Factors That May Affect Your Laser Hair Removal Results
The prime factors in the outcome of you laser hair removal procedure are your skin type and the color of hair to be treated. Other issues such as hair growth cycle, sun exposure, and herpes infection need to be evaluated as well. You may want to assess all of these factors to determine if laser hair removal is right for you and your pocketbook.
Skin type affects the outcome of your laser hair removal procedure because different skin tones will have different results. Let’s take a look at each skin type and the result it is most likely to produce.
Light skin - There are varying degrees of light skin. For example, if you put two people with light skin out in the sun, one may come back with a great tan while the other one comes back with only a very bad burn. However, no matter what type of light skin you have, you are the best candidate for any form of laser hair removal. You will receive the best results of any other skin type and will also require fewer treatments.
Medium skin - Those of the medium skin type will see better results based on what color the hair to be treated is (this will be discussed further in the next section). However, even the best medium skinned candidates will still run a risk of their results being less favorable and needing more treatments than a light skinned candidate.
Dark skin - Any dark skinned candidate will be the most likely have a bad outcome and need far more treatments than either of the other two skin types. Moreover, the darker the person is the less beneficial their results will be. Darker skinned candidates also require a practitioner with greater skill and expertise to achieve maximum results.
The second factor that helps to determine the outcome of you laser hair removal procedure is the color if the hair to be treated. Let’s take a look at each hair color type and the result it is most likely to produce.
Dark hair - Dark hair, such as black or dark brown, is going to be the easiest to treat because it contains the most pigmentation which allows the laser light to be absorbed to a greater extent. Also, dark hair tends to be more coarse which will produce a better result.
Medium hair - This is most often light or medium brown hair. This hair type is going to be easier to treat than lighter hair colors, but may require more procedures than candidates with very dark brown or black hair. Also, not all medium hair is also coarse, some can be very fine and thin, so it goes without saying that those with coarse medium hair will produce better and quicker results than those with fine medium hair.
Light hair - There are many varying degrees of light hair, more than any other hair type. Overall, light hair is the most difficult to treat and will require more time, money, and procedures than candidates with other hair color types. The easiest to treat would be dark or medium blonde hair, with light blonde and red hair both being the hardest to treat. This is because they contain phemelianin pigment which makes them less able to absorb the laser light.
White or grey hair - It may be almost impossible to treat those with grey or white hair. It contains no pigmentation and therefore can not absorb the laser light enough to heat the hair follicle.
The third factor that affects the outcome of you laser hair removal procedure is hair growth. Your hair grows in cycles, however, not all of your hair is on the same cycle. Laser treatments are made to attack hair that is in the active growth, or anagen, stage of its cycle. Therefore you will almost always need more than one procedure to completely treat one area, no matter how big or small it may be. The more procedures you have the better your outcome will be each time.
External factors can also affect the outcome of your laser hair removal procedure. Some of them will not interfere with how well the hair follicle is disabled but may produce other undesirable results for you. These external factors can also heighten your chance of developing side effects from the procedure, so it is also a good idea for you health and comfort to make sure you review these issues and have them under control before your appointment.
Tanning or sun exposure - All laser hair removal candidates should be at their lightest skin tone at the time of treatment. Having even the slightest tan can make it harder for the laser light to pass through your skin in order to heat the hair follicle. Being a light skinned person with a light tan makes the treatment more difficult than being a darker skinned person who has no tan or sun exposure at all. Your practitioner may even give you a topical bleaching cream to apply in the days or weeks before your appointment and regular sunscreen use is recommended.
Herpes - The heat from the laser light can cause a herpes infection to become active if it is in the location of the area to be treated. Any such infection should be discussed with you practitioner before treatment begins.
History of scarring - A history of abnormal scarring can lead to scarring directly from your procedure. Scarring is usually not of high concern to those that do not have this kind of history, but if you do then you should discuss it with your practitioner before the procedure begins.
Laser hair removal candidates with light skin, dark hair, and with no external factors will benefit the most from this procedure. Not only will they need the least amount of treatments but they will also have quicker treatments that require less skill and expertise. This will make their treatments more cost effective while producing a better result at the same time. They are followed by medium skinned people with dark hair and dark skinned people with dark hair.
Light skinned people with light blond or red hair will be difficult to treat and may only achieve a reduction in hair density. However, the worst candidates for laser hair removal will be darker skinned people with white or grey hair. These individuals may even be impossible to treat, leaving them to turn to other methods to achieve their desired result.
This article was written by Julie Bonner.