Upon its inception, laser hair removal was reserved strictly for people with darker hair. However, new lasers exist that work on blonde hair. Any reputable laser hair removal clinic will tell you how effective the procedure is now for blondes. Laser hair removal works by using a high-intensity beam to target and destroy hair follicles without damaging the surrounding skin and tissues.
Contrary to electrolysis which has been around for more than a hundred years, laser hair removal is a fairly new permanent hair removal method. Laser hair removal is very safe and more affordable than most may think. The method uses a laser that produces a beam of light energy. This energy will target pigments in the hair to reach the hair follicle. When damaging the hair follicle, the energy will actually cauterize the blood vessel feeding the hair matrix. No blood, no fuel, no hair growth.
Laser hair removal needs two essential things to work. Number one is hair in the catagen phase of the hair growth cycle. Indeed, the catagen phase is the only time when the hair and the follicle connect. The hair acts as a conduit, driving the heat to the hair follicle. In the other two phases, the hair is separated from the follicle. Thus, the heat can’t make it to the follicle. The second key element in the procedure is pigment. The laser targets pigments in the hair.
If you have blonde hair and are looking to visit a laser hair removal clinic, here are five things to know before you set off for your procedure:
- There are lasers made for blonde hair removal
Laser hair removal machines have improved so much that what was impossible before is now possible. For a long time, it was believed that women of color cannot undergo laser hair removal due to the lack of contrast between skin complexion and hair color. The coming of new technology now allows for a safe and efficient laser hair removal treatment for darker skins.
Due to the lack of pigments in fair hair, it may be tricker for the laser to detect the hair. The absence of pigments may hinder the efficiency of the process. Thus, it happened that fair-haired people dyed their hair in a darker shade before a laser hair removal procedure. However, new laser hair removal technologies such as Nd:YAG laser can now successfully remove light-colored hair. No need to dye your hair anymore.
Nd:YAG laser devices have a longer wavelength that is highly sensitive to all colors and melanin. This means it can more precisely penetrate hair follicles without damaging surrounding tissue. Indeed, it deposits its energy deep into the dermis without relying on melanin to do so. That is why it is safe for darker skins too. And now increases the chances of success of laser hair removal treatments on blonde hair.
2. There are two types of hair
On our body, we have vellus hair and terminal hair. Vellus hair is the short, fine, practically invisible hair that covers our entire bodies (except the palms and bottoms of our feet) while terminal hair is thicker and pigmented. On the pubic region, underarms and legs is where you’ll find terminal hair and it is this hair that the laser removes.
3. Hair grows in cycles
Our has grows in three cycles — anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen is the active phase in which our hair is actually growing. When our hair is in the catagen phase our hair follicles are dying, which slows growth down. Finally, the telogen phase occurs in which our hair has stopped growing. Once the telogen phase is complete, the cycle starts again.
4. Laser treatments need to be spread out for best results
As aforementioned, hair grows in cycles. Because of this, hair removal will only be complete after several treatments. Moreover, these treatments need to be spread out, giving the hairs on the legs, bikini, and underarms a chance to grow. Usually, you will be visiting the laser hair removal clinic every six weeks for about a year. Some people need only four treatments to effectively remove hair while others require about six.
5. You need to see a specialist
As with any laser procedure you need to see a specialist. Visiting a laser hair removal clinic or cosmetic surgeon who offers this at their practice is your best option. Although laser hair removal procedures are becoming more and more common, you should have your treatment done by a doctor, registered nurse, or certified technician who has special training.
In conclusion, blonde hair can undergo laser hair removal as long as the right technology is available in the clinic blonde patients choose. Some areas of the body, such as the underarms and bikini, usually have darker hair, so laser hair removal will work fine on those. On other areas with lighter hair such as the legs and arms, blonde hair may need more laser hair removal to see permanent hair growth reduction.