Friday, February 3, 2012

A Hair Journey of a Different Sort: Laser Hair Removal - Types of Lasers

As women, part of our weekly hygene or beauty routine usually involves some level of hair removal.  We tweeze, shave, wax, thread, cream, our legs, underarms, eyebrows, bikini line and "other" regions all the time.  One area that some women find problematic is facial hair.  Most women develop some amount of facial hair in their lifetime whether it's a stray chin hair here or there or excessive unwanted facial hair.

The shadow on my chin is facial hair.

For years I was embarrassed by my facial hair.  Most who know me now don't realize that I had a problem in that area because over the years I'd found ways to address it...most successfully until recently with Gigi Hair Removal Cream.  It's a cream depilatory that is applied to the face for 5 - 8 minutes and then wiped away.  Prior to that, I'd tried waxing and tweezing.  Both were painful and uneffective. Waxing was troublesome because my facial hair was coarse, requiring a more substancial wax. Yet, my skin is sensitive which was seen with the fine bumps left for 2-3 days after treatment. Tweezing was the worst remedy because it required pulling each hair one by one. PAINFUL. If you didn't grasp the hair properly it would leave stubble instead of removing the hair bulb.  None of these techniques were permanent.  The Gigi Hair Removal Cream was low cost and easy.  But I had to be careful, if left on too long it would burn my skin leaving scabs.  If I didn't leave it on long enough, not all of the hair would be removed.  Frustrating.  Then there was the actual facial hair.  I found it unattractive and embarrassing.  It always caused me pause when dating because I didn't want the guy to notice. Those who were close to me, family members and a few friends, really felt for me.  It's been an ongoing struggle.

Finally, I've had enough.  After 20 years of dealing with unwanted facial hair, I decided to take care of it - LONG TERM.  I started researching laser hair removal. One might ask what happens with laser hair removal.  It involves the use of concentrated light beams to target the melanin pigment in the skin to eventually damage & destroy the follicle without harming the surrounding tissues.  The follicle is damage & hair usually does not grow again.  We'll talk more about hair growth cycles in another post of this series.

These is SO  much information about laser hair removal that what I've learned and my current experience with laser hair removal will be broken up into a series until I have reached nearly permanent or permanent removal. This post will focus on the types of lasers available for hair removal.  Knowing the types of lasers that are available for hair removal is very important because you need to know which laser is recommended for your skin type. 

Types of  Lasers

There are 5 types of lasers:

 Ultimate light or pulse light (IPL) - Machine names:  EpiLight, PhotoDerm, Quantum, Acculight, & Vasculight.
 Strictly speaking, IPL does not use laser, but uses intense pulsed light. It uses the same concept for hair removal, but is usually more difficult to handle and require skilled technicians for operation. IPL is relatively cheaper than laser hair removal, but oftentimes require more treatment cycles.

Diode laser - Machine names:  SLP1000, F1Diode, LightSheer, MeDioStar, LaserLite, Epistar, & Apex 800.
The diode laser is effective for darker skin. It can cover larger skin areas at faster speeds.

Nd:Yag - Coolglide, Medlite IV, Varia, Athos, Lyra, Image
This is a general type of laser method that can be used in almost all skin types, including tanned skin. Just like the diode laser, this long pulse laser also has fast repetition rates to allow larger areas of the skin to be treated quickly.

Ruby - RubyStar, Palomar E2000
This is the oldest type of laser and also one of the most widely-used. Ruby laser is quite selective as it only performs best on light skinned individuals with dark hair. They oftentimes can cover only small areas, and prefers fine hair.

Alexandrite - GentleLASE, Apogee, EpiTouch Plus
This is one of the fastest laser types that are best used for larger treatment areas. They are widely-used and produce best results for patients with light to olive complexion and dark hair

In the next post of this series, we'll talk about skin types and how that relates to the type laser recommended for your skin and finding a treatment center.

Have you ever experienced unwanted hair?  What has been your preferred method of removal?


  1. Laser hair removal is a now common procedure which removes hair from a persons body using a laser, laser technology is able to break the hair growth cycle by targeting and killing the hair follicle. Click here for more details.

  2. Would you like to to get rid of your unwanted hair? It is safe to say that they are limiting you from looking beautyful? Assuming this is the case, then it is proposed to visit diode laser hair removal in delhi andlaser hair removal in delhi.


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