It’s been a whopper of a winter here in Grand Rapids, but eventually, summer will come, and with its trips to the lakes and rivers all around. Wouldn’t it be nice when donning your new swimsuit not to have to worry about fun stuff like razor burn or waxing irritation areas? You can if you opt to have the team at Elite Plastic Surgery put our BroadBand Light laser energy to work getting rid of your unwanted hair permanently.
How does laser hair removal work its magic?
Some people fear the prospect of aiming a laser at their skin. Maybe they’ve just watched a James Bond movie marathon and remember the scene from Goldfinger when our hero James is nearly permanently neutered or even cut in half by a high-powered laser. Hmm.
We do use laser energy to remove your unwanted hair, but not quite like Mr. Goldfinger. First, we set the laser wavelength to match the color of your unwanted hair. Then we target short bursts of laser energy onto the targeted hair. The hair shafts absorb the light energy of the laser and that energy converts to heat energy. The heat travels down the shaft into the hair follicle at the base of the hair shaft. The heat damages the follicle and prevents it from being able to grow hair in the future.
Why is the Elite laser better?
At Elite, we use a BroadBand Light (BBL) laser for our hair removal sessions. The advantage to the BBL laser is that is can treat many hairs at one time, making treatment of large areas practical. Plus, the laser utilizes a unique computer-guided scanning system that automates the treatment, ensuring your skin is rapidly and evenly treated. All skin types and tones can be treated.
Catch the hairs in the growth cycle
Human hair has three stages of the growth cycle: growth, transitional, and resting. The growth cycle, known as anagen, is when the laser energy is most effective. This is because the hair shaft is still anchored to the follicle and growing. This makes it susceptible to damage from the laser energy traveling down the hair shaft. However, in the transitional and resting stages, hair is disconnecting from the follicle, shedding, and then resting before starting the hair growth cycle all over again. Because these hairs are preparing to shed and are losing their contact with the follicle, they can’t transfer the heat energy down into the follicle.
That’s why a series of laser hair removal sessions are necessary to achieve the 80+ percent permanent hair reduction most people seek; you need to catch the hairs in the anagen cycle. The number of treatments you will need is dependent on your hair type and your goals for the amount of hair permanently removed. Usually from 4-6 sessions is what most patients seem to find satisfactory.