Your Leg Hair: The Inside Story
We all have leg hair. But do you know how leg hair grows? More importantly, do you know how to get rid of it? Hair is far more complex than it appears on the surface. We all know that it plays a vital role in the appearance of both men and women. But it also helps to transmit sensory information, making it one of the more important features of your body.
How Does Hair Grow? We’ve Got the Scoop Right Here
It all begins with follicles.
Hair has two distinct structures – the follicle itself and the shaft. The hair follicle is a tunnel-like segment of the epidermis that extends down into the dermis. The structure contains several layers that all have separate functions. At the base of the follicle is the papilla, which contains capillaries, or tiny blood vessels that nourish the cells. The living part of the hair is the very bottom part surrounding the papilla, called the bulb. The cells of the bulb divide every 23 to 72 hours—remarkably faster than any other cell in the body.
Hair also contains an inner and an outer sheath that surrounds the follicle. These structures protect and form the growing hair shaft. Then there’s the sebaceous gland, which produces sebum. Sebum is essential to conditioning the hair and skin.
All About Hair Shafts
The hair shaft is made of a hard protein called keratin and is made in three layers. This protein is actually dead, so the hair that you see is not a living structure. The inner layer is the medulla. The second layer is the cortex and the outer layer is the cuticle. The cortex makes up the majority of the hair shaft. The cuticle is a tightly formed structure made of shingle-like overlapping scales. It is both the cortex and the medulla that holds the hair’s pigment, giving it its color.
The Hair Growth Cycle
At any given time, a random number of hairs will be in one of three stages of growth and shedding:
- Anagen. Anagen is the active phase of the hair. The cells in the root of the hair are dividing rapidly. A new hair is formed and pushes the club hair up the follicle and eventually out.
- Catagen. The catagen phase is a transitional stage and about three percent of all hairs are in this phase at any time. This phase lasts for about two to three weeks. Growth stops and the outer root sheath shrinks and attaches to the root of the hair. This is the formation of what is known as a club hair.
- Telogen. Telogen is the rest phase and usually accounts for six to eight percent of all hairs. This phase lasts for about 100 days for hairs on the scalp and longer for hairs on the eyebrow, eyelash, arm, and leg. During this phase, the hair follicle is completely at rest and the club hair is formed. Pulling out a hair in this phase will reveal a solid, hard, dry, white material at the root. About 25 to 100 telogen hairs are shed normally each day.
Now you know how hair grows. What then are the most common ways to remove it?
- Whether done with an electric or straight razor, shaving is akin to cutting hair, only it does so close to the skin. Shaving doesn’t remove hair at the root, nor does it disturb the follicle. This means the effects are only temporary, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
- Depilatories use an active ingredient to dissolve the hair shaft. The mechanical action of removing the cream using a spatula or sponge helps pull away the dissolved hair from the surface of the skin. Unlike shaving, which leaves sharp, hard hair stubble just below the skin, depilatories leave a rounded, smoother edge. It effectively minimizes stubble, making hair regrowth appear to take longer. Still, treatments need to be repeated at least weekly, if not more often.
- Waxing has been around for centuries as a hair removal technique. And the technique hasn’t changed too much. Wax is warmed until it’s soft and spreadable (it shouldn’t be boiling hot or feel uncomfortably warm). Using a wooden stick that looks a lot like a tongue depressor, the warm wax is spread on the treatment area. Usually the wax is applied in small portions at a time. Then a clean white cloth is pressed down on top of the warm wax and is yanked off quickly, pulling out the hair with it—roots and all. Waxing can remove hair anywhere on the body, including the upper lip, chin, eyebrows, bikini area, arms and legs.
Unfortunately, all these common methods have major drawbacks. And their effects are only temporary. Want to permanently remove hair? Then check out laser hair removal.
The Magic Behind Laser Hair Removal
The competition can’t even touch the ease and comfort of laser hair removal. Compared to other permanent hair removal techniques such as electrolysis, laser hair removal is faster, gentler and safer. The facts say it all: Electrolysis works by inserting a sterile needle into every hair follicle, which then destroys the follicles with a low-level electrical current. Ouch! Because electrolysis focuses on one hair at a time, it’s a painful and tedious process, meaning it is best reserved for small areas of hair. If you want to remove larger areas of hair you’ll have to undergo laser hair removal, which can permanently and effectively do the job.
Laser hair removal seems like magic, but the science behind it is simple. Laser hair removal uses laser light pulses that selectively destroy hair follicles by targeting the melanin in them. The follicle’s pigment absorbs the laser’s light pulse, damaging the follicle enough to significantly slow down hair regrowth. Since the lasers target melanin, coarse, dark hair and light skin combinations tend to respond best to treatment.
Clients with darker hair and darker skin and lighter hair and lighter skin combinations can still achieve desirable results with the Nd:YAG laser. The Nd:YAG laser has a longer wavelength and better pigment selectivity than other lasers used for hair removal, meaning that it can penetrate hair follicles more precisely, leaving the surrounding skin tissue undamaged.
Let LaserAway Remove Your Hair
LaserAway is proud to offer the most medspa service options of any national skincare provider. We hire only the most highly trained staff experienced and certified in administering laser and other dermatological procedures. What’s more, we use only innovative techniques and cutting-edge laser technology. We aim to make your medical spa experience comfortable, enjoyable and satisfying. Want to learn more about laser hair removal? Then schedule a free, no obligation consultation today by emailing LaserAway.net or calling the staff at LaserAway at (888) 965-2737. LaserAway looks forward to making sure you never have to shave or wax again.