Laser technology is now widely used in the removal of embarassing and unwanted facial or body hair.
At Laserase Wales we offer two different laser systems according to individuals’ needs: the Ruby Laser and the NdYag Laser. Both systems offer fast and safe hair removal treatments and the yag laser is suitable for virtually all skin types.
Laserase Wales is fully licensed and approved by the local health authority and the procedure is safe and simple.
Over 18 years ago, Laserase was involved in the early development of hair removal laser technolgy initially using ruby lasers.
Unwanted hair is a cosmetic problem which has a significant psychological impact on those who suffer with this problem and many different techniques have been employed over the years to try and deal with the issue. These have included electrolysis as well as a variety of topical creams for use to remove unwanted hair.
Laser hair removal provides a fast removal of unwanted hair from large areas of the body with few side effects. In most cases this technology provides a longer lasting hair removal than traditional methods and can permanently destroy individual hair follicles and therefore can be termed permanent hair reduction.
There are two main types of hair, terminal and vellus. Terminal hairs are long, coarse, thick and visible; vellus hairs are tiny and unnoticeable.
The part of the hair we see is the shaft; the portion below the surface is the root which together with its epithelial and connective tissue covering is called the hair follicle.
At the bottom of the hair follicle is the papilla, a little mound of tissue containing capillaries that deliver the nourishment to the cells of the follicle. Just above the papilla is a group of epithelial cells which multiply giving rise to the cells of the hair. These are the cells we aim to destroy with the heat generated by the laser light.
Hair grows in cycles, each follicle goes through a growing phase, followed by a resting phase, after that a new hair grows in the same follicle pushing the old one out.
The hair goes through three main phases of growth, the anagen, or growing phase, a transitional catogen phase, and a resting phase called telogen.
The phase of hair growth cycle which is most susceptible to laser-assisted destruction is controversial. These cycles show considerable variation depending on the anatomical site of the hair with growth phases lasting up to three years, it is widely excepted that the early part of anaphase is the period most susceptible to laser treatment,.
Hair has different subtypes of melanin which determine its colour, the darker eumelanin which creates black/brown hair absorbs the most energy and therefore darker hair respondsthe best to laser treatment. As hair ages the melanin content declines and hair becomes grey and consequently responds less well to the treatment.
This is defined as excess hair on women only (hypertrichosis refers to increased hair in men and women).
Most common causes are polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and most common sites for excess hair are upper lip, chin, chest, inner thighs, back and abdomen. Excessive hair growth may be an indicator of physical conditions requiring medical assistance we therefore recommend that anyone with this problem consults their GP for investigation of the problem.
Other causes of hypertrichosis or hirsuitism are:
- Virilising tumours
- Endocrine disorders, e.g. Cushing’s disease
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Phenytoin used in epilepsy
- Phenothiazines –antipsychotic drugs
Hair removal by laser
Laser treatment was developed in the early 1990’s and up until then shaving, plucking, waxing and electrolysis were the onlymethods of removing unwanted hair.
Laser treatment uses the principal of selective photothermolysis in which carefully timed pulses of laser energy pass through the skin and are absorbed and converted to heat energy at the hair follicle, the heat generated destroying the epithelial cells that produce the hair. Because longer wavelengths of light penetrate deepest, the most common lasers used are Ruby, NdYag, alexandrite and diode lasers.
Laser hair removal works best in lighter skinned, darker haired patients. Because the target chromophobe in the hair follicles is melanin pigment, less laser energy is absorbed by the skin and more by the hair follicle. Tanned skin also “robs” laser energy as it passes through the skin to the hair follicle. The NdYag laser is less dependent on skin colour than the ruby laser and therefore can be used on abroader range of skin types, and is one of the most effective laser’s in darker skins.
Multiple laser treatments are necessary for best results, and hair in the early growth phase (anagen) respond the best, as the dormant or telogenhairs become active over three months some new growth will become apparent during this period and usually at least 6 treatments over the course of a year will be necessary for good long term results,
The Nd:Yag laser works well for light skinned patients and has the advantage of being able to treat darker skin types where we have found the laser to be very effective.
Dr Neil White from Laserase Wales explains more about Laser hair removal treatments in the video below:
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