Laser Hair Removal History And How-To's
Most of us think of laser hair removal as a recent technological innovation. But that's not the case. This technique has been around since the late 1960's. In 1969, a commercial product was released in the form of a fiber-optic probe. The product was touted as a pain-free permanent method of hair removal. The FDA soon forced the product off drugstore shelves because it hadn't undergone testing. The device was found to be not only ineffective, but had the potential to do harm. A decade later, another laser product suffered the same fate.
At last, in 1995, the FDA granted its approval to a laser hair removal system. Consumers soon discovered that the product didn't provide permanent hair reduction and it was taken off the market.
Laser hair removal today works by targeting the melanin, the dark pigment in hair, and this makes it a more effective method than in the past. Still, more research needs to be done on the long term effects of laser hair removal.
Modern lasers work to remove hair by sending an invisible light pulse into the hair follicle. The heat contained in this light beam applies heat to the hair follicle, destroying the hair root and putting the follicle out of action. This means that new hair growth is delayed and may even become permanent. The laser targets the follicle by finding the melanin, which is the chemical responsible for dark hair color. Because the light is attracted only to the melanin-containing follicle, the skin surrounding the hair isn't affected.
The length of the laser treatment is dependent upon the size of the treatment area. A laser pulse can cover some 3/8 inch of skin, which translates to a longer treatment for a larger area, such as the back, which can take up to two hours. Lips should take about 10 minutes to treat. Many women opt to treat just the bikini and underarm areas, so these are often treated at the same time. These procedures done together will take just under an hour to perform.
Laser can't remove all your hair at the same appointment. The reason for this is that laser only works on hair during its growth phase, as opposed to hair that is in a dormant or shedding stage. At any one point, only some 85% of your hair follicles are in the active growth state. This is the reason that laser treatments must be repeated to give maximum results.
In addition to looking for an experienced technician, you'll want to find a clinic that uses the long-pulsed laser. Considered the safest method of laser hair removal, the long-pulsed laser allows the skin a longer time to cool between light pulses.
Don't try to look for a bargain laser hair removal procedure. You may end up sacrificing safety in exchange for paying a lower fee. Laser hair removal isn't cheap. Expect to pay a couple of thousand dollars to have your legs done.