Laser Hair Removal Journal

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

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The laymen’s answer - The laser shoots energy into your skin and heats up the darkest matter it finds, typically the melanin in the hair follicle.  The hair follicle basically burns to the point it is so damaged it cannot grow again. 

 Think about how hot you get out in the sun when you wear a black shirt compared to when you wear a white shirt.  Obviously the black shirt will absorb more light and get hotter faster.  The darker pigments in hair absorb more of the laser’s energy then the lighter surrounding skin.  This concentration of energy heats up then burns the hair, much like a magnifying glass can concentrate the sunbeams to burn an ant.

A more scientific explanationThe laser directs energy toward the skin and the melanin in the hair shaft absorbs most of the energy damaging the hair follicle.  This process, selective photothermolysis, requires using the correct wavelength to target a specific cell (the chromophore melanin located in the hair shaft) to destroy that cell and not the surrounding tissue. 

In the skin there are three main components that absorb energy, melanin, water and hemoglobin.  The melanin absorbs more energy when the wavelengths are between 700 and 1000 nm.  The best lasers to use for laser hair removal shoot energy in wavelengths within this range.  The YAG is 1064nm, the diode 810nm, the alexandrite 755nm and the Ruby 755nm.

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