Not all laser hair removal machines are created equal. There are several types used in salons and others that you can buy for home use.
The Thermolase Corporation’s Soft Light Hair Removal System was the first machine to receive FDA approval for professional use in 1995 and since then laser hair removal machines have gone through constant improvement.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is the laser hair removal equipment used in most of the spas and clinics. These machines use a principle known as selective photothermolysis which works best where there is a strong contrast between hair and skin. The laser emits a strong beam of light (or pulse) for a millisecond which is directed at the skin. The wavelengths of light are calculated so that they are absorbed by the melanin pigment in any dark hair present, destroying it while leaving the lighter surrounding skin unharmed.
The Alexandrite laser works on this principle sending a pulse of light into the subdermal skin where the hair follicles are situated. The aim is to damage hair follicles with the heat from the laser while they are in their active hair growth phase.
Diode lasers use miniature diodes or semi-conductors to produce longer wavelengths of laser light energy. This type of laser hair removal machine is more effective in treating dark complexions where the contrast between skin and hair is not so great.
Other salons use a YAG laser which produces rapid pulses of laser light with two different wavelengths – one pulse of infrared light which goes deeper into the skin to treat the hair follicles lying there, and one of green light which treats those nearer the surface. This is effective at treating more of the hair in one go.
You’ll hear other names talked about too which offer variations of these models – they all have their advantages. Be sure to ask your specialist about the different machines available when you go for treatment in particular if you have a dark complexion.
Because of the precision technology involved, professional hair removal machines are expensive and training to operate them may take up to 30 hours. This makes laser hair removal one of the most expensive beauty treatments around.
With the expense involved many people expect miracles from their treatment but laser hair removal is not an instant success type of treatment. Yes, you will see a big reduction in hair growth but you may need a course of treatments before you see permanent hair removal and even then a few “top up” sessions may be needed.
Even so, you can cover large areas of the body in a relatively short amount of time – whole legs, arms, back and chest which gives the laser method an edge over electrolysis. And it generally leaves skin smooth and soft as well as hair free so you can see why it is becoming increasingly popular.
If you are thinking about getting laser hair removal treatment, you will want to know “how many treatments?” and “how much will this cost?” but hair removal specialists can only give an estimate at best and it depends on how your particular hair and skin reacts.
This makes home hair removal systems seem like such a good idea. You buy the equipment and then you can use it in the privacy of your own home for as long as it takes and as often as you like to achieve permanent removal of unwanted hair. See our next article on this for more information : Home Laser Hair Removal Machines