To better understand how Laser Hair Removal works, it is good to have some understanding of the structure of hair. A hair is a particular outgrowth of part of the skin (epidermis). Each hair has two main devisions: the follicle and the shaft.
The hair follicle
A hair follicle is a tiny tube-like pit buried deep in the fat of the skin, responsible for the growth of hair. Follicles are well connected with micro blood vessels, and the blood passing through them nourishes the growing area.
The hair follicle can be divided into two main parts: the hair bulb and the mid-follicle.
The hair bulb lies inside the lower part of hair follicle. It is a micro structure of actively growing cells. New cells are continuously produced in the papilla at the lower part of the bulb. As they grow they steadily push the previously developed cells upwards.
Some cells known as melanocytes in the hair bulb can produce pigment that colors the hair. The pigment is called melanin. As the growing hair moves upwards in the follicle, the melanin is carried upwards in the inner part of the hair.
The hair shaft
Hair shaft is the part that can be seen above the skin. It can be divided into three layers: medula, cortex and cuticle. The hair shaft mainly consists of dead cells that have turned into a special protein (keratin) and binding material, together with small amount of water . It is lubricated by a natural oil (sebum) produced by the sebaceous gland attached to the follicle.
Permanent Hair Reduction is achieved when the cells responsible for growing new hair are disabled. The laser light or the pulses of light at specific wavelengths delivered by IPL devices can target the pigment in hair follicles which absorb the light energy as heat. The vital part is the hair bulb where the actual thermal damage of hair follicles occurs. The hair shaft has no part in hair growth, so for the best results, patients are usually instructed to shave their hair shaft on the treated area prior to the procedure.
Hair and Laser Hair Removal Related Information