Science of Laser Hair Removal
Some Key Terms
Anagen the active phase of the hair growth cycle. It is in this phase of growth that hair will respond to laser treatment. Anywhere from 20% to 85% of hair can be in this phase at any given time.
Catagen- intermediate phase between going from the active growth phase to its regression into a dormant phase.
Telogen the dormant phase of hair growth, in which the follicle prepares for the growth of new hair.
Chromophore part of the follicle that absorbs light. In hair removal lasers, the chromophore is melanin.
Electromagnetic Spectrum the entire range of electromagnetic radiation, divided into 7 categories by wavelength. Hair removal laser light is typically visible or infra-red. The wavelength determines the type of hair and skin that may be treated.
Fluence - the amount of energy delivered to a given area. Higher fluences may achieve greater results, but at the risk of greater thermal damage.
Pulse duration - the length of time that energy from the laser is applied to the targeted tissue.
Spot size the area that a laser is capable of treating with each pulse. At least 3-5 mm is required for effective hair removal.
Terminal Hairs thick, usually dark hairs on the body typically found on the scalp, pubic regions and eyebrows.
Vellus Hairs thin, light-colored hair often referred to as peach fuzz. This type of hair is largely untreatable by hair removal lasers.
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