Am I a candidate for laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is not for everyone. In general the requirement is that one’s hair must be darker than the surrounding skin. Additionally, very darkly pigmented people may absorb too much laser energy in their skin and may not be candidates. Tanned patients with light hair are not candidates. Tanned patients with dark hair must wait until their tan fades before they can be treated. Lastly, the treatment cost should be within reach of the patient. Laser hair removal, although much less expensive than electrolysis, requires multiple treatments and may cost over £1,000 in total for large areas.
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Influence of skin colour on laser hair removal.
Light skin makes laser hair removal easier to perform. Fewer treatments are required and better, faster results are obtained. People with darker skin can also be treated, and the Hillview Laser Centre has the experience to do this. Laser hair removal must be individualised for each patient.
Influence of hair colour on laser hair removal.
Dark hair absorbs more laser energy and is easier to treat. Coarse dark hair responds the best to laser hair removal. Light hair is more difficult to treat. Blond or red hair is very difficult to treat. Multiple treatment sessions are required and results are variable. Blond or red hair usually contains pheomelanin which absorbs laser energy less avidly than the eumelanin which is present in black or brown hair.
Laser hair removal requires multiple treatments.
Although one laser session can produce long-term hair removal, as a rule multiple sessions are necessary to obtain optimal results. In large part of this is due to the fact that laser hair removal is most effective for hair in the anagen phase. Anagen is the growth phase of hair. Since hair grows in cycles, not all the hairs are in anagen at any given time. Additional sessions are necessary to catch all of the hairs when they are in anagen.
What areas can be treated?
Any area except adjacent to the eye, where there is excess hair. The most common areas requested are the face, upper lip, neck, chest, underarms, back abdomen, bikini line and legs.
Pulsed light and hair removal (IPC).
Intense pulsed light devices can produce effective hair removal. Although these devices are not lasers, they are laser equivalents utilising the same principle of selective photothermolysis to achieve hair removal. These devices are in practice more difficult to adjust than lasers and require great expertise for their proper use.
Qualifications of laser hair removal personnel.
A laser clinic should be registered with the local health authority under the provisions of the Registered Homes Act 1984. This act requires that treatment using laser can only be performed by a trained individual. Electrologists, Medical Assistants and other unlicensed personnel should not perform laser hair removal.
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