History of the Laser

The name LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The process which makes lasers possible, Stimulated Emission, was proposed in 1917 by Albert Einstein.

No one realized the incredible potential of this concept until the 1950′s, when practical research was first performed on applying the theory of stimulated emission to making lasers. It wasn’t until 1960 that the first true laser was made by Theodore Maimam, out of synthetic ruby.

History of the laser machine

The laser hair-removal systems currently used are relatively new; therefore, long-term results have not been reported. However, many reports about the efficacy of these systems have recently been published.

Success is typically reported in terms of permanent hair elimination or in terms of marked delay in its growth. Most investigators have assessed patients with light skin types (ie, Fitzpatrick skin types I-III), but recent groups have studied newer lasers for Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI

History of the procedure

Goldman et al first described ruby-laser injury to pigmented hair follicles in 1963. In 1983, Oshiro and Maruyama noted hair loss from nevi after treatment with a ruby laser. However, at fluences affecting hair follicles, the epidermis was severely damaged.

The theory of selective photothermolysis that Anderson and Parrish developed in 1983 was based on a laser of particular wavelength and a pulse duration of light to target a particular chromophore. By applying this theory, the target can be destroyed selectively, sparing the surrounding tissue.

Use of a topical suspension of carbon particles followed by treatment with a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser was the first laser treatment for hair removal the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. This initial method reportedly delayed regrowth by 3 months, but it did not provide permanent hair reduction.

In 1996, Grossman and associates, who used a normal-mode ruby laser, reported the first application of Anderson and Parrish’s theory for hair removal. In 1998, Dierickx and associates published their report of a 2-year follow-up study demonstrating long-term, permanent hair removal with this laser.

Different Uses for Machines

As a customer, it’s crucial that you are knowledgeable about the different kinds of laser hair removal machines and what their chief uses are. Some laser hair removal machines are better for customers with a particular skin type, so here is a review to help you ascertain which variety is best for you.

As a customer, it’s crucial that you are knowledgeable about the different kinds of laser hair removal machines and what their chief uses are. Some laser hair removal machines are better for customers with a particular skin type, so here is a review to help you ascertain which variety is best for you.

Looking for reduction of hair with laser?

If you are considering laser hair reduction treatment then you need to know about the different kinds of laser hair removal machines in use because usually clinics or beauticians in your local area will have one variety of machine and will be marketing it specifically – rather than counseling you which is the best variety for YOU.

Lasers and Hair / Skin Type

The best machine to use for you will be determined by a variety of factors, importantly your skin type. Some systems are less than 100% safe for certain skin types, and using them results in you running a higher than average possibility of side effects like burning or skin discoloration.

On the other hand, if you have a skin type that is more robust and can stand higher laser fluencies, then you will want your clinic to use the lasers that can produce better long term results.

Nd:Yag

The Nd:Yag laser hair removal machines can successfully be used on darker skin types with minimal risk. The downside is that, since they are designed to safeguard dark skin from blistering, they are significantly less effectual on fine hair. You should not pick an Nd:Yag machine if you have white skin.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) “Lasers”

This is not strictly a laser. IPL laser machines can successfully be used on lots of kinds of patient. It’s possible to obtain good results with IPL machines, but it is more unpredictable – a lot hangs on the experience and talent of the laser operator.

Alexandrite

Alexandrite laser hair removal systems are highly effectual for white-skinned, dark-haired patients; you should stay away from Alexandrite laser hair removal systems if you have darker skin.

Diode Lasers

The Diode laser hair removal machines are eminently suitable for white-skinned patients and may be effectual on other skin types. It is not absolutely sure how long term a result you are likely to achieve with these kinds of system.

Ruby Laser Machines

Only really suitable for white skin, the long-term results of Ruby laser hair removal machines are quite well documented, so you can reasonably envisage a long term loss of hair after treatment. The downside is that, these machines are quite old fashioned now so possibly not as effectual as the newer Alexandrite laser hair removal machines.

While it’s not a good idea to pick a reduction of hair with laser clinic only because of what technology they employ, it is nevertheless vital to know what variety of laser hair removal machines they plan to treat you with, and be sure that it is suitable for your needs.

How Different Machines Work

There are two big differences between Laser and Intense Pulsed Light systems. One is in the area that can be treated in one go and the treatment speed. Generally IPL treatment heads are up to 8 times larger than the small spot produced by lasers and therefore treatments are much quicker.

