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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lindsay

What to know before Laser Hair Removal


It’s now been almost 2 years since I’ve started doing laser hair reduction at Innovative Aesthetics MD; and often I am asked why are multiple sessions necessary when it comes to laser hair removal treatments. I figured I’d write this blog post to explain in detail what your hair is growing through and why 6 – 8 sessions are imperative to see great results.

The hair on our bodies and heads are constantly growing and shedding in cycles. There are three cycles our hair goes through and it’s important to understand how this impacts laser hair removal. The first stage is anagen, the growing phase. The second catagen, the transition phase, and the third is telogen, the resting phase.

In the anagen stage each of our hairs are inside their follicles (the follicle is the pocket of skin in which your hair sits). And each hair is firmly rooted at the dermal papilla and germinal matrix to form the hair bulb. Blood vessels enter the dermal papilla and allow nutrients to reach the hair and grow. The anagen stage usually lasts about four to six weeks on our bodies and a few years on our heads, which is why we can grow the hair on our heads much longer.

When the hair is preparing itself to shed it then enters the catagen stage. During this stage the hair follicle shrinks and detaches from the dermal papilla. This usually lasts about ten days. And then lastly we have telogen. The stage can last about 3 months. Around 10-15 percent of hairs are in this phase. Whilst the old hair is resting, a new hair begins the growth phase and the cycle repeats itself continuously.

Since our hair is detached in the catagen and telogen phase, laser hair removal does not have an effect on it. It can only damage hair that is in the anagen or growing phase. So multiple sessions are vital for effective results. We space sessions every four to six weeks to match the hair growth cycle. Any less than four weeks would be ineffective as we aren’t giving the hair enough time to grow and shed. Best results from laser hair removal are when at least eight sessions are performed and the intensity of the machine is raised slightly higher each time. Some clients such as men with coarser hair or women treating the Brazilian bikini or clients with darker skin (around level 5 or 6 skin tone on the Fitzpatrick scale) may require more sessions than the standard eight.

The bottom line is that this is a process through which each treatment is having some reduction effect on the hair growing in that particular area. We can never really say the hair is "removed" and the more accurate term is LASER HAIR REDUCTION.

To find out more about laser hair reduction, make an appointment online and see if this treatment is right for you! You will be seen an treated by a physician (Dr. Lindsay) who specializes specifically in Aesthetic Medicine.

Also, take the time to read our laser hair removal reviews and find out why we’re the best laser hair removal clinic and the most affordable laser hair removal clinic in the Winston-Salem area!

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