What’s the Mechanism Behind it?
Laser devices emit a fine beam of light that passes through the skin to enter the hair follicle. It targets the pigment – melanin in the hair follicle. The laser acts only over the hair follicle which is in Anagen phase of growth. The follicle absorbs it. This energy from the laser light, heats up the target hair follicle, and as a result, it gets destroyed. Hence, the hair in question falls off, as the hair follicle is the home for the hair root. Surrounding skin is preserved from damage due to its relative lack of melanin, as compared to hair itself.
So, laser hair removal experts – Bareskin says there is only one concern with the lasers is that the same dark pigment (melanin) is present in skin of dark toned patients either. And it can mess up with the skin of dark toned patients. But there is good news. There are newer and finer alternatives like IPL Technology (using Nd Yag Laser) to solve this issue.
No doubt laser is most effective and targeted in fair skinned patients who have darker hair. White, grey, or blond hair may not absorb enough laser to be effectively treated. Why because they lack melanin – the target of laser beams.
What Is Melanin?
Melanin is a pigment present in skin and hair. It imparts the skin and hair its colour. Dark-skinned people produce more melanin than light- skinned people.
Melanin also acts as a natural sunscreen and protects your skin from sun i.e. ultraviolet light. Laser beams target this melanin (which is present in the hair shaft as well as hair follicle), to find the hair follicle and destroy it. So, Melanin is the single most important factor in guiding the lasers and the laser hair removal process, in general. You can say, “No Melanin… No Laser Hair Removal!”.
What is electrolysis?
Where does Electrolysis stand, in comparison to Lasers? Well, to keep it simple, Electrolysis is a hair by hair – every single hair procedure. And as you can guess, it would require a lot of patience on your part, as you may require months or even years of repeated sessions of electrolysis. Impractical, painful and tiresome but on the contrary it’s permanent!
Yes, Electrolysis is the only method certified by FDA to be permanent. Many professionals as well as clients claim it to be a more permanent solution than lasers. But that’s a different story altogether, and there’s a lot of debate going on over the said comparison. Let’s save it for some other time! Laser has its advantage in being capable to target tens or hundreds of hair follicles at a time. So, it is much faster and less time consuming as compared to electrolysis.
The best and most practical application of electrolysis could be to use it as a backup procedure in between laser hair removal sessions just to target residual hair i.e. to say ‘ Get the best of both worlds.’
Not to mention, if you do have time, patience and also resources to do so!