There are many myths about laser hair removal, including how often you will require treatment to reach and maintain those silky-smooth results. Timing your laser hair removal correctly is much more important than you might realise. At The Cosmetic Clinic, as a rule of thumb, to help permanently reduce your hair growth, you will need to visit us in clinic for a laser hair removal session every 2-4 weeks, for a minimum of 6-12 treatments. For the face, the growth cycle is faster so usually to start with a visit ever 2 weeks is required. For the body, we recommend a session every 4 weeks to start with. As the hair growth diminishes, we stretch your visits out and eventually, you will only need to come in for maintenance sessions every few months depending on your skin and hair type.
But why can’t I just come in every week and get results faster? Yes, great question – the answer is simple and yet, significant: the hair growth cycle.
The hair growth cycle
There are three stages of hair growth and laser hair removal is only effective on hair in the first stage of growth.
The hair growth stages
- Growth Phase (Anagen)
- Transition Phase (Catagen)
- Resting Phase (Telogen)
Anagen is the active growth phase of hair follicles. At this time, the cells in the root of the hair divide rapidly, so the hair is growing and extending to the hair shaft. During the anagen phase, the hair follicles are the most receptive to the laser light because they are rich in protein (keratin) and melanin. Lasers work by targeting the melanin (colour) in the hair. The anagen phase for a hair follicle is genetically determined and varies from person to person, but about 85 per cent of hair follicles on our body are in the anagen phase at any one time.
At the completion of the anagen phase, the follicle enters the catagen phase when the hair stops growing. This phase lasts only 2-3 weeks. About five per cent of our hair is in this phase at any given time.
The final stage is the telogen. At this time, the hair begins to shed and the follicle is prompted to start a new cycle. The length of this stage is about 100 days for the healthy follicles on the scalp, but other areas of the body can vary significantly. About 10 per cent of hair follicles are in the telogen phase at any given time.
Timing your laser hair removal
Given that anagen is the most important phase for laser hair removal you can understand why not all hair is treated in any one laser hair removal treatment, and why it is important to book a package of treatments. The number and time between treatments may vary from person to person, depending on your hair type, so it is recommended to always follow the advice provided by your trained laser technician.
Our laser hair removal technicians at The Cosmetic Clinic have all received extensive training in the medical grade lasers we use. They analyse your type of hair and skin to develop the right treatment plan for you to ensure optimum results and reduce any risks. To find out what kind of plan is right for you, book a free consultation today at your nearest The Cosmetic Clinic!