Laser hair removal techniques eliminate hair and the prospects of re-growth by neutralising the majority of hair follicles. The fundamental principle is called photothermolysis, where light energy emitted from a laser source turns to heat as it is absorbed by a darkly pigmented target – typically, hair. The intense heat destroys the hair follicle.
However, laser light is unable to ‘recognise’ hair differently from skin. It goes for the darkest pigmentation. Let’s understand why this occurs. Dark areas absorb light energy from the laser better than the lighter areas. When the hair is darker than the surrounding skin, the follicle absorbs the light energy and gets destroyed, as does the hair shaft while the skin remains unharmed. In contrast, if the hair is lighter than the surrounding skin it will not absorb the laser light. The follicle will stay intact but the skin will absorb the energy and could get burned.
That’s why at Kaya we use several types of laser, each with its own characteristic wavelength, penetration and application. Each works best with a certain combination of hair and skin tone.
Nd:YAG laser has a long pulse wavelength that is considered safest for darker skin types but is of limited use on light or fine hair.Alexandrite laser, on the other hand, has a shorter wavelength which makes it useful for lighter skins but less suitable on darker skin.
Cutera, the pioneers of laser hair removal, have developed excel HRTM, a composite device that combines the advantages of both Nd:YAG and Alexandrite lasers.
Using the wavelengths delivered by both Nd:YAG and Alexandrite, excel HRTM becomes uniquely effective for all skin types. It features a high-performance dual wavelength laser system – CUTERA’s proprietary truPulseTM – Nd:YAG technology.
As laser hair removal works through the generation of heat energy, it is important to protect skin from the effects of this heat which could cause pain if not managed smartly. Most laser systems attempt to compensate the pulse of heat with a perfectly timed shot of cooling excel HRTM takes the concept further. It uses a special technique known as sapphire contact cooling which delivers continuous cooling before, during and after each laser pulse.
The excel HRTM experience is reported by users as more comfortable and pain-free than other lasers. This is because the sapphire cooling system pre-cools the skin in the instant before the laser impulse, compensates laser-induced heat with a cooling impulse in the same instant, and also follows that up with yet another cooling shot.
Curious what it looks like? Watch this video from the makers.
All types of hair, coarse or fine, can be removed. Underarms, legs, bikini area and men’s chest and back can be treated efficiently since this laser can cover more area in each treatment session due to its consistent and sustained energy, delivered in every pulse.
Delivering the Alexandrite benefit, it keeps your skin smoother for longer, delaying hair regrowth by the longest period ever known. It does so by penetrating deeper into skin tissue and directing a controlled amount of therapeutic heat at the hair.
Multiple sessions are required to achieve and possess the smooth, hair-free look, once and for all. Typically, 4-5 treatments are recommended, spaced 6-8 weeks, since it could take the hair 6-12 weeks to grow from root to surface. Treated hair falls out over 15 to 21 days.
You may wonder why a treatment as effective as this, still calls for multiple sessions. The reason is simple. Hair growth occurs in three phases – the active growth or anagen phase, during which the hair contains an abundance of melanin; the regression or catagen phase when the hair has not been shed but has stopped growing and the follicle has been reabsorbed; and the resting or telogen when the shaft of hair gets detached in preparation from the fresh hair.
Laser hair removal is effective only when the hair is in the early anagen phase since the hair contains an abundance of melanin at that point, and melanin is what provides the dark pigmentation needed to make laser work. making it necessary to have multiple treatment sessions.
Treatment should commence when the hair in the treated area starts to grow back. If the treatment is delayed the hair shaft could enter the next stage of growth, detach from the hair follicle and increase the number of treatments required.
- Avoid tanning/sunbathing/direct sun exposure for a minimum of 2 weeks before the treatment.
- If recommended by the dermatologist or technician, apply anesthetic cream over the areas to be treated, at least one hour before your visit to the clinic. This ensures optimal numbing.
- We advise you to shave off the hair in the areas to be treated, before your visit to the clinic. Not only will it save you time, it will make your session a lot more comfortable.
A few points to note:
- Shave around 2-3 hours before the session
- Wet shaving should only be done using shaving foam or a skin cleanser and a razor
- Do not use electric shaving machines/epilators/ depilators/shaving creams
- Be careful to not cut your skin
- Leave a small patch of skin unshaven. This will enable the dermatologist to identify the hair type/status.
- Avoid other hair removal methods aside from shaving and epilation creams in between sessions.
- Do not bleach, wax, thread or pluck hair throughout the course of the treatment.
- Do not apply henna to treated areas 7-10 days prior to and after the treatment.
- Avoid sunbathing/direct sun exposure for a minimum of 2 weeks after the treatment.
- Apply sunscreen on a regular basis 20 minutes before stepping out and repeat 2 to 3 times in the course of the day.
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