Every year, you probably spend a week’s worth of time trying to get rid of unwanted body hair — maybe more if you just give up during the summer months and let the hair take over. Waxing and shaving can be such a drag… but what if you didn’t have to do either anymore?
At New Image Medical Spa in Fremont, California, Dr. Surinder Sandhu offers laser hair removal to eliminate unwanted hair for good, saving you time and money in the long run, thanks to no more waxing and shaving. To help you understand how laser hair removal works, we’ve put together this guide.
The hair growth cycle
Every hair on your body is rooted in a follicle. When an old hair falls out, a new one takes its place. The cycle of hair growth has four stages:
The active growth phase lasts about a month for body hair, and up to 7 years for scalp hair. Around 90% of the hairs on your body are in anagen at any given time.
The transitional phase starts when growth finally stops. Blood flow is switched off, and the follicle stops growing the hair. This phase usually only lasts about 2-3 weeks, and about 3% of the hairs on your body are in catagen at any given time.
The resting phase is extremely important, as the follicle forms a hard bulb of keratin to keep the hair in place for the next 100 days or so (longer for body hair). Around 6%-8% of the hairs on your body are in telogen at any given time.
The final phase, shedding, happens abruptly as the follicle lets go of the hair and it falls out. You’ll lose a few hundred hairs from all over your body during exogen every day. Then the follicle goes back into anagen, and starts growing a new hair.
How laser hair removal works
Anagen is the phase when follicles are most vulnerable. Laser hair removal uses tiny pulses of high-intensity light to cause micro-injuries to the follicle, disrupting the hair growth process so a new hair can’t grow.
Repeated damage over several treatments can cause the follicle to shut down. Just one treatment can provide up to 25% reduction in hair regrowth in the area targeted by the laser. If the treatments are spaced just right, eventually all of the follicles will be hit during anagen, and no more hairs will grow, rendering waxing and shaving obsolete.
Choosing a laser
Early laser hair removal was hit or miss depending on the skin and hair colors of the person receiving it. The burst of light targets the melanin in the hair, following it down into the follicle to do its work precisely. For people with darker skin tones, or very fair hair, it just didn’t work as well.
Modern lasers are much better. At New Image Med Spa, we have two different lasers, which can be adjusted to work with your skin tone. The Alexandrite laser works well for people who have fair skin regardless of hair color. The Nd:YAG laser works well for people with darker skin.
It might take a few months or a year of spaced laser hair removal treatments, but you can be free of shaving and waxing for good. To learn more, get in touch by calling our office, or you can request an appointment online.