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Taking it way back: laser hair removal and its history

21st February 2014

The popularity for laser hair removal treatments has no doubt increased over the past few decades. In light of this, it's worth knowing a bit about its history and knowing exactly how this type of permanent hair removal technology has advanced so much overtime.

The early days...

The laser was first founded in 1960, but hair removal lasers were first approved by the FDA in 1997. The first laser hair removal machines also known as the ruby-based lasers, which were actually quite ineffective, slow and could only be used on either very light or very dark coloured hair.

These lasers had a short wavelength, which meant that, for clients with darker skin, the laser would heat up both the hair follicle and the skin surrounding it, potentially leading to serious burns and severe skin irritations. Sometimes, ruby-based systems would occasionally change the colour of the treated skin, making it either lighter or darker than the original colour.

The break-through...

In the mid-1970's, the laser systems changed for the better with the invention of the alexandrite laser. They were definitely safer and made light-based hair removal a stronger commercial possibility. The only major limitation with this type of laser machine was that it tended to under heat hair follicles. This under heating meant that it was necessary to undergo numerous treatment sessions to ensure the unwanted hair didn't return back.

One of the latest developments in laser hair removal technology is the long pulse YAG laser, often used alongside RF energy. The previous developments had a limitation of not being able to treat darker complexions, but that is not the case here. The combination of laser and RF energies makes this laser system suitable for patients with darker skin tones.

Fortunately, the latest laser hair removal type of technology is readily being used at a wide range of laser hair clinics all over the globe. To find out more about whether laser hair removal is for you or not, it would be worth speaking to a trained dermatologist at a sk:n clinic near you.

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