Laser hair growth cycles have an affect on how permanent laser hair removal can be.
The most popular question I get asked is Why laser hair removal is not 100% permanent
And the reason why it's not permanent is the way that hair grows on our body.
You see each hair follicle on your body undergoes a cycle of activity.
Laser Hair Growth and Regrowth Cycles Chart
First, new hair will start growing at the root and will continue to grow until it reaches its maximum length. It will then shed and finally be replaced by new hair, at which point the cycle begins all over again.
In total, there are three main phases in a hair's life cycle.
Anagen Phase (the active growth phase) During this phase, the hair grows rapidly and contains an abundance of melanin which absorbs light. The hair growth in this phase lasts for a period of 1 to 6 weeks. The laser treats the Anagen hair.
Catagen Phase (transitional period) This phase lasts for a period of 2 weeks. This is the end of the growth phase and is marked by changes in the hair follicle. The hair stops growing and the hair follicle separates from the base, forming club hair.
Telogen Phase (shedding phase) In this phase all activity stops. Telogen club hair remains in a resting state for 3 to 5 months before being released. The old hair is pushed out by the new hair, and thus the cycle begins.
On average at any given time, 85-90% of hair is in the Anagen phase, 1% in the Catagen phase and 10 to 15% in the Telogen phase.
So what does all of this mean to you?
The laser can only target the hair in the Anagen stage because it contains the melanin that the laser light absorbs and kills.This is the precise reason why laser hair removal is not 100% permanent and has nothing to do with the IPL/Laser machine.
So depending on the type of hair you have for example if you have very thick, coarse hair, you will notice an approximate 85 to 90% reduction of hair growth.
However, anyone with fine hair will only see a reduction of approximately 45% to 60%.
In my experience, laser hair removal seems to be more effective for men than women because women are predisposed to grow new and more hair on their face as they get older. This can be caused by changes in hormones, menopause and medication.
However, women's bikini, underarms or legs usually result in 95% permanent reduction because women are predisposed to eventually lose hair in these areas.
Six to eight laser hair removal sessions spread four to six weeks apart are generally required to achieve the best results for both men and women.