Unwanted hair can be just a nuisance or it can be a source of embarrassment.
Waxing, shaving, plucking are all temporary solutions. As long as the follicle that
grows the hair remains intact, the hair will grow back. Now, technology provides
the answer by selectively destroying the follicle with intense pulsed light. This
allows the surrounding tissue to remain unharmed.
Computerized pulsed light can be customized to remove brown, red, or black hair
any where on the body. Hair grows in different phases and not all hairs will be in
the same phase at any one time. The treatment will only remove hair in the
growth phase, so 3-4 treatments are usually necessary to reduce hair by 85-99%.
Intense pulsed light differs from electrolysis by its ability to inactivate multiple hair
follicles with a single flash of light, much less painfully, and much faster. Most
patients require no topical anesthetic, though fast acting anesthetics are
available at the time of treatment.
Hair removal lasers have been in use since 1997 and the Food and Drug Administration approved it for "permanent reduction in hair growth." They permanently disable hair follicles, however you have to remember that laser hair removal doesn’t work in the same way on everyone and doesn’t remove 100% of the hair in an area.
Some will also need touch-up treatments about once a year, especially on large areas, after the initial set of 6-8 treatments for any new growth your body may develop with age on certain areas.
Pulsewidth is an important consideration. It has been observed in some published studies that longer pulsewidths are safer in darker skin. Wavelength is a critical factor. Longer wavelengths are safer in darker skin. However, shorter wavelengths are more effective in removing hair.
Spot size, or the width of the laser beam, affects treatment. Theoretically, the width of the ideal beam is about four times as wide as the target is deep. Hair removal lasers have a round spot about the size of your finger (8-18 mm). Larger spot sizes help make treatments faster and more effective.