Laser hair removal, (LHR) made its first appearance in the aesthetic industry in 1998 and since then, it has become one of the most prominent non-invasive, cosmetic procedures offered in North American clinics. The need to continually shave or wax is time-consuming, costly and tedious, hence why the desire to permanently remove unwanted body hair is high for both males and females. Imagine never having to pick up a razor again or feel the pain of ripping off a wax strip!
While the technology has advanced far beyond its original form in the 1990s and is a relatively safe procedure to undergo, not everyone is a perfect candidate for laser hair removal. Below, we outline the qualities that identify and excellent candidate who will receive the best results from laser hair removal.
At Philosophy of Beauty, we use the Lightsheer Diode laser, developed by Lumenis, and a leader in laser hair removal technology, as well as the state of the art Fotona laser systems. In order to understand the factors which affect suitability for either LHR treatment, we need to learn how the laser works to selectively eliminate unwanted hair. Lasers are intense pulses of light which, set to a specific wavelength, can target melanin in papule of the hair shaft.
When the pigmented melanin is targeted by the laser, the light energy neutralizes the hair follicle under the skin, without damaging the surrounding skin. During the anagen, (growth) phase of the hair cycle, hairs fixed to the papilla deep in the follicle conduct the laser light directly to the root of the follicle to destroy it.
The ideal candidate for laser hair removal should have dark and coarse hair, however, with recent advancements in laser technology, LHR can also work for lighter hair and darker skin types than previously. Suitable candidates generally have a distinctive contrast between their skin and hair, such as light skin and dark hair, because this allows the melanin to be targeted more effectively. Blond, fine hair cannot be removed by lasers because there is not enough contrast. Thus, waxing is a much better choice. Tanned or darker skin tones may experience more difficulty achieving their desired results with laser hair removal for the same reason – although recent technology is advancing towards targeting lower contrast between hair and skin.
Another factor to consider when thinking about laser hair removal is the treatment area. Laser hair removal works best for large areas of skin, such as the underarms, arms, legs and back. It is also effective for reducing facial, chin and bikini line hair. Unfortunately, certain areas such as between eyebrows, should be avoided with laser hair removal because there is an increased risk of the laser beam damaging the eyes.
Lastly, as a precaution, we do not recommend pregnant or nursing women undergo laser hair removal.
If you have unwanted body hair but you’re not sure if you are a suitable candidate for laser hair removal, we welcome you to Philosophy of Beauty where we aim to welcome each valued client as a VIP. Your private consultation with one of our medical experts will put your mind at ease and help you to select the most optimal treatments for you.