The other difference is the wavelength of light produced. Lasers produce light with one specific wavelength whilst IPL uses an entire waveband. Different wavelengths penetrate the skin to different depths so using IPL is like using a group of lasers in a single treatment.

There are two big differences between Laser and Intense Pulsed Light systems. One is in the area that can be treated in one go and the treatment speed. Generally IPL treatment heads are up to 8 times larger than the small spot produced by lasers and therefore treatments are much quicker.

The other difference is the wavelength of light produced. Lasers produce light with one specific wavelength whilst IPL uses an entire waveband. Different wavelengths penetrate the skin to different depths so using IPL is like using a group of lasers in a single treatment.

How different machines work

There are two big differences between Laser and Intense Pulsed Light systems. One is in the area that can be treated in one go and the treatment speed. Generally IPL treatment heads are up to 8 times larger than the small spot produced by lasers and therefore treatments are much quicker.

The other difference is the wavelength of light produced. Lasers produce light with one specific wavelength whilst IPL uses an entire waveband. Different wavelengths penetrate the skin to different depths so using IPL is like using a group of lasers in a single treatment.

The other difference is the wavelength of light produced. Lasers produce light with one specific wavelength whilst IPL uses an entire waveband. Different wavelengths penetrate the skin to different depths so using IPL is like using a group of lasers in a single treatment.

How Laser Hair Removal Machines Work

Laser Hair Removal has become so popular that it is now the world’s second most frequently performed cosmetic procedure, and has become a bread-and-butter business for many dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, and laser hair removal system manufacturers since the first such system received FDA approval in 1995.

Laser hair removal destroys the hair-growing capacity of hair follicles by targeting them with pulses of extremely high intensity light. Because of the increasing demand for laser hair removal procedures, more and more laser hair removal machines are being developed for the market, but no laser hair removal machine may be sold without first receiving the FDA’s stamp of approval.

Developing key skills

Laser hair removal focuses on the endogenous chromophore melanin, which is mainly found in the hair shaft, with a small amount present in the upper third of the follicular epithelium (Figure).

When an appropriate energy source (such as a laser) is directed at the skin, light is primarily absorbed in the hair shaft melanin. Heat is generated and diffuses to the surrounding follicular epithelium. A similar principle applies to laser treatment of vascular lesions, where the heat generated after absorption by hemoglobin is transferred from the blood to the vascular endothelial cells.

How it works

Laser Hair Removal has become so popular that it is now the world’s second most frequently performed cosmetic procedure, and has become a bread-and-butter business for many dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons, and laser hair removal system manufacturers since the first such system received FDA approval in 1995.

Laser hair removal destroys the hair-growing capacity of hair follicles by targeting them with pulses of extremely high intensity light. Because of the increasing demand for laser hair removal procedures, more and more laser hair removal machines are being developed for the market, but no laser hair removal machine may be sold without first receiving the FDA’s stamp of approval.

Laser and IPL use energy in the form of light to destroy the hair follicle. The energy directed from the handpiece is absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle, momentarily heating it to around 70 degrees centigrade killing the follicle and thus preventing further hair growth. However to complicate matters most people also have melanin in their skin that also absorbs light energy creating heat in the skin. If this heat is excessive it will cause blisters or burns. For this reason the ideal candidates for these treatments are those who are dark haired and fair skinned like the typical Irish complexion, whereas suntanned Danes with very fair hair are poor candidates.

We always insist that clients stay out of the sun for a few weeks prior to treatment so that the level of melanin in the skin is as low as possible and therefore wintertime is the ideal time for treatments. With care most people can be treated but some may require many more treatments and any white, grey and even some red hairs will respond poorly (or not at all) to light based hair removal treatments.

These will require many more treatments at a much lower power level and the operator will have to be extremely careful to ensure that the machine is correctly set to avoid skin damage.
Thankfully, most modern laser and IPL devices make this process much easier but it is still necessary to have a highly skilled operator.

Hair grows in cycles and many factors influence it’s growth including age, ethnicity, weight, hormones, diet, medication and metabolism along with your hair’s location, thickness and resilience. Only hair that is in it’s growing cycle will be destroyed at each treatment session. The number of hairs growing at any one time and the length of time between treatments varies, but generally we allow 4 to 8 weeks.

