Best Permanent Hair Removal
The best way to permanently remove hair is through laser hair removal procedures. Shaving, waxing or plucking do not alter the growth patterns of the hair, so the hair will continue to grow back. The only way to reduce hair growth for years at a time is with a laser that is able to disrupt the follicle, impeding future hair regeneration.
Laser Hair Removal Growth Phases
Each hair is produced in a follicle, or hair cell, and goes through three stages of growth – anagen, catagen and telogen.
- Anagen – This is the active growth phase, which lasts between two and seven years. Typically, 80 to 85 percent of your hair is in this growth phase at any one time.
- Catagen – Known as a transition period, catagen is when the hair growth phase begins to shut down, stopping active growth. This period lasts approximately 10 to 20 days.
- Telogen – A rest phase, at this point the hair isn’t growing and typically falls out. The follicle then rests for a certain period of time. Ten to 15 percent of your hair is in telogen at any one time.
Laser Hair Removal and Growth Phase
Laser hair removal can only impact hair in the active or anagen phase, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. For this reason, multiple sessions are needed to ensure that all hair in a given area is impacted by the laser. Your doctor will recommend a treatment program that includes enough time to reach all hair while it is in the active growth phase.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Lasers for this procedure are specially designed to target pigment, or melanin, in the hair follicle. The laser beam passes through your skin harmlessly, attracted by the pigment of your hair. The laser’s energy travels through the hair shaft and hits the hair follicles in the anagen phase. The heat disrupts the hair follicle deep in the skin, reducing its ability to produce hair.
Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?
Results of laser hair removal last for years. Some regrowth can occur, but many patients do not experience hair growth in areas treated with a laser.
Am I a Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal works best with pigmented hair; therefore, light, grey or white colored hair does not respond well to this type of treatment. Additionally, complications can arise with darker skin tones, as the laser can have trouble differentiating between the pigments of the skin and hair follicle. Talk to your cosmetic surgeon about your skin and hair type to find out if you are the best candidate for permanent hair removal.