Getting rid of unwanted hair takes up valuable time as often as every day. For the fortunate among us, grooming away hair may occur only every few weeks. Still, ouch! Who wants to spend their Saturday morning in a waxing salon? Over the last several years, more people have gotten privy to the value of laser hair removal. This technique can put an end to threading, waxing, even shaving, but it does take time, which brings up a good question. Why does laser hair removal take so long?
Understanding Laser Technology
All forms of hair removal that are currently popular are basically like a haircut. Shaving only cuts off hair as it grows past the epidermis. Waxing, as well as plucking, pulls hair from the follicles for a longer period of smoothness. Laser hair removal works in a completely different way.
When we perform laser hair removal, we disable hair follicles. This technique first originated in the late 1990s and has continued to improve since then. From the get-go, laser hair removal has worked by targeting strands of hair with light. Certain wavelengths emitted by a laser device are absorbed into the melanin of individual hairs. The light vaporizes each hair, then transfers to the walls of the hair follicles as disabling heat.
Early laser devices were somewhat limited, achieving success mainly in patients with lighter skin and darker hair. Tanned skin and rich skin tones were virtually excluded from candidacy for laser hair removal. Today, we can treat a much wider range, which has been a leap forward. What hasn’t changed is the duration of treatment.
Why Laser Hair Removal Is a Process
The improvements made in laser technology can do a lot, but cannot change the progress of natural hair growth. Laser energy can currently only be absorbed at a particular depth in the dermis without causing damage to the tissue around hair follicles. This means that we can target hair that is in its active growth phase and fully in the follicle. Beneath actively-growing hair is a percentage of the strand that is in its resting phase. To vaporize that length of hair, we must wait for it to enter its active-growth stage. This can take up to 8 weeks.
From this perspective, we see that laser hair removal isn’t what takes so long; it’s the hair growth cycle itself that takes time. Laser hair removal sessions may be scheduled about 6 to 8 weeks apart, with a total of 6 to 12 appointments needed to achieve lasting results.
It’s Still Worth It!
Time aside, laser hair removal is worth it. After just one treatment, hair growth is usually stunted to some degree. The more treatments that are performed, the less hair will grow back, which means less time will be needed for other hair removal tactics.