The Science of Hair Growth and Effective Laser Hair Removal

Hair growth is a sophisticated process, often underappreciated until we choose to modify, diminish, or eliminate it. Let's explore the intricacies of hair growth cycles and explain how this knowledge can optimize laser hair removal treatments.

Phases of Hair Growth

Hair growth involves three primary stages:

  1. Anagen (Growth Phase):
    • Duration: 2-7 years
    • Description: Hair is actively growing, firmly rooted in the follicle, receiving nutrients, and lengthening.
  2. Catagen (Transitional Phase):
    • Duration: ~10 days
    • Description: The follicle shrinks, and the hair bulb moves closer to the skin's surface.
  3. Telogen (Resting Phase):
    • Duration: Several months
    • Description: The hair eventually sheds, allowing new hair to grow in its place.

Hair on the body is always in various stages of this cycle, not synchronized.

Hair Growth Stages inforgraph
before and after hair removal
Laser Hair removal Infograph

Relevance of Hair Growth Cycles to Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal targets the pigment in hair follicles. The laser’s energy, absorbed by this pigment, heats and destroys the follicle, inhibiting hair growth. This process is most effective during the anagen phase.

  • Optimal Targeting in Anagen Phase:
    • Hair in this phase contains the most melanin, making it a prime target for the laser.
    • The strong connection between the hair and follicle ensures efficient energy transfer.

Because only a portion of hair is in the anagen phase at any time, multiple treatment sessions are necessary to catch more hairs in this ideal phase.

Enhancing Laser Hair Removal Results

To maximize the effectiveness of laser hair removal, consider these tips:

  1. Adhere to Your Treatment Schedule:
    • Regular sessions ensure you target hairs as they enter the anagen phase.
  2. Minimize Sun Exposure:
    • Avoid tanning or sunburn, as darker skin can absorb more laser energy, reducing the contrast between hair and skin and increasing sensitivity.
  3. Avoid Hair Removal Methods That Disrupt Follicles:
    • Refrain from plucking, waxing and or threading during the treatment process. Laser treatment requires the hair to be present to conduct the laser’s energy to the follicle.
hair removal treatment before and after one treatment upper thigh