The Science Behind Hair Removal Using Pulsed Light

By: Spectra Medical Nz  05-Apr-2012
Keywords: Hair Removal

The process of laser and light-based hair removal is well known and established. It has been proven in clinical use around the world for over 15 years as a safe and effective way to achieve long-term hair removal.

Light-based hair removal is based on the theory of selective photothermolysis in which optical energy is used to disable hair growth. In order to achieve such thermal effect, the hair shaft needs to selectively absorb light energy and transform it into heat.

This selectivity is achieved when high optical energy that is delivered to the tissue is mostly absorbed by hair shaft pigment, while the epidermis and the surrounding tissue is actively cooled (by a small fan in the unit).

Melanin is the pigment in the hair shaft that is responsible for the absorption of the light, which generates the heat that eventually disables hair growth. When hair growth is disabled, long-term hair removal is achieved.

This hair removal device is a personal combined-energy based device for long-term hair removal.

Before Treatment: Healthy hair follicles with normal hair growth

During Treatment: Light energy is selectively absorbed in the hair shaft and disables hair growth

After Treatment: Energy is absorbed by the hair follicles while the surrounding tissue remains at normal temperature and hair removal is achieved

Did you know that hairs grow in a cycle that lasts about 2 years?

Every hair in our body goes through the three phases of the hair growth cycle: Anagen, Catagen and Telogen. These phases have an important impact on how the process of light-based hair removal works.

Anagen is the hair growth phase while Catagen and Telogen, are both resting phases.

Anagen phase >> Catagen phase >> Telogen phase

The time it takes to complete a full hair growth cycle varies from person to person and the location of the hair on the body, but is typically 18-24 months.

At any given moment the majority of the hair follicles in any skin area are in the resting stages. These resting hairs cannot be effected by laser or light hair removal treatment. However, hairs in the growing Anagen phase will respond.

It is therefore important to understand that it may take a full hair growth cycle to achieve complete results when doing any energy based hair removal.

Most people start to see noticeable results after four treatments, and great results after six treatments.

Maintenance treatments are common after eight treatments to treat stray hairs that may have been in telogen or catagen phase or to treat patches of hairs that were missed in the initial treatment.

Keywords: Hair Removal

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