Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Quest for Permanent Hair Removal

For centuries humans have looked for ways to permanently remove hair from their bodies. A thousand years back ancient Arabic, Persian and Egyptian practised hair removal. A hundred years back Gillette created the first safety razor for women under the brand name Milady Decolletée. The first depilatory creams also appeared in markets around the same time. Since then, there has been little change in the methods of hair removal. You can either shave it off with a blade or rub or remove it with a cream or wax. It was in 1963 that the first signs of change appeared in the form of a new technology.
Enter Major Laser
The father of laser medicine, Dr Leon Goldman first used a ruby laser for treating skin problems and published an article on the interaction between skin and laser light. The first lasers used in the procedure were nothing compared to modern-day technology and could only be used on people with fair skin and dark hair colour. Darker skin types had a tendency to burn the hair and surrounding skin.
The next generation of alexander lasers were not capable of the required heat levels and the time they took was too long to be considered effective. Things changed when pulsed diode array lasers that could handle all skin types. Even currently, there are a number of laser hair removal technologies that can be matched to individual requirements. Some rely on a hybrid of laser and radio frequencies. Let us look at the effectiveness of the different lasers used:
·                     Intense pulsed light: 66.96% hair reduction (15.3 % incidence of side effects)
·                     Alexandrite lasers: 68.75% hair reduction (9.5 % incidence of side effects)
·                     Diode lasers: 71.71% hair reduction (28.9 % incidence of side effects)
Since the 1990s laser hair removal has really caught on and is an approved medical (actually cosmetic) procedure. Laser hair removal treatments usually require a minimum of seven sessions. Part of the problem is that laser only works on the actively growing hair follicles and hair in other phases of growth are not impacted. Additionally, you will have to wait for a minimum of three weeks between sessions. Clearly, if you want more immediate results, you will be better off using a good depilatory wax or cream like Veet Spawax or Hair Removal Cream. However, laser hair removal is not the ultimate form of hair removal and definitely not permanent.
Next the Body Electric
When scientists observed that placing an electrode about the same thickness as the human hair in the hair follicle and electrified, it destroys the hair matrix cells and the follicle is rendered incapable of future hair growth and the first truly permanent hair removal method was found. Unfortunately, electology takes forever. For complete removal of facial hair, the treatment takes up to 2 years averaging one session every week. Just eyebrow shaping could take up to 30 sessions.

While these are two best options for long-term or permanent hair removal, we do wish that the waiting for results wasn't equally long-term.