Types of laser for permanent hair removal
In the case of so-called permanent laser hair removal, the laser acts directly on melanin, which is responsible for hair and skin color. The area to be shaved must be shaved before applying the laser , so that the light emitted by it falls directly on the hair bulb and burns it. But the higher the concentration of melanin, the darker the hair. Hence, this type of technique is not useful when it comes to gray or very light hair, since melanin is absent or very scarce.
Likewise, the color of the skin and the thickness of the epidermis are factors to be taken into account since dark or tanned skin has a high concentration of melanin and can be damaged.
Therefore, each type of hair and skin requires the use of a type of laser appropriate to its characteristics and must be used by a specialized and properly trained professional to avoid complications such as skin burns.
Ruby laser: with a wavelength of 695 nanometers, it was the first to be used for hair removal, although it is practically no longer used, given its low efficiency.
Diode laser: it is probably the most used today, since it allows to act on skin types I to VI and tanned, with dark hair. Its wavelength is 810 nanometers.
Soprano laser: it is the latest one that has been introduced in the permanent hair removal market. It emits light with a wavelength of 800 nanometers and is similar to the diode, and can also be used safely on tanned skin and is effective when the hair is finer. Its main advantage is that the procedure is practically painless, so in a single session you can remove hair from a greater area of skin.
Lightsheer laser: also similar to the diode, but emits a progressive and discontinuous pulse of light, which reduces the risk of burns significantly. It is suitable for very tanned skin.
Alexandrite laser: has a wavelength of 755 nanometers and is used for phototype I to IV skin (very light) and dark and thick hair.
Neodymium-Yag laser: its wavelength is 1064 nanometers. Although it can be used on all skin types, its effectiveness is less than in the previous cases.
Xenon-Krypton-Argon laser or IPL (intense pulsed light): in this case the emitted light is polychromatic, so it has different wavelengths. It allows covering a greater surface area of skin, but more sessions are needed to remove all the hair and it can only be used on fair skin.
The choice of one or another type of laser requires a previous study of the skin and hair to determine which is the most appropriate in each case to obtain a permanent hair removal in the fewest possible sessions, with the maximum efficiency and the greatest safety.
Pros and cons of laser hair removal
Body waxing has gone from achieving correct but outdated results to other more sophisticated methods that are aimed at achieving hair-free skin for life. The most effective and, therefore, used is the laser.
Indeed, “laser hair removal is the technique that will allow us to achieve the best and longest lasting results “, summarizes to Infosalus the specialist in techniques and laser hair removal from the Aesthetic Medical Institute of Madrid (IMEMA), Nuria Naharro. It acts “in a controlled way”, the expert points out, on the root of the hair and weakens it little by little. Naharro explains that “it works thanks to an optical meter with high melanin intensity”, which allows it to “regulate the intensity of the laser applied to the skin, adapting it to the skin and hair of patients.”
The possibility of adaptation to the individual conditions of the patient in question is one of the benefits of laser hair removal, but the IMEMA expert mentions several more. It divides them into short, medium and long term benefits.
First, in the short term, laser hair removal fulfills its most obvious function: to make it possible to reduce the amount of hair. This reduction in body hair is “around 30 to 40 percent per session”, specifies the expert. Another short-term benefit of this technique is that it makes hair thinner as sessions are carried out, “even from the first,” says Naharro.
However, the effectiveness of the treatment depends, to a large extent, on the color of the skin and hair, in addition to its thickness , the depth at which it is and its stage of development, qualifies the Spanish Society of Aesthetic Medicine. . As a general rule, according to the society, it is more effective in patients with fair skin and thick dark hair.
In reference to the medium term, the main benefit of laser hair removal is that ” the skin is smoothing, softening and making it more flexible, ” says the IMEMA expert. For its part, the long-term benefits of laser hair removal include, mainly, that the hair will disappear, according to Naharro. With it , the “annoying pimples and irritations typical of shaving or waxing ” will also go away, the expert completes. Also, “the appearance of the skin changes completely: it looks smoother, with a minimized pore, smoother and more uniform,” adds Naharro. Another benefit is that, since it is a permanent treatment, the need for monthly treatments disappears and time and money are saved, the expert concludes.
Among the cons, the laser specialist points out that discomfort and burning can occur after a laser session if the skin is more sensitive . One possible solution is “to consult your doctor about the use of anesthetic creams if the area to be treated is very sensitive or has a high follicular density,” says Naharro. In this context, the expert states that professionals often advise using aloe after a laser treatment, which will contribute to a “good hydration and regeneration of the treated area”.
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