Laser hair removal has now been around for well over 20 years and has progressed a lot in that time.
The treatment works by using a laser to target the roots of the hair to stop it’s growth. The actual target for the laser is a group of cells at the root of the hair containing pigment. This means that white hair still cannot be treated and red hair typically doesn’t do well either.
The bulge of cells targeted by the laser come and go during the growth cycle of the hair so on any given day, only a certain percentage of hair will be susceptible to laser treatment. This is the main reason why multiple treatments are required. But once the hair is gone-it tends to stay gone.
The trickiest part of laser hair removal is treating darker skinned patients because of the increased pigment in the skin surface. For these patients, we used specialized lasers to allow the laser to get to the root of the hair without damaging the skin surface.
Peter Jenkin, MD, FRCPC, FAAD
Dermatology Associates of Seattle