Excess body hair often causes embarrassment for both men and women. It can also lead to ingrown hairs and other irritation that make patches of hair stand out even further.
The logical solution to dealing with this is to research hair removal methods, which will lead you to the only permanent hair removal solution: Full body hair removal. During your research, you will probably notice a lot of articles about the effectiveness of treatments depending on hair type, skin color, and the area of the body being treated. It’s true—these factors play a role in how effective laser hair removal treatments are, but such articles leave many people thinking they aren’t a candidate when in fact they are. To clear up the confusion, let’s start with the basics.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Each laser emits wavelengths of light that target the pigment of hair, also known as melanin. These wavelengths are absorbed by the pigment, effectively destroying the hair follicle without damaging any of the surrounding skin. Hair typically falls out during the laser hair removal process, but more laser sessions are required for permanent removal. Treatment is most effective on dark, thick hair because it has more pigment and a larger area for the laser to target. People with lighter hair or peach fuzz are typically unable to successfully remove body hair with laser hair removal because their hair doesn’t contain enough pigment for the wavelengths to find.
Professional, experienced laser hair removal technicians will personalize your treatments based on the color of your hair and skin. Your hair growth cycle will also affect treatment and is determined by the area of your body undergoing laser treatments. In other words, your underarms will likely be on a different treatment schedule than your facial hair.
Hair Growth Cycle
There are two types of hair found on the body: Light peach fuzz and thick, dark hairs that develop after puberty. Even though most people are covered in light hair, it’s the dark hairs that are usually what people request to have removed. Treatment is performed on a strict schedule because it needs to adhere to the growth rate for permanent hair removal to be achieved.
The three stages of hair growth are the anagen stage, the catagen stage and the telogen stage. During the anagen stage, hair is actively growing and new hair follicles are forming. Each body part will remain in the stage for a different length of time. For example, the bikini area will remain in the anagen stage for roughly four to six weeks. The next stage the hair will enter is the catagen phase. This is when hair growth slows down and hair follicles begin to die. This stage is easy to recognize on your head because it’s more noticeable when it falls out. The final stage is the telogen phase, or when the hair has reached its peak and is no longer growing. Since not all hairs are in the same stage at the same time, several laser treatments are required and are spread out over a period of six weeks or longer.
Laser Hair Removal on Fair or Olive Skin
Fair skin and dark hairs are the best combination for those interested in undergoing laser hair removal because it provides the most contrast between the skin and the hair. This allows the wavelengths emitted from the laser to easily find and target the hair pigment. Those with fair skin and blonde hair will not have as much luck. Without the contrast between the hair and the skin color, the laser will have a difficult time finding hair. However, when an experienced technician uses the right equipment, there’s more of a chance that you’ll be satisfied with your results.
Laser Hair Removal on Brown Skin
Achieving complete hair removal can be even more difficult for those who have brown or dark olive skin than those who have blonde hair. The reason for this is that hairs tend to blend in with the skin, making them difficult for lasers to target. Additionally, old lasers and improper use of lasers can discolor skin because the laser can damage the skin’s pigment. It’s important to do extensive research on treatment centers before choosing one.
How Do Technicians Decide What Type of Skin You Have?
The Fitzpatrick Scale, developed by a Harvard-trained dermatologist, classifies five different skin types based on how they react to ultraviolet light. Laser hair removal technicians use this scale to determine the likelihood of burns and scarring during treatments. This is particularly important for those who have Skin Type 5 because using the wrong laser can scar and permanently damage the skin. Furthermore, those who have Skin Type 1 can experience more hair growth if the wrong laser is used because a low-intensity laser can actually stimulate hair growth. The skin type scale is as follows:
Skin Type 1: Light or Freckled: Never Tans/Always Burns
Skin Type 2: White: Sometimes Tans/Usually Burns
Skin Type 3: Olive: Always Tans/Sometimes Burns
Skin Type 4: Brown: Rarely Burns/Rarely Tans
Skin Type 5: Dark Brown: Very Rarely Burns/Very Rarely Tans
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If you’re considering laser hair removal, but you still aren’t sure if you’re a candidate, schedule a free consultation with Body Details True Laser Hair and Tattoo Removal Clinic now. All of our laser devices release a cryogenic coolant spray during each pulse of the laser to minimize any discomfort caused by the heat. We are also the only treatment center that provides clients with a free lifetime guarantee, keeping our customers hair free and satisfied for life. All of our convenient South Florida locations are staffed by licensed professionals who are ready to create your personalized treatment schedule. To schedule an appointment, visit one of our laser and wellness centers or call 866-708-8645.