More about Laser Hair Reduction

cosmetic MD



How does Laser Hair Removal work?

The laser targets the pigment, melanin, which is found in your hair shaft and follicle. Laser energy is absorbed by the melanin which then travels down to the follicle dispersing its thermal energy. This introduces rapid heating in the hair follicle which, in most cases, permanently damages the follicle. The hair shaft falls out over the next few days. In addition, bulk heating of the skin tissue by the deeply penetrating Nd-YAG wavelength damages follicle cells which have higher metabolic rates than the surrounding skin.

Your hair follicles are all in different stages of their growth cycle at any particular time. When they are in the actively growing phase, anagen, they have a hair shaft and are metabolically active. This is the target part of the growth cycle for laser hair reduction. In the dormant phase, telogen, the follicle has no hair shaft, and is essentially invisible to laser light as there is no pigment and very low metabolic rates.

New hair growth after a laser hair reduction treatment involves dormant follicles coming into a new anagen phase and does not represent failure of the initial treatments.

There is little or no melanin in white, blonde or grey hair and so laser hair reduction is much less effective for these colours.

How does laser hair removal work?

Am I Suitable For Treatment?

Clients who have a lighter skin with darker hair will see the best results due to the difference in melanin content between the skin and the hair.

Certain medications can cause photosensitivity reactions (that is, reactions of the skin to light exposure). Our laser technicians will perform a patch test and check any medication you may be taking during your consultation to ascertain if there would be any chance of an adverse reaction to the laser.

It is also important to avoid tanning prior to a laser hair reduction treatment.

Why Choose Laser treatments over IPL?

Although Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments can be effective (especially for patients with dark hair and light skin combinations), laser technology is generally more effective and the safest way for permanent hair reduction. Lasers are also safer and more effective in patients with darker skin.

Unlike a laser which delivers a concentrated beam of a single wavelength, IPL light energy consists of a broad range of wavelengths that can be reflected or dispersed by different pigment targets in the skin. Less energy is delivered to the target compared with a laser. Generally, you will require more repeat treatments with IPL than with laser.

What can I expect after the treatment?

There is no real downtime with this treatment, most people return directly to work or normal activity following treatment. It can take up to 2 weeks to see the full effect, but some patients start to notice improvements after a few days.


To find out more about these procedures, go to our Contact page to send cosmetic MD an email or call us to organise a consultation.

For post-treatment instructions, please visit the Post-Treatment Instructions page.

The following photos are courtesy of Fotona’s international consultant laser specialists.

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