Laser Hair Removal is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to get rid of that unwanted hair. Unlike conventional Hair Removal methods such as shaving or waxing, Laser Hair Removal is a medical procedure offering Permanent Hair Removal or Reduction. Treatment is offered in Clinics nationwide or you can now experience the benefits from the comfort of your own home with the latest Home Hair Removal Devices.
How does Laser Hair Removal work?
Laser Hair Removal is a process of removing unwanted hair by exposing the targeted area to a concentrated beam of light. This light is absorbed by a pigment in the Skin called Melanin. The laser heats the melanin in the hair until it is destroyed. This intense heat damages the hair folicle which then inhibits future hair growth.
There are three stages of Hair Growth:
- Anagen – This stage is the growing stage. Hair length is determined by this stage, which lasts anywhere from two to seven years.
- Catagen – This is called the transitional stage. During this stage, the hair follicle undergoes shrinkage and becomes detached from the dermal papilla. This stage lasts about ten days.
- Telogen – The last stage of hair growth is the resting stage and lasts about three months. At the end of this stage, the hair falls out and new hair grows.
Only the hair in the Anagen stage is removed permanently because it is the only stage in which the hair follicle is affected by the laser. Hair removed in the other stages of growth will grow back. For this reason, treatments need to be repeated over time.
For Laser Hair Removal to be effective each hair needs to be treated in its active phase of growth
How long does Laser Hair Removal last?
Laser Hair Removal is rarely a Permanent solution for unwanted hair and many people will experience some degree of hair regrowth at a later stage after treatment. It does however provide a permanent and significant reduction in hair growth.
Results can vary from person to person with some requiring no follow up treatment at a later stage and some people requiring regular sessions.
How often will I require treatment?
For Laser Hair Removal to be effective each hair needs to be treated at the active phase of growth. Treatment times can vary from every 4-6 weeks for facial, lip or chin hair and every 8-10 weeks for body hair.
The number of sessions required will vary dependent on Hair Colour, Skin Pigment, the area being treated and individual expectations. Your clinician will be able to provide a specific treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
Laser Hair Removal is best suited to:
Areas: Face, arm, underarm, leg, bikini line amount others.
Fair Skin and Dark Hair – Light from the laser is attracted to high concentrations of melanin. The darker the pigment of hair colour the more melanin it contains. The more melanin it contains the more light it absorbs.
More Light = More heat = More damage to the hair folicule= Less chance of re-growth.
Fair skin on the other hand contains very little pigment (melanin) and therefore absorbs very little of the light from the laser, therefore the chance of damage to the skin around the targetted area is significatly reduced with this hair and pigment type.
The general rule for Laser Hair Removal is the colour of the hair must always be darker than the colour of the skin.
Possible Side Effects:
Redness is very common post treatment and can be reduced by cooling the area.
Pain, Swelling, tingling and numbness are all possible side effects of laser treatment. These should last no more than 3 days. If symptoms persist you should contact your clinician.
Serious and permanent side effects are rare but can include Scarring, Hyper-pigmentation (darkening of the skin) and Burns.
Consultations are usually provided free of charge to establish whether you are a suitable candidate for treatment.
The cost of Laser Hair Removal Treatment can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the choice of Laser, the area to be treated and the number of treatments required.
Some Clinics offer packages and discounts for multiple treatment areas or payment for a number of sessions in advance.
Below is a general guide to approximate pricing in UK clinics based as at January 2015 (Prices are per Session and a course of 6-10 sessions is usually required)
Upper Lip or Chin £40 – £55
Chest £75 – £140
Full Leg £170 – £320
Laser Hair Removal at home
For those of you looking for an alternative to costly salon courses of Laser Hair Removal, there are a variety of home hair removal devices to choose from. Most use IPL technology such as the Philips Lumea 2006/11 or the Remington Pro ilight Face and Body.
The Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X is the first Laser Hair Removal device approved for home use. Priced at approximately £375.00, it sure is a cheaper and more convenient option than trips to the salon.