Dealing with unwanted hair can make you feel as if you’re in that movie Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray lived the same day over and over again. You get rid of the hair through shaving, plucking, waxing, and the like, and then a few weeks later there it is again. But you can get rid of the majority of the hair for good with laser hair removal from Aesthetic Plastic Surgery of Delaware.
How does a laser get rid of my hair?
When people first hear about laser hair removal they may think that the laser is going to zap away the hair, kind of like a James Bond movie. And they may assume there is some serious risk involved to go along with it.
But that’s not how it works. Lasers deliver energy as a single wavelength of light. Our aesthetician sets the laser to match the melanin in your hair (melanin gives hair and skin their color). Then the laser delivers the light energy down onto the targeted hairs. The melanin in the hair shaft absorbs the light energy, and it converts to heat. This heat travels down the hair shaft into the hair follicle, which is in charge of growing hair. The heat damages or destroys the follicle, preventing it from growing future hair.
Timing is everything
But as in most of life, timing is everything when it comes to laser hair removal. The average human has around five million hair follicles on the body, a few hundred thousand less for women, a few hundred thousand more for men. Each of those hairs operates as independent contractors of a sort; every hair can be in a different stage of the growth cycle. Unfortunately, lasers only really effectively deal with hair in the growth cycle.
There are three phases to the human hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen is the growth cycle, and the hair is firmly rooted in the follicle and is growing. Lasers work well on these hairs, as the hair transports the heat energy down into the follicle. Catagen is the transitional phase of growth and rest. In this phase, the body has stopped sending nourishment to the hair and is moving toward shedding the hair. Lasers can’t effectively get to the follicle in this phase. Telogen is the resting phase, where the hair is shed, and the follicle chills out for a bit.
That’s why multiple sessions are necessary to get rid of the majority of your unwanted hair; you have to catch hairs in the growth cycle, and around 20% of your hairs are in that cycle at any one time. We’ve found patients to need from three to 10 laser removal sessions to achieve the level of permanent hair removal they seek. A realistic target is from 80 to 85% hair removal.
Interested in ditching your razor for good? Call us at 302-656-0214 and schedule a laser hair removal session.