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How do laser hair removal work?

At Melior Clinics we offer a wide range of hair removal packages to deal with anything from a few nuisance hairs to full body hair removal.

But what actually happens when we use lasers to remove your hair, and why does it work so well?

About your hair

Every hair grows from a follicle. The growth starts from a hair root at the lowest part of the follicle and then pushes up through the skin, appearing on the surface. By the time the hair gets to the surface it is dead, hence it doesn’t hurt when you get a haircut!

Your hair growth happens in cycles, so at any given time some of your hair follicles are actively growing and some of them are resting. When your hair follicle is resting the hair it’s grown falls out, to be replaced by a new hair when it starts the next growth cycle.

Each growth cycle for the hair on your head lasts for years, whereas the hair elsewhere on your body has a growth cycle of only a month or so before resting, which is why it doesn’t grow as long.

How does it work?

Laser hair removal has been used since the 1990s to remove small or large areas of unwanted hair growth and has gained popularity thanks to the speed of treatment and permanency of the results.

The lasers emit light (photons) which targets the melanin pigment in the hair follicle. It heats up cells in the root of the hair within the follicle, without heating the skin around it. This works because light is naturally absorbed by dark surfaces (ie the melanin pigment) but reflected by light surfaces (ie the surrounding skin).

The heat generated by the laser kills the cells in the hair root in the follicle so they are unable to grow. It is most effective when the hair is actively growing, when it’s in a resting state it may not absorb enough of the laser light and therefore survive the process. This is why a series of treatments are needed to ensure full removal. We generally recommend that you’ll need between six and eight treatments with a six to ten week gap between each one, although this will vary depending on your complexion, hair density and the area to be treated.

Our lasers are Cynosure’s light-based aesthetic lasers, using gold standard 755nm Alexandrite and 1064nmNd.yag wavelengths, to give the optimum performance across all skin tones and hair colours. All our laser systems have a built-in cooling device to ensure that your treatment is comfortable.

Ready for a smoother future?

Book in for a free consultation to find out more about our laser hair removal treatments. One of our experts will talk you through the process and advise you on the likely number of treatments you will need.

Please note that some patients may not be suitable for laser hair removal due to their skin/hair type, recent sun exposure, light sensitivity, having an active infection or being pregnant. If you’re unsure then please give us a call on 0330 024 1300 and one of our team will be happy to discuss the options with you.