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Laser Hair Removal is one of the most popular aesthetic treatments worldwide. “What was once a novel idea seems to now be a sensible convenience”.
Laser Hair Removal:
In this method, laser light energy is used that penetrates the hair shaft and kills the hair root. This doesn’t kill the follicle (the place where hair growth starts). So technically, another hair can grow in its place, but it’s difficult. That means results of laser hair removal last a fairly long time and it results in permanent reduction of hair.
By using an ultra-slim needle to penetrate each individual hair shaft, this system delivers tiny shocks of electricity to the hair follicle, killing the cells that actually make hair. Once a cell is gone, it’s gone, so no hair will grow there again.
With blades as wide as an inch and a half and hinged handles as long as a foot, these specialty straight razors allow you to literally shave your back and shoulders, in much the way you use a back scrub brush during a shower.
Nowadays, soy waxes are used instead of honey-based waxes. Soy wax is a creamy lotion that is applied to the skin. Strips of specially prepared cloth are layered over the cream. When the mixture dries, in just a few minutes, the cloths are removed (it gives you a feeling of pulling off a bandage) and the hair is gone.
A chemical compound suspended in a gel or cream base that attacks the proteins in hair and dissolves them. This causes the hair to loosen and fall out instantly.
How does LHR work?
The best patient for a LHR procedure is fair skinned individual with dark and coarse hair. Having said that this does mean the procedure may not be employed in thin hair and slightly darker skins but in these cases parameters should be judiciously used and the physician should tread cautiously. The coarse, dark hair or the melanin in the hair shaft actually absorbs the laser light and the hair shaft vaporizes and with time the growing phase of the hair cycle decreases making a thick hair become thinner (quite the opposite of waxing and/or threading) and the time in which the hair come back increases. This is what makes the procedure so popular globally.
How many sessions?
This depends on the area being treated e.g. the face or upper lip may require more frequent sessions, whereas the under arms or legs may require fewer sessions which at more spaced out intervals. Typically 6-8 sessions are required to thin the hair and then maintenance sessions maybe needed to maintain the results achieved. In good scenarios a patient may after the first set of sessions not require LHR for months together or even years depending upon the body part addressed.
Why is laser hair reduction (LHR) so popular?
a. Gets rid of unwanted hair at odd areas.
b. Thins down the hair – LHR helps in thinning the hair down rather than thickening the hair contrary to waxing, threading or plucking.
c. No marks after the procedure unlike waxing and threading where you may get marks post procedure.
d. Takes care of the ingrown hair – LHR helps in thinning the hair down so potentially a thin hair does not have the ability to grow in the skin, whereas a thicker hair can. Waxing and plucking will lead to aggravation of this problem over time whereas LHR will help it. Currently LHR is considered a gold standard treatment for psuedofolliculitis or ingrown hair.
e. Hair reduction for longer periods – The hair free periods with LHR are much longer than with waxing or plucking especially for areas other than the face.
f. Relatively painless – There are a lot of advertisements of “painless” LHR – this is not completely true as one has to feel some heat in order for the LHR to be effective, i.e. the feeling of heat suggests that the hair shaft and the stem cells have been heated appropriately and the procedure will be effective.