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Laser Hair Removal

Posted on: October 16th, 2015 by California Skin Institute

For patients who are dealing with excessive hair on the body, or who are simply tired of shaving or painful waxing, California Skin Institute providers offer expert laser hair removal treatments.* Our practices have invested in a number of hair removal devices, including Lumenis LightSheer, Alma Harmony YAG and Gemini lasers (among others), to give our patients a variety of treatment options.* If you’re interested in removing unwanted hair with safe laser treatments, please contact a California Skin Institute practice near you, or schedule your consultation online by filling out the Contact Form, below.*

How Laser Hair Removal Works

The idea behind how laser hair removal works is quite simple; the laser is used to administer bursts of energy to the treatment site, which damages the hair follicle and reduces hair growth.* However, the actual process of laser hair removal is more complex, and requires an in-depth understanding of hair growth cycles and what the laser technology can and cannot achieve.*

Overview of Laser Hair Removal Technology

The Lumenis LightSheer is one of the technologies California Skin Institute providers often utilize to help patients get rid of unwanted hair.* This hair removal laser uses bursts of energy to target and damage the hair follicles to stop future hair growth.* Unlike electrolysis, which uses electric current to damage one hair follicle at a time, the LightSheer uses a specialized applicator that can target hundreds of follicles with one easy application.* This significantly reduces treatment times and the associated discomfort.*

Because the LightSheer is designed to target pigment within the hair follicle, the laser does not cause damage to the surrounding tissues and skin structures.* The effectiveness of this approach is further enhanced due to the applicator tip, which is pressed against the skin to push away blood vessels and decrease the distance between the laser emitter and the hair follicles.*

Laser Hair Removal Considerations

To understand how effective laser hair removal can be, it’s important to consider the hair growth cycles and the fact that the LightSheer, and similar lasers, function by targeting pigment in the hair follicle.*

The hair on your body goes through three distinct growth stages:

  • Anagen: The growth phase, where the follicle is actively producing hair cells.
  • Catagen: A transitional stage, where the hair follicle begins to shrink.
  • Telogen: Resting phase, where the hair temporarily stops growing.

Because laser hair removal targets the pigment in the hair follicle, it is most effective at targeting follicles in the growth phase, as this is the time when the follicle contains the most pigment.* Since at any given time only a portion of your follicles is in the growth phase, several laser hair removal treatments are needed, because the laser will not be effective for follicles that are in the resting phase at the time of treatment.*

Further, it is important to note that dark hair will be more responsive to the treatment than light hair, because dark hair has more pigment.* Unfortunately, dyeing your hair before treatment will not make the hair removal more effective, as the darker color will not affect the follicle.*

How Long do Results Last?

Many California Skin Institute patients have found laser hair removal to be a very cost-effective procedure as it reduces the future need for waxing or shaving.*

Can Ingrown Hair be Treated?

Yes, because laser hair removal targets the pigment in the hair follicle, ingrown hair can be effectively treated with this therapy.* In fact, many California Skin Institute patients who choose to undergo laser hair treatments do so because ingrown hairs caused by repetitive shaving have become unbearable.*

Other Laser Hair Removal Options

In addition to the Lumenis LightSheer technology, California Skin Institute providers can also effectively administer other laser treatments for hair removal, including:*

  • Alma Harmony YAG: This is a very effective laser treatment that can be used for spider veins and tattoo removal, in addition to laser hair treatments.* Your California Skin Institute provider may suggest this laser option as an alternative to LightSheer laser hair removal.*
  • Gemini Laser: The Gemini laser is another versatile technology offered by California Skin Institute providers to remove unwanted hair, and can also be calibrated to address spider veins.*

If you’d like to learn more about your laser hair removal options, please contact a California Skin Institute practice near you, or fill out the Contact Form below!

*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.