All of us desire a smooth, flawless hair-free skin but going through the painful process of waxing, threading or shaving is equally frightening. Understandably, this has given way to the laser hair removal process gaining immense popularity. It is not only safe and effective but almost gives you a permanent solution to it. The prospect again incites fear mostly because of the unawareness that still surrounds this process. Here, we start by throwing some light on the underlying working principle of laser hair removal and alleviating some of those fears.
Understanding the term ‘laser’
Very few know that LASER is an acronym that stands for ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation’. A laser beam is nothing but an intense and focused beam of light. This single beam of light is generated by an electronic device by amplifying photons with more energy created via collisions with other photons. These lights can travel enormous distance without dispersion or losing their tremendous energy. Today, these rays are exploited productively in numerous applications like industry, communications, mappings etc. In the beauty and cosmetic industry, special types of medical grade lasers are used which have been certified as being safe to use on human skin.
How does laser hair removal work?
We all know that the color of our skin, eyes and hair is due to the presence of the pigment melanin on our skin. It is the melanin which soaks up the harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun and protects our skin from its dangerous radiation. The melanin present in our hair also functions in the same manner. Similar to sun rays, it can also absorb the laser rays. It is this phenomenon which is exploited in laser hair removal treatments.
In contrast to the normal sunlight which has numerous wavelengths of light in it, a laser beam has a specific light of specific wavelength which travels at high speed and in the same direction. They are thus quite narrow and can be easily focused on a tiny spot to create a very concentrated and powerful energy form. Moreover, the light of the laser beam easily converts to energy.
The dark pigment melanin, attracts the laser light beam, absorbs it and converts it to high heat energy. The heat generated reaches a temperature of about 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat then acts on the hair follicle to destroy it. First, the water in the hair gets vaporized and then burns the bulb as well as stem of the water follicle to create a teeny burst of smoke, popularly called as laser plume. The hair receives the blood supply with oxygen through its bulbs while the stem cells facilitate hair regeneration. As both get destroyed, the hair growth is stopped.
This is the reason why you are not advised to wax or pluck your hair before a laser hair removal session. These processes will remove the hair thereby eliminating the hair follicle to absorb the laser lights.
The skin tone gets important here as dark skin tone will have more melanin pigment which will absorb more heat and can be uncomfortable. Thankfully, today there are specified laser rays based on your skin tone which ensures that you do not feel any heat or pain.
The procedure may sound daunting but is absolutely safe. Even your surrounding skin does not get damaged because the laser zaps the hair via a series of ultra short pulses. The laser supply gets cut off before the heat could be spread to adjoining areas. This is the reason why you need to undergo multiple sessions so that all hair can be targeted.
Laser hair removal is an extremely safe method that can eventually give you a near-permanent solution to your hair problems. Done right, it is the safest and the most effective technology available today.