Essentially there are two methods in use today: electrolysis and laser hair removal.
Electrolysis is a time-honored method of permanent hair removal. There are two basic processes: galvanic and short-wave. In both cases a thin filament (thin wire - also commonly referred to as a needle) is inserted into the hair follicle as far as it will go. Then an electrical current is applied to the follicle.
In the galvanic process a direct current is used. The current causes a chemical reaction in the follicle that produces sodium hydroxide. The sodium hydroxide destroys the follicle.
In the short-wave process a high frequency current is used. This current quickly produces concentrated heat at the filament tip which destroys the surrounding follicle tissue.
A third process, the blend, is a combination of galvanic and short-wave currents.
Laser hair removal
First of all, just what is a laser? It is simply a source of very bright light. Lasers have another important characteristic - they produce light of a single colour (wavelength for the 'techies' among us). By careful selection of the material used in the laser tube, it is possible to obtain the specific colour needed for different applications. In the case of hair removal red light is used.
Like short-wave electrolysis, laser hair removal also uses heat to destroy the follicle. The objective with laser hair removal is to rapidly heat up the papilla and lower third of the root sheath (to destroy the follicle). But do not want to damage other structures in the skin like the nerve endings and blood vessels.
The advantage of the laser is that the laser beam can treat several follicles at the same time.
For more information on how laser hair removal works, please watch the following demonstration video on the Lightsheer Diode Laser System (the laser system we use at the Salon)
One of the most exiting methods under development is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). This is a method for treating all kinds of medical conditions. The method is based on applying a special photosensitive (light-absorbing) solution to the skin. The solution is selected such that it is absorbed only in the hair follicle. The skin is then exposed to light and the hair follicle is destroyed. However, research is still continuing and the method has not yet been approved for hair removal.
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