Laser Hair Removal

Human beings have sought to remove body hair for aesthetic, religious or hygiene reasons since time immemorial. It is considered so important for self image and is a recurring investment too. Among the permanent methods of hair removal, which are popular in modern times is laser treatment. Laser hair treatment is a medical procedure and must be done in aseptic surroundings by a qualified technician only.

Body hair is made of a kind of protein called keratin. Each strand of body hair is made up of the visible part of hair above the skin is the hair shaft. Embedded part called the hair follicle or root. The hair follicle is surrounded by sebaceous and sweat glands and nerve cells.

Laser treatment for hair removal can be done for most parts of the body, apart from the face like

  • Chest
  • Under arms
  • Upper Lip
  • Legs
  • Back
  • Bikini area
  • Pubic area

The method

To remove body hair, permanently, a hand held laser is moved above the body part to be depilated. The laser beam seeks out melanin in skin and hair. Melanin is the dark pigment which gives the skin and hair its color. The light emitted is absorbed by the hair follicle which is affected and becomes incapable of promoting fresh hair growth, The hair shaft so affected is shed in a week to fifteen days. Though laser hair treatment does not remove hair permanently, the growth of body hair after treatment is noticeably scantier.

Laser hair removal works best on a combination of dark hair and light skin. There are improvements in progress to make it effective on combinations of light hair and light skin and dark hair and dark skin.

Laser treatment takes multiple sittings and must be done by a qualified practitioner only. It is a fairly expensive treatment but is preferable to electrolysis in areas with dense growth of body hair.

Side effects of laser treatment:

  1. Swelling: There may be swelling and pain in the area covered by laser treatment. The swelling and pain subside in a week at the latest
  2. Scarring: Laser beams are emitted at high temperature. If done by an inexperienced or unqualified practitioner, it may cause burns and scarring.
  3. Discoloration of skin: The laser beam is supposed to be absorbed by the hair shaft. Sometimes the melanin in the underlying skin absorbs the laser with the result that the skin becomes paler than surrounding skin.
  4. Pain: Some people undergoing treatment may be unable to bear the pain and may ask for administration of a local anesthetic.
  5. Not permanent: Despite the high cost and time taken for treatment, this method does not result in permanent hair removal. The subsequent growth does occur though it may be scantier than growth prior to the treatment.


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