Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is the process of removing unwanted hair by means of exposure to pulses of laser light that destroy the hair follicle. It had been performed experimentally for about 20 years before becoming commercially available in the mid-1990s. One of the first published articles describing laser hair removal was authored by the group at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1998. The efficacy of laser hair removal is now generally accepted in the dermatology community, and laser hair removal is widely practiced in clinics. Many reviews of laser hair removal methods, safety, and efficacy have been published in the dermatology literature.

Hair grows in several phases (anagen, telogen, catagen) and a laser can only affect the currently active growing hair follicles (early anagen). Hence, several sessions are needed to kill hair in all phases of growth.

Multiple treatments depending on the type of hair and skin color have been shown to provide long-term reduction of hair. Most patients need a minimum of seven treatments. Current parameters differ from device to device but manufacturers and clinicians generally recommend waiting from three to eight weeks between sessions, depending on the area being treated. The number of sessions depends on various parameters, including the area of the body being treated, skin color, coarseness of hair, and sex. Coarse dark hair on light skin is easiest to treat. Certain areas (notably men's faces) may require considerably more treatments to achieve desired results.

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