As we’ve discussed several times, laser hair removal is a popular and effective way to remove unwanted hair from pretty much anywhere on the body. However, due to the cyclic way that individual hair follicles pass through dormant and active growth phases, achieving complete (or nearly complete) hair removal from any particular area requires multiple treatments.
Hair Follicle Growth Phases
Individual hair follicles actually cycle through multiple phases: starting with a growth phase, followed by a transitional phase during which the hair stops growing and starts to separate from the follicle. Finally, follicles pass through a resting phase, during which they prepare for the next growth cycle. Hair strands are shed during this phase.
The growth phase can last anywhere from two to seven years, while the transitional phase is far shorter, between two and three weeks. The final phase lasts around three months.
The multiple phases are important as the laser hair removal technique is only effective when individual hair follicles are in their growth phase; at any given time, perhaps 75% of hair follicles are in this state.
The important thing to remember is that individual hair follicles follow this cycle independently of each other. If you look at any area of the body, you’ll find a mixture of hair follicles in all of the growth phases.
Speed of Hair Follicle Growth
The actual speed that hair grows varies widely from person to person. It depends on several factors, including the age of the individual, various external environmental factors, and their genetic and racial backgrounds. In addition to this, hair on different parts of the body grows at different rates.
Recommended Laser Treatment Intervals
Your initial laser hair removal treatment will be able to target the 75% of hair follicles that are in their active growth phase; subsequent treatments will have to wait for the remaining hair follicles to cycle through their transitional and resting phases before they too can be effectively treated.
Your practitioner will evaluate your particular situation before suggesting a specific treatment interval – it’s typical to wait between 3 and 5 weeks between treatments and to repeat the treatments between six and twelve times. Facial hair often has a faster growth cycle, and a two-week interval between treatments may be recommended. Treatment intervals may also be adjusted to take account of your particular hair type and condition.
Your Laser Skin Care
Your Laser Skin Care practitioners are medically qualified and highly experienced in performing laser hair removal. We can provide expert advice on the best ways to address your particular situation and will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you have. We also have extensive experience with a wide variety of other non-invasive cosmetic procedures. We can help you choose the safest, most effective, and most cost-effective way to achieve your cosmetic goals. Call us at (323) 525-1516 to schedule a free consultation, or visit us online for more information.