How Does Hair Removal Work?

Leg laser hair removal

Laser hair removal has quickly become more and more popular since its inception 20 to 30 years ago, and is now considered one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the US. In general, it saves time over shaving and waxing, and the results last far longer than either of these hair removal methods. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love saving time when our lives are so busy?

While shaving and waxing are fairly easy to understand as these traditional methods are relatively straightforward, the process behind laser hair removal is a bit more complex. If you’re considering laser hair removal, it’s a good idea to know how this minimally invasive procedure works.

This article explains the step by step process behind how laser hair removal works, and details the three stages of hair growth that are important to know when it comes to laser hair removal. To find out more or to schedule a consultation, contact our friendly and professional team at Glow Medispa today.

Understand The Three Stages Of Hair Growth

Before we delve into how laser hair removal works, let’s discuss the three stages of hair growth. This is important to know as it has a lot to do with the hair follicle, which laser hair removal concentrates on.

  1. The active growth phase: This is called anagen and is the most visible stage of hair growth. The bulb (bottom) of the hair follicle is attached to the dermis (the layer of skin beneath the visible layer). It’s best to have laser hair removal during this stage of hair growth as it targets the pigment of the hair and destroys the follicle so it can’t grow back.
  2. The transition phase: This is called catagen and occurs between growth and rest. During this phase, the hair follicle begins to die as it shrinks and hair growth slows, and it detaches from the blood supply. If you wake up in the morning and find you’ve left hairs on your pillow, this is why!
  3. The resting phase: This is called telogen. This phase sees the remains of the hair bulb become inactive, so the hair can easily fall out. While the previous two stages last two to three weeks each, the length of the telogen phase can be unpredictable. It’s important to note that laser hair removal isn’t possible during this phase.

How Does The Hair Growth Cycle Affect Laser Hair Removal?

Now that we’ve got the stages of hair growth down, let’s find out why they matter so much!

The hair targeted by the laser needs to be in the anagen, or active growth phase for the procedure to be most effective. This is because hair is not attached during the catagen and telogen phases. However, not every single hair on your body is in the same growth stage at the same time, which means you may need several treatments to fully remove hair from the area you’re targeting.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser stands for Light Amplification Stimulated Emission Radiation. That may sound complicated, but it’s a lot simpler than it appears! Essentially, laser hair removal is an optimized beam of light that focuses on the target area.

Light is energy, and energy can be either absorbed or reflected depending on what it’s aimed at. Laser hair removal means the energy gets absorbed by the hair follicle. As the light from the laser hits the hair follicle, that energy becomes absorbed by the follicle and heats up. This process burns the hair down to the root, killing the follicle so that it can’t grow back.

The light of the laser beam converts to heat, and the light is attracted to the melanin (pigment) in the hair. As a result, the thicker and darker the targeted hair is, the more light it will be able to absorb.

You know how on a hot summer day the color you’re wearing can impact how hot you feel? A white outfit will reflect the light and energy from the sun, keeping you cool, while a black outfit will absorb that sunlight and make you feel hotter. The laser in laser hair removal works in the same way in that the hair is typically darker than the skin, so it specifically targets the hair rather than the skin.

Looking For Laser Hair Removal in Seattle Or West Kirkland?

Laser hair removal is a fantastic alternative to traditional hair removal methods. While it’s an upfront investment, you’ll likely save more money in the long run than if you were to continue shaving or waxing for years to come! If you have further questions about laser hair removal, our experienced team is more than happy to answer your queries. To find out more or to schedule a consultation, contact our professional and caring team at Glow Medispa today.

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