Laser Hair Removal: A History

If you own, or are thinking of opening, a cosmetic clinic offering laser hair removal chances are you may already be well versed in the history of the technology. Understanding laser technology is very important to your clinic and all technicians should be aware of its basic history. Many patients new to laser treatment often have questions regarding the origins of laser hair removal and how to define success in laser treatment.

Although the first laser technology was introduced in the 1960’s, it was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States until 1983. Since then numerous journal articles have been released citing the effectiveness of laser hair removal technology for the permanent reduction of unwanted hair. There has also been an explosion of laser hair removal devices into the market, demonstrating the strong demand for permanent hair removal. Not all machines are the same and understanding the differences as to why some are more effective than others is essential to building a sustainable clinical practice. The Palomar and GentleLASE are IPL and laser machines that are some of the most advanced, commercially available machines in the market and have undergone numerous clinical trials.

It is also important to explain to all new patients that hair grows in three cycles: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen, or active growth phase, is when lasers are most effective and able to target melanin at its highest. The catagen and telogen phases occur when hair is regressing and the follicle will eventually fall out. As hair growth is not always in the anagen phase more than one treatment is often required to achieve permanent hair loss. Laser professionals recommend 6 to 8 treatments to achieve desired results.

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