What happens to your hair follicles during laser hair removal?
Laser Hair Removal has changed the lives of millions, using fast laser light pulses to target and reduce unwanted hair on the body. Patients can feel and see a difference in their hair as they progress with treatments, but what’s really happening beneath the surface? Here’s the complete journey of a hair follicle during laser hair removal:
How and why laser hair removal targets the follicles
Hair follicles are the tunnel-shaped structures that lay within the dermis (or inner layer) of the skin. Hair growth begins at the bottom of the follicle, where the root of the hair is nourished by blood from nearby blood vessels. As more cells are created, the hair grows up the tunnel and out of the skin. Laser hair removal permanently reduces growth by selectively targeting the melanin in body and face hairs and destroying the follicles where growth begins.
Hair growth cycles
If you’re wondering why laser hair removal can take nearly 10 months before you’re fully fuzz-free, it’s because different follicles go through different phases of the cycle at the same time. While some follicles are in the growth phase, others might be in the resting phase. Some of your hairs might be growing and others might be about to fall out. This is why multiple treatments are needed for maximum results.
The anagen phase
This is when hair is actively growing
The catagen phase
This is when hair is in between growth and rest
The telogen phase
This is when the follicle is dormant (up to four months)
Destroy the follicle, stop the growth
Laser hair removal permanently reduces up to 15% of hair in the targeted area with each treatment. This is because once hair follicles are destroyed, they are unable to grow new hairs altogether. As more and more hair follicles are destroyed with each treatment, hair is substantially reduced, so much so that the need for shaving or waxing becomes super minimal.