Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
24 September 2021

Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Permanent hair reduction, or as it is more widely known, permanent hair removal is now one of the most popular beauty treatments available. The success rate is very high indeed and yet some people are still sceptical and think that not only is the treatment not going to work but also that it is not a long term solution.

How does laser hair removal work? 

Following a successful patch test to determine your suitability for the treatment, you will be asked to shave before your appointment. The relevant machine (we will look at the types later) send onto the skin, specific wavelengths of laser (pulses of light) that are absorbed by the melanin (the pigment in the hair), which produces heat which then damages the follicles, getting rid of the unwanted hair. The follicles then lose their ability to regenerate. The mode of action of IPL and laser hair removal is pretty simple and yet still for a cast majority of people of any colour, IPL / Laser hair removal does work.

The results might not be evident instantly, but within a period of 1 to 3 weeks, you will see tremendous changes. During this time the hair will naturally fall out leaving your skin looking silky and smooth.

Does Laser hair removal work on Black or Asian Skin?

Yes it does but there are certain parameters. Not every machine will perform successfully on tanned skin, on very dark skin ) Fitzpatrick skin type 6) or fair skin. Fair skin does not have enough melanin for the light beams to find and there is not enough contrast in colour between dark skin and the dark melanin. However, it is always worth asking around to see which clinic may be best for your skin type and hair colour

What do you expect during IPL laser hair Removal?

Hair removal using either IPL / VPL or laser is not overtly painful.  Before most people agree to undergo the procedure, they always search the terms “Does laser hair removal hurt?” on the internet to get a clear picture of what to expect. The pain is similar to someone giving you a flick with their finger onto your skin. Subject to a discussion on the areas to be treated, your skin therapist would apply some cooling gel and begin work with their particular type of machine.

It would not be possible to remove all the unwanted hair in just one appointment as your hair has different stages of hair growth. It might mean that you need 3 treatments, spaced 4 – 6 weeks apart, or you may need more. This depends on the success of the treatment on your hair type and the stages of hair growth. Many patients are left with a handful of follicles that produce hair following the final treatment. These can, of course, be removed easily by shaving.

Five types of machines that could be used for hair removal

No single hair removal machine is perfect for everyone as it will depend on your skin and hair colour.

The Alexandrite Laser 

  • The fastest hair removal laser
  • Large spot size (up to 18mm) and high repetition rate
  • Can rapidly treat large body areas – an entire back can be treated in less than 30 minutes
  • Suitable for patients with fair to olive complexions

The Diode Laser 

  • Longer wavelength allows deep penetration into the skin and safety for darker skin types
  • Not effective for lighter and finer hair
  • Smaller spot size, which results in longer treatment time
  • The longer treatment time necessary for diode laser hair removal may result in greater expense and increased discomfort
  • The TRIA Beauty home laser hair removal system is a diode laser

The Nd:YAG laser

  • Can be used on all skin types, including tanned skin
  • Large spot sizes and fast repetition rates allow large areas to be treated quickly
  • Provides less effective treatment for fine and light hairs than some other hair removal lasers

Intense pulsed light (VPL/IPL)

  • Very successful in hair removal, as with VPL you can adjust the wavelengths to suit the individual’s skin tone and hair colour)
  • Unlike lasers, IPL devices emit the full spectrum of light wavelengths
  • Works best on patients with fair skin and dark hair
  • Cannot use on Fitzpatrick skin type 6

In years gone by, electrolysis was the most commonly available treatment to reduce hair permanently. Electrolysis can still be very effective on reducing fine or lighter coloured red, blonde or grey hair. However it is more painful than the others mentioned.

For more information and to book your free consultation for permanent hair removal, call 01707 662477 –

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