on adolescents. The number of sessions is in this case undetermined and depends on the reactions of each patient.
Permanent laser hair removal is ideally indicated for patients with fair skin and dark hair. The higher the contrast between the color of the skin and the hair, the better!
PERMANENT LASER HAIR REMOVAL OF THE ARMPITS AND BIKINI LINE
The armpits are among the most shaved areas in women. Particularly receptive areas, the armpits have very pigmented hairs and therefore melanin. The hairs are then destroyed in a few sessions. In addition, the skin under the armpits is protected against tanning, thus promoting permanent hair removal while reducing the risk of burns. It is best that the end of puberty is reached before opting for armpit hair removal .
Regarding the bikini line, which is a very sensitive area with very thin skin, some patients may not be able to bear the discomfort caused by the laser. However, the doctor may apply numbing cream to soothe the pain. Permanent laser depilation of the bikini line is contraindicated in the event of skin inflammation or infections.