The Hairy Truth
What is permanent hair reduction?
In 1998 the US FDA began allowing manufacturers albeit only some to utilize the term Permanent Hair reduction. This is done by Hair removal lasers or flash lamps used for epilation (Hair removal).
The FDA defines Permanent hair reduction as “ The long term, stable reduction in the number of hairs regrowing after a treatment regime. The number of hairs regrowing must be stable over a time greater than the duration of the complete growth cycle of hair follicles, which varies from 4-12 months according to body location. Permanent hair reduction does not necessarily imply the elimination of all of the hairs in the treatment area.”
It is further advised that the hair count be monitored at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. This is why we love to see all of of patients back so much. In essence we are making sure we delivered what we promised.
Did you know there are several types of hair and they all require a different approach for eradication.
This is a heavier hair in concentration and is found typically on the head, under the arms, legs, arms and genitals.
Thin hairs between velds and terminal with some pigmentation
This is a finer hair and is often referred to as peach fuzz. This type of hair covers much of our body. This velvety covering of hair can turn in ti terminal hairs at any time. Hence the random honing beacon that grows out of your chin seemingly overnight. This happens due to androgens and age. Velds hairs are often colorless and therefore resistant to ;laser hair removal.
There is three phases of hair growth
- Anagen – Growth phase
- Catagen – Regression/atrophy
- Telogen – Resting or dormant phase
These three cycles play a big role in the development of the number of treatments you receive.
Some patients suffer from diseases that cause abnormal hair growth such as hirstutsim, and hypertrichosis. Others just don’t want hair in certain areas, groin, under arms, legs, bikini area.
Histutsim is excessive hair growth in locations typically received form male hair pattern growth. AKA mustache and beards. Women!!! This is not normal and it needs to be treated ASAP. Tara @ DCCM can help here as well should you be needing a primary care provide in more of a boutique style. She offers a concierge medical service to help woman deal with metabolic and hormonal issues. There is no sense in hair removal if we haven’t resolved the root cause of the issue. Let’s save your beauty bucks!
Hypertrichosis is a medical diagnosis for excessive growth of hair and distribution on areas of the body where hair growth cycles are not typically normal or wanted.
The goal of hair removal is to cause permanent damage to the hair follicle, including the bulb and and the bulge so that it will no longer produce hair.
Something called Melanin is concentrated in the hair shaft and in the bulb and also can be found in the bulge ( the bulge is contains stem cells that are necessary for the regeneration of the hair follicle). Melanin is the color cell in the dermis and is responsible for that pesky thing we call sun damage.
The concept of melanin is important in the art of hair reduction as it is the chromophore which absorbs the laser light and generates heat, which in turn is conducted into the bulb and bulge ot the root of the hair follicle.
When we are talking about laser hair reduction with lasers the target is typically the terminal hair. The darker the color the hair, the better target for the laser which means a better result.
After some laser hair reduction procedures it is common for some hair not to be removed yet replaced with a finer lighter hair much like vellus hair.
Just like with the aging process and everything we do in aesthetics for this process, the treatment plan is unique to your presentation. The amount of hair types and hair growth cycles varies from person to person. SO, what I am saying is one patient can not compare results with another patient. We are not all the same. We each come genetically programmed with our own code. This is what makes this softer side of medicine an art and a science.