Permanent Hair Removal: Is It Really Possible?
Permanent Hair Removal
What does “permanent” mean?
According to the online Merriam – Webster dictionary, the word “permanent” stands for “continuing or enduring without fundamental or marked change.”
So, in a nutshell, something that lasts forever in the exact same form.
The thing is, when we go out and shop for things that have “permanent” in its name, even when we KNOW the functionality or results of the item is no way permanent, we still do happily accept that it is called “Permanent” something. For instance, are permanent markers really “Permanent”? I know for a fact that they are not. Why? Like many of you, I, too have been blacked out drunk and woke up the next day with some slick inks on my body that was not a tattoo (Um, none of you? Just me? Okay…). And every day I thank god that permanent markers aren’t actually permanent, which allows me to walk on the planet earth (unwanted) ink free. The same principle applies to permanent hair removal procedures.
Permanent? Yes. Removal or Reduction though.
Let’s first talk about how laser hair removal works: Pulses of laser light penetrates deep into the skin and deliver therapeutic heat that will destroy the follicles. This is why laser treatments have longer lasting results than waxing or shaving, the follicles destroyed won’t be able to grow out any new hair. It is permanently destroyed, dead, zero chance of coming back to life or turning into a vampire. However, the laser light can only target hairs that are already in the growing stage, this is why multiple treatments are required to fully optimise the results.
So that sounds pretty permanent, right?
Well, yes, that part was straight up permanent.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Unlike those laser light that heat and destroyed hair follicles, cells that receive laser treatment remains very much alive after the treatment, this means that the cells underneath his or her skin can’t stop and won’t stop growing and doing cell things. Unfortunately, one of them is the formation of new hair follicles. And these brand new follicles, much like the cells that form them, can’t stop won’t stop growing hair out of themselves. However, the new hair that grows out of these new follicles tend to be thinner and shorter, and with each treatment, the cells eventually are less enthusiastic about follicle formation.
To sum it up, yes, there are treatments that permanently remove hair when it is done right, but there are no treatments that can completely prevent the formation of new follicles and therefore, new hair growing out. (Except, of course, the very natural treatment of ageing and other diseases that interfere with the functionalities of human cells.)
Call it as it is – Permanent hair reduction
Now that you understand the basics, you can see why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calls the laser hair removal treatments “Permanent hair reduction” treatment, what this means is that in FDA’s words:
“…Although laser treatments with these devices will permanently reduce the total number of body hairs, they will not result in a permanent removal of all hair.”
(Source: FDA website )
This might not be the permanent hair removal solution that people are looking for, but it is as close as it gets. Today, the laser technology can permanently reduce the hair growth by 90%, and this differs from each body type, skin colours, and age. Keep in mind that the laser light finds your hair follicles by targeting the pigment, which is what gives your hair colours. Naturally, if you have a very fair skin with dark hair, the laser light will have an easier time finding your hair follicles.
How long is “permanent”?
Once again, each individual have different body types, skin colours and all the other factors that might affect your laser hair removal results. While some might see 99% of hair reduction upon completing all treatments, some might see less. The same goes for the length of “permanent” for each individual, generally, after completing all the treatments, you can expect the results to last somewhere between 6 to 12 months. Remember that this differs greatly from one person to another, an annual visit to your laser clinic is recommended.[sgmb id=1]