What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a significant invention that puts an end to the fight against unwanted hair using methods such as wax, tweezers, thread, razor, depilatory creams etc. In fact, the use of laser hair removal in the world has a long history of 25 years. By means of the new generation laser devices developed recently, more effective, less painful, safe and permanent results are obtained compared to the past.
What types of lasers are used in laser hair removal?
In laser hair removal, three different types of light wavelength laser devices, Nd-Yag, Alexandrite and Diode lasers, and condensed light sources called IPL are used. Laser hair removal method, which is also very popular with men today, is successfully applied in millions of people around the world.
What is a laser beam and how does it work?
The basic principle of Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, that is, L.A.S.E.R (laser) beam, in the method of removing unwanted hair is as follows: The heat effects of laser and light systems destroy the hair follicle. The aim is, not to damage the surrounding tissue while making permanent damage to the hair follicle. Laser energy reaches the hair follicle under the skin. The pigment of the color cells in the hair root absorbs laser energy. The laser energy concentrated here burns the hair follicle without damaging the surrounding skin and tissue. Some of the burning hairs fall out immediately, and some are removed from the skin within 2-3 weeks. The damaged hair cannot grow again. This is called selective photothermolysis in the medical jargon. It means that hair is selectively destroyed by the effect of laser or light wavelength heat, which can see the melanin pigment in the hair and its root, called bulbus.
For a safe and effective hair removal, it is of great importance to determine the energy value to be delivered into the skin and the time and intervals of delivery, taking into account the skin color, hair color, thickness and density. This method is much more effective in people with light skin and dark hair. Therefore, the number of sessions is lower in people with light skin. It is longer in dark-skinned, bronze-skinned, and black people.
How long does the treatment take in laser hair removal?
Another factor that closely affects the treatment is the phases of hair called anagen, catagen and telogen. The active growth phase is anagen. The duration of this phase determines the hair length. For example, 85% of our hairs are in this phase. The catagen is the transition phase. It takes a few weeks. Telogen is the resting phase. It is the active period of hairs called anagen that responds best to laser hair removal. Therefore, it is not possible to remove all hairs in the applied area in one session. For treatment, usually (spread over 1-1.5 years), an average of 7-8 sessions in body areas and 10-15 sessions for the facial areas may be required. In each session, 25-35% of the unwanted hairs in the application area are eliminated depending on the intensity of the beam applied and the structure of the hair. The intervals of the sessions is 1-1.5 months in the facial area and 2-2.5 months in the body areas. As the treatment progresses, the session intervals are extended. Each session is completed at different durations depending on the width of the area to be treated. This period is 2-2.5 hours in large areas, 10-15 minutes in smaller areas such as underarms, bikini area, face, 2-3 minutes in areas such as upper lift and chin.
Is laser hair removal harmful?
Hair removal lasers directly target the hair follicles, so the laser beams do not spread throughout the body, they only react on the area of application. The hair removal laser does not have any effect on the organs as it only targets the hair follicles.
Which is the most effective laser type?
Nd-Yag laser is a laser for varicose veins and capillary treatments rather than hair removal, but it also has an effect on thin hairs due to its wavelength. Diode and Alexandrite are the most commonly used laser systems for hair removal. Clinics working in this field usually combine both types and suggest that the results are more efficient. At this point, it is necessary to underline the importance of performing laser applications by physicians who are experienced in this field.
Nd-Yag laser: It is the general name of laser beams with a wavelength of 1064 nm. It is used in the treatment of varicose veins, hair removal and skin rejuvenation.
Diode laser: Laser system with wavelength around 800-880 nm. It is more effective in unwanted hair removal and blue capillary treatment. It has been determined that it is much more effective in removing facial hair than other systems.
Alexandrite laser: Laser system with wavelength around 745-755 nm. With the recent advancement of cooling systems, it stands out as the most widely used system for hair removal. It can be used in the treatment of varicose veins, and in skin rejuvenation like all other lasers.
IPL in Hair Removal (Intense pulsed light therapy)
Also known as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) with its abbreviation in English, it is a system that comes after laser but consists of several colors of light, not one color light like laser, and has different medical uses such as acne, spot, hair removals, and skin tightening according to the colors of the light it contains.
Is laser hair removal ineffective on light-colored or red hair?
Depending on the type of laser applied, this is an opinion which is both true and false. The treatment protocol should be determined according to the patient, and the system in which the patient will obtain optimum results should be selected. In light and red hairs, the light of some laser types will be less absorbed, so it will not be as effective as it is for dark hair. However, there are laser types that are effective on these hairs colors. Ice Laser reveals permanent and successful results of about 70-80% in hairs of all colors and structures.
Can laser hair removal be applied in summer?
It depends on the type of laser applied. This approach, arising from the risk of spotting and the tendency not to apply to bronze skin, is not applicable for all lasers. Laser types that are safely applied in summer have been developed. However, you should consult your physician about this.