The Evolution of Laser
March 21, 2016
I know I have been doing a lot of background research on the different types of hair removal that we offer here. I also know that not everyone is as into the history of these things as I am. However, that won’t stop me! And I swear I’m building for future posts, so just bear with me!
I think a safe place to start would be looking at what LASER stands for. It’s an acronym which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The theory behind lasers is that by exciting the atoms in gasses or solids enough, it will produce certain wave lengths of light that are much more concentrated than the lights hanging from your ceiling.
The first laser was invented in the early 1960’s. At this time, it wasn’t used for hair removal practices, but rather for other scientific practices. It wasn’t until the mid-60’s that people started experimenting with laser for hair removal. There first machines were slow, inefficient and usually caused more damage to the cells than the follicles. They also only worked on very light skin with dark hair, meaning that anyone who was darker than a fair or ivory tone would see little to no results. The lasers at this time were only able to treat a few follicles at a time, and used a Ruby-based laser which would from time to time make the skin change color… permanently.
In the mid-70s a new type of laser was introduced, the Alexandrite machine. While this machine was much safer, the treatment time was still incredibly long. The laser under-heated the follicles which didn’t kill them as quickly but decreased the likeliness of burning the patient.
As technology progressed, the Pulsed Diode Array laser was introduced to the market. The machine was able to emit longer wave-lengths and pulse duration which made it a viable option for darker skin types. However, it still only worked best on skin tones which were fair – olive/medium. Very dark skin would absorb most of the heat rather than target the follicles and burning was still a major concern. It wasn’t too long after that that the Long Pulse laser was introduced, which could be used on dark skin tones.
It’s still a common belief among those who have never had laser done before that it only works on light skin tones. While those who tend to be on the fairer side with dark hair will need less sessions, lasers today can be used on all kinds of skin types. If you do have a darker skin tone, you may find you need more sessions to achieve the same results, but you will still see a reduction!
The machine that we use at Bare Essentials is the Light Sheer Duet. This machine is great for all skin types as it uses long pulse durations. There are also two hand pieces, a small and a large, which make it much easier to use in any area of the body.
If you want more information about laser hair removal, we offer free consultations. We can go over the machine, take a look at the area and do a test pulse so you can get a feel what you’re in for.