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The Science Behind Laser Hair Removal

Updated: Jan 18



While body hair is a completely natural phenomenon that has been protecting humans for centuries, some people still prefer to have smooth, completely hair-free skin. There are various traditional and innovative methods for eliminating your upper lip or chin hair, however, laser hair removal still stands as the most effective and convenient option.


In the past decades, this transformative hair removal method has gained a lot of popularity. However, some people are still on the fence about trying it due to the misinformation surrounding it. This blog aims to explain how exactly laser hair removal works and provide scientifically proven information. 


Hopefully, by the end, we’ll be able to assure you of the superiority of laser treatment as the best method for hair removal, and convince you to book it for your next leg hair appointment.


How Does A Laser Remove Hair?

Two words: selective photothermolysis. While the term might sound a bit complicated, it’s really very simple. The main roles in this process are played by a pigment called melanin and follicles, sacs from where the hair grows. Now that we know the names, let’s break down the exact science behind laser hair removal so you know what you’re getting into before scheduling your next bikini appointment.


A laser emits a light beam that targets melanin, which is present in all types of hair in different amounts. The pigment absorbs the light energy and transforms it into heat. Heat, in turn, targets hair follicles, damages them, and thus stops or delays hair growth. 


The fact is that while every single person has a certain amount of melanin in their hair, its quantity varies from one hair color to another. For example, darker tones have more melanin than blond hair. Naturally, since the laser is “attracted” to melanin, it works better with darker hair colors. However, this obviously doesn’t mean that people with fairer colors can’t enjoy the undeniable benefits of laser hair removal.


Different Types of Lasers

Three different types of laser machines are most commonly used for treatments. All three of them have their own advantages and disadvantages and work best for specific types of hair. 

Alexandrite

Alexandrite laser operates on the shortest wavelength. Due to a more efficient melanin absorption rate than other machines, this laser works best for lighter hair on fair skin. Thanks to a larger spot site, the length of the treatment is comparatively shorter as well.

Nd:YAG

Operating on the longest wavelength out of the three options, Nd:YAG laser offers lower melanin absorption, making this laser ineffective for individuals with light hair colors. You should opt for Nd:YAG if you have a dark skin color and darker, coarse hair. While the treatment length can be longer than that of Alexandrite and Diode, this machine is considered the least painful due to its long wavelength.

Diode

This particular laser machine is somewhere in the middle, considering all criteria. While its quite effective melanin absorption rate makes Diode laser compatible with various skin and hair types, it’s still not as efficient as the Nd:YAG laser. This means that while Diode can still remove fair hair, it works best with dark and coarse hair.


All three of these laser machines share the same risk of blistering, pigment changes, and scarring. However, if the procedure is done correctly by a professional, the chances of these side effects occurring are minimal.


What to Consider Before Treatment

There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re about to book a leg hair removal appointment. For example, any professional will require you to avoid tanning at least 1-2 weeks before the procedure. The reason for this is that UVA/UVB exposure increases your melanin levels, which creates a risk of “off-target” light absorption, increasing the chances of burning and scarring.


For a laser treatment to be equally safe and effective, you need to know which laser machine would work best for you and what precautions you should take to avoid complications. We urge you to consult with the professionals in our laser hair removal studio before booking an appointment so we can determine the best treatment plan for you.


In Conclusion

Here at Ecou’s Laser we offer the most advanced, FDA-approved technology that operates on a dual wavelength (Alexandrite/Nd:YAG). We can appropriately adjust the wavelength to achieve the most effective results and minimize the risk of skin damage.


Hopefully, this blog could convince you why laser treatments are the best way for effective hair removal. It’s important to know your skin and hair types and what you need to consider before scheduling a procedure - consultation with a licensed professional who will answer all your questions should be the first step on your journey to a hair-free life.


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