Laser hair removal is effective, but certain factors are important to take into consideration to guarantee the best results:
- Carefully identify the person’s phototype in order to choose the most suitable laser.
If a patient has white skin, the Alexandrite laser must be used. If the laser therapist were to choose this laser for mixed-race or black skin, the consequences would be disastrous on the skin (burning/depigmentation). For olive and black skin, the Nd yag laser must be selected.
- Establish a treatment protocol to eliminate as much hair as possible.
- In fact, hair is only responsive to lasers during its growth period, when there is a high concentration of melanin in the bulb. This means that a minimum number of sessions must be scheduled (between 5 and 6 for normal hair and between 7 and 8 for peach fuzz) with 1 or 2 months in between, to make sure that more hairs are treated during the anagen phase. Each session destroys an average of 20% of hair; at least 5 sessions are therefore needed to destroy 95% of hair.
- Carefully identify the color of the hair.
The melanin in the hair plays a key role in the effectiveness of the laser. The darker the hair, the more effective the treatment will be. The laser will not work on blond, white or red hairs at all.
- Choose the correct laser wavelength according to the type of hair.
The finer the hair, the shorter the wavelength needs to be, and the opposite applies for thick and dense hair. The laser therapist may change the laser as the hair becomes thinner.
- Control the duration of the laser pulse.
The thinner the hair and the closer to the skin surface it is (for example, peach fuzz), the shorter the pulse must be.
- Set the laser fluence according to the hair and skin to ensure the laser’s effectiveness.
Choose the setting is complicated because the fluence (energy released by the laser) has to be high enough to remove the hairs while taking into consideration the color of the skin, which can absorb the heat if the melanin is very highly concentrated.
- Determine the laser spot diameter.
When the spot diameter is enlarged, the laser’s ability to penetrate the epidermis increases. Large diameters are particularly suitable for deep hairs and certain areas of the body, such as the bikini area, underarms or chin.
Some uncertainty about the effectiveness of laser hair removal treatment still remains. It is possible that this treatment may not work in certain cases. If there is no improvement in the amount of hair after the 3rd session, this treatment can be considered ineffective.
It should also be noted that the more painful the laser is and the more edemas it produces, the more effective it is.