Hair growth cycle. Anagen is the active growth phase, catagen is the regression phase, telogen is a resting phase.
There is sometimes mild pain associated with laser treatments. This discomfort ranges in intensity and has been described from as mild as the snap of a rubber band, to the sensation of a hot pinprick.
When treating sensitive areas, (upper lip and bikini areas) some practitioners often elect to use a topical anaesthetic cream, which helps to reduce any discomfort.

One current laser hair removal machine, which operates by aiming a long pulse of laser light into the subdermal skin which holds the hair follicles, is the Alexandrite laser. The heat from the laser damages the hair follicles which are in the active hair growth phase, so that the hairs stop developing.

Diode lasers are laser hair removal machines constructed of miniature diodes or semi-conductors arranged to produce light. The construction of the diode laser means that it can create a longer wavelength of laser light energy, which is very effective in treating dark-complected people for hair removal.

Some dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons favor the Q-Switched Nd: YAG laser, because it can produce two lightwaves of varying lengths. For strong penetration, to affect the deep hair follicles, it uses infrared light; for the follicles nearer to the skin’s surface, it uses green light. It delivers either wavelength of light in rapid pulses.

How Different Wavelengths Work

The other difference is the wavelength of light produced. Lasers produce light with one specific wavelength whilst IPL uses an entire waveband. Different wavelengths penetrate the skin to different depths so using IPL is like using a group of lasers in a single treatment.

The other difference is the wavelength of light produced. Lasers produce light with one specific wavelength whilst IPL uses an entire waveband. Different wavelengths penetrate the skin to different depths so using IPL is like using a group of lasers in a single treatment.

How different wavelengths work?

The other difference is the wavelength of light produced. Lasers produce light with one specific wavelength whilst IPL uses an entire waveband. Different wavelengths penetrate the skin to different depths so using IPL is like using a group of lasers in a single treatment.

The other difference is the wavelength of light produced. Lasers produce light with one specific wavelength whilst IPL uses an entire waveband. Different wavelengths penetrate the skin to different depths so using IPL is like using a group of lasers in a single treatment.

This chart shows colors of the visible light spectrum, and the associated wavelengths in nanometers. Ranges are traditionally given as: ultraviolet light, 100-400 nm; visible light, 400-750 nm; and infrared, 750 nm-1 mm.

Lexel model numbers are given for applicable Gas-Ion and deep UV Gas-Ion Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) lasers.

Wave Lengths in Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is based on the principles of selective photothermolysis: a combination of the appropriate laser wavelength, pulse duration, and fluence. Wavelengths between approximately 700 and 1000 nanometers (nm) are selectively absorbed by melanin; the competing chromophores (oxyhemoglobin and water) absorb less energy at these wavelengths. The picture below shows the absorption of different chromophores in the skin. Therefore, any light source that operates between 700 and 1000 nm is appropriate for targeting melanin in the hair shaft.

The absorption of various chromophores as a function of wavelength. Ruby lasers operate at 694 nm, alexandrite lasers at 755 nm, diode lasers at 800 nm and Nd:YAG lasers at 1064 nm.

What Ancient Women used to Remove Hair

While they may not have had the sophisticated laser hair removal machines we have today, women from years past have always been concerned with their body hair. Elle magazine looked at some of the hair removal methods used in ancient times:

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt’s women were big into body hair removal, including the hair on their heads. They used beeswax and sugar based waxes, pumice stones and tweezers made from seashells to remove the hair.

Roman Empire

During the time of the Roman Empire a lack of body hair was a display of wealth and class. Pubic hair was even seen as uncivilised, which is the reason why you’ll notice that many statues of people from this time are hairless. Wealthy women and men used creams, stones, flints and tweezers to remove their body hair.

Middle Ages

Queen Elizabeth I set the trend for women’s hair removal in the Middle Ages. The hair removal fashion of the time had women removing the hair from their eyebrows and forehead using walnut oil, bandages soaked in ammonia and vinegar.

1700s

By the time the late 18th century hit, the approaches to hair removal became a little more civil. In fact, it was a French barber by the name of Jean Jacques Perret that designed the very first straight razor in 1760, encouraging better hair-care amongst men.

Source: http://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/history-of-hair-removal#slide-1