Helpful Definition for: Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is the epilation of unwanted hair with a laser. The technique became commercially popular in the 1990s, and is now widely accepted in the dermatological community. The removal of hair by laser is based on the principle of selective photothermolysis, by which light wavelengths and pulse duration are combined to damage the targeted area (hair follicle) while having a minimal effect on the surrounding tissue. Because the laser will damage heat-absorbent dark matter (melanin), laser hair removal works best on black or brown hair on light skin; it does not have the same effect on blond or red hair, nor does it generally work as well on dark skin. Laser hair removal is routinely performed in medical offices, salons, and with commercially available home treatments. While it has proved to reduce the total number of hairs, laser hair removal does not result in permanent hair removal. Laser treatments must be repeated at recommended intervals for maintenance.