Laser Hair Removal – A Revolutionary Beauty Trend?
Beauty trends come and go but there are some that are here to stay—the ones that do are the ones that have something special. Every now and then a revolutionary new treatment pops up and drives the whole world crazy. Laser hair removal might have been around a while, but we’ve discovered a new and exciting side effect speaking to top Qatar dermatologist Dr. Hassan Al-Abdulla.
Many people get laser hair removal because they believe they have excess hair, or they simply want to avoid having to go through painful waxing and trimming every other day. What they don’t know is that the treatment has an extra benefit than simply saving time on their self care routine.
Stimulating Hair Growth
Hair growth therapy is applied to the scalp only. This laser treatment stimulates the growth of follicles and can be used for any kind of hair loss. However, before starting treatments, the doctor or specialist needs to figure out what has caused the hair to fall out so that they can stimulate the hair correctly. Some conditions are caused by diseases, so along with the laser treatment, other treatments need to be provided—either topical, or oral. The laser used for hair growth is called the diode laser.
Removing Unwanted Hair
Excess hair can be triggered by a disease or illness, which causes hormonal disturbance. This happens mostly in women. Illnesses vary, and can involve many factors including ovaries (polycystic ovarian syndrome), the adrenal glands, excessive hormone secretion, medication, or even cancer. Dr. Al-Abdulla explains, “When we see excessive hair growth, we try to find out whether or not a disease is causing it. If it is a disease, then we treat it. If not, we concentrate on the hair only.” The laser is used to kill the hair follicles. Disease or no disease, once the hair follicles are dead, hair will never grow again in that area.
The laser is chosen based on the skin type and hair type: the color, the texture, and the pigment of the skin. Diode is the most commonly used among all skin types. Laser treatments to remove hair have no age limit according to dr. Al-Abdulla, “We can use it on an infant or an adult.”
Laser hair removal is permanent because it kills the hair follicles. However, according to Dr. Al-Abdulla, sometimes follicles are missed; this happens for two reasons: the laser is absorbed by the hair rather than the follicle; the patient doesn’t follow advice when it comes to preparing for the treatment or aftercare. The treatment can be more or less successful depending on the stage of the hair’s life cycle:
- Anagen is the active growing phase.
- Catagen is the transition phase, when the hair starts becoming weaker at the roots.
- Telogen is the resting stage, where the hair begins to break from environmental and dermatological factors.
- The hair falls; it is then back to the Anagen phase.
Treatment professionals advise the patient to shave or wax before coming in for treatment. Five days after shaving or waxing is the perfect time. “For the best and most permanent results, the laser must focus on the follicles at the Anagen phase and kill them. Instead of just shaving the hair and then leaving it to grow again,” said Dr. Al-Abdulla. “The other issue with laser is proper treatments can be costly.”
What about those Side Effects?
In answer to the burning question of side effects, Dr. Al-Abdulla stated it was important first to understand how lasers functions.
“Everyone thinks of laser as a ray, and most importantly are afraid because of the word “x-ray”, which is said to cause cancer, harm cells, and cause congenital abnormalities to unborn babies. You can explain this with simple physics. Light interacts with matter, when the wave lengths are short, this means there are high energy sources, which are dangerous. It is dangerous because when it is absorbed, it affects the electrons in the atoms that make up the body. When the energy is high, the electrons move and activate the cell.
However, when the wave length is long, energy level is very weak. We use long wave lasers for treatments and even a pregnant lady can have laser treatment on her abdomen. However, the treatment is not completely risk free. Known side effects include pigmentation, slight burns, and hair growing back in some areas. But if it’s performed properly, these side effects are minimal and temporary.”
But you might be getting some added benefits to silky smooth skin and the carefree feeling of never having to shave or wax ever again. According to Dr. Al-Abdulla, the laser actually rejuvenates the skin while killing the follicles. It makes the skin look younger and delays the signs of aging.
“Our skin has cells called fibroblasts. These cells are responsible for the secretion of three important things:
- Elastin—manufactures elastin fibers offering elasticity and support to the skin
- Collagen—the support layer boosting the elastin, keeping the skin in its place
- Hyaluronic acid—keeps skin moist (also called glycosaminoglycan)
Fibroblast can be stimulated by heat, and can handle up to 65 degrees centigrade. Heat accumulates inside the layers of the skin and promotes the secretion of the elastin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid, making skin firmer and younger-looking. This technology is called non-epilated operation of rejuvenation, meaning it works without peeling the skin.”
So there you have it, pop in for laser hair removal, and end up with younger looking skin—and waste less time on personal grooming. In a world where we increasingly want to multi-task, one thing’s for sure—this beauty trend is in it for the long haul.
There are three types of lasers used for hair removal:
- Alexandrite—wave length 755 nanometers
- Yag –wave length 1064 nanometers
- Diode—wave length 810 nanometers
Popular hair treatments include hair growth therapy, hair removal, and skin rejuvenation.
Disclaimer: These accounts are the opinion of one dermatologist only. Results vary based on the individual. We advise that you check with your dermatologist before deciding whether laser hair removal is right for you.