Though the thought of long-term results from a single session of laser hair removal at Charleston, SC’s Germain Dermatology is a lovely one, it’s not a realistic one. Like most good things in life, ideal results come to those who wait—or at least those who complete multiple treatment sessions.
This process is not due to the strength of the laser or the skill of the operator, but to the nature of the hairs themselves.
First, an explanation: Laser hair removal works by sending light into the skin, which causes pigmented cells to heat up. They get so hot, in fact, that they become damaged. When this happens to the pigmented cells in a follicle, the damage inhibits the follicle’s hair-growing ability.
Unfortunately, this only works on follicles that are in the “actively growing” phase, known as anagen. Essentially, the heat damage disrupts the follicle’s normal cycle, which would typically continue from anagen to catagen (which gets the follicle ready to grow a new hair by shutting down the blood supply to the current hair) to telogen (which allows the follicle to rest before the new hair grows). By throwing a wrench into anagen, the current hair falls out—and the cycle does not resume for a significant amount of time.
Approximately 85 percent of a person’s hairs are in the anagen phase at any given time, so a laser hair removal session should catch the majority of hairs in an area. Subsequent sessions are necessary to get the remaining 15 percent. This can take a couple more sessions, since only about 85 percent of the hairs that are left will be in anagen next time.
Eventually, after an average of five sessions spaced weeks apart, the targeted region will be smooth—with no need for a razor or waxing or any other hair-removal method you used before.
Yes, the treatment requires some patience, but our patients agree the results are worth the effort—and the wait!