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Laser Hair Removal

What is Laser Hair Removal?

In short, laser hair removal is a procedure that uses light at a specific wavelength to rid the body of unwanted hair. It does this by damaging hair follicles, causing the hair to fall from the body shortly after; usually within a few days.

How is this accomplished? When light is absorbed by dark objects, it creates heat; the stronger the light, the hotter the heat. The light generated by the laser targets a dark area; in this case, a hair follicle. High heat from the laser to the hair follicle is localized; surrounding skin tissue remains unaffected. Light skin with dark hair, then, is the best combination for successful laser hair removal.

Persons with gray, red, or blonde hair are not as good a candidate for laser hair removal than someone with fairer skin and darker hair. The same is true for persons with darker skin tones. This is because of the high amount of melanin found in dark skin, and the small amount found in lighter shades of hair.

Melanin is the primary chromophore used by most hair-removing laser instruments. “Chromophore” refers to the dark target area the laser light singles out during the hair removal procedure. Melanin is what gives color to skin and hair. Skin with two much melanin can prevent the laser light from singling out hair follicles.

The deeper into the skin laser light travels, the less effective it becomes. To offset this, there are several wavelengths of laser energy used in the removal of hair; from visible light, to near-infrared radiation.

Wavelength, pulse-width, width of laser beam, and energy level of laser light generated all affect laser hair removal results.

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