Lasers for Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is the process of removing unwanted hair by means of exposure to pulses of laser light that destroy the hair follicle. It had been performed experimentally for about twenty years before becoming commercially available in the mid-1990s. One of the first published articles describing laser hair removal was authored by the group at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1998. The efficacy of laser hair removal is now generally accepted in the dermatology community,[citation needed] and laser hair removal is widely practiced in clinics, and even in homes using devices designed and priced for consumer self-treatment. Many reviews of laser hair removal methods, safety, and efficacy have been published in the dermatology literature.

The primary principle behind laser hair removal is selective photothermolysis (SPTL), the matching of a specific wavelength of light and pulse duration to obtain optimal effect on a targeted tissue with minimal effect on surrounding tissue. Lasers can cause localized damage by selectively heating dark target matter, melanin, in the area that causes hair growth, the follicle, while not heating the rest of the skin. Light is absorbed by dark objects, so laser energy can be absorbed by dark material in the skin, but with much more speed and intensity. This dark target matter, or chromophore, can be naturally-occurring or artificially introduced.

Hair removal lasers have been in use since 1997 and have been approved for "permanent hair reduction" in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Under the FDA's definition, "permanent" hair reduction is the long-term, stable reduction in the number of hairs regrowing after a treatment regime.

Laser Types & Parameters

Several wavelengths of laser energy have been used for hair removal, from visible light to near-infrared radiation. These lasers are characterized by their wavelength, measured in nanometers (nm):

  •    Argon: 488 nm (Turquoise/Cyan) or 514.5 nm (Green) (no longer used for hair removal)
  •    Ruby: 694.3 nm (Deep Red) (only safe for patients with very pale skin)
  •    Alexandrite: 755 nm (Near-Infrared) (safe and effective on all skin types, Fitzpatrick I-VI)
  •    Pulsed diode array: 810 nm (Near-Infrared) (for pale to medium type skin)
  •    Nd:YAG: 1064 nm (Near-Infrared) (made for treating darker skin types, though effective on all skin types)

Pulse width (or duration) is one of the most important considerations. The length of the heating pulse relates directly to the damage achieved in the follicle. When attempting to destroy hair follicles the main target is the germ cells which live on the surface of the hair shaft. Light energy is absorbed by the melanin within the hair and heat is generated. The heat then conducts out towards the germ cells. As long as a sufficient temperature is maintained for the required time then these cells will be successfully destroyed. This is absolutely critical - attaining the require temperature is not sufficient unless it is kept at that temperature for the corresponding time.

Spot size, or the width of the laser beam, directly affects the depth of penetration of the light energy due to scattering effects in the dermal layer. Larger beam diameters result in deeper deposition of energy and hence can induce higher temperatures in deeper follicles. Hair removal lasers have a spot size about the size of a fingertip (3-18mm).

Fluence or energy density is another important consideration. Fluence is measured in joules per square centimeter (J/cm²). It's important to get treated at high enough settings to heat up the follicles enough to disable them from producing hair.

Epidermal cooling has been determined to allow higher fluences and reduce pain and side effects, especially in darker skin. Three types of cooling have been developed:
  • Contact cooling: through a window cooled by circulating water or other internal coolant. This type of cooling is by far the most efficient method of keeping the epidermis protected since it provides a constant heat sink at the skin surface. Sapphire windows are much more conductive than quartz.
  • Cryogen spray: sprayed directly onto the skin immediately before and/or after the laser pulse
  • Air cooling: forced cold air at -34 degrees C
In essence, the important output parameter when treating hair (and other skin conditions) is power density - this is a combination of energy, spot diameter and pulse duration. These three parameters determine what actually happens when the light energy is absorbed by the tissue chromophore be it melanin, haemoglobin or water, with the amount of tissue damaged being determined by the temperature/time combination.

Hair removal Laser Systems


Alma Lasers

810-nm diode laser technology
The gold standard in laser hair removal since its introduction in 1998 with high average power and a rapid 10 pulse-per-second repetition rate.

CW Pulse™ technology
The unique pulse structure of SopranoXL incorporates two discrete pulses. The first is a preheated long pulse that safely heats the tissue; the second short pulse effectively destroys the hair follicle and its surrounding vasculature.

In-motion technology
In-motion technology combines concurrent cooling with a gradual thermal rise to the target's therapeutic temperature, without the risk of injury and with much less pain for the patient.

ICE Technology
ICE Technology is an advanced cooling technology that cools the skin during treatment for longer periods of time. The ICE tech cold sapphire tip minimizes the risk of burns on the skin surface while maintaining heatwithin the dermis where hair follicles are treated.

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eLase™ with Motif™


810-nm diode laser technology
The eLase features proprietary elōs combined-energy technology of bi-polar radio frequency (RF) and diode laser energies.

Motif LHR Applicator
The Motif LHR Applicator's "Motif Mode" offers treatment options for high frequency multiple pass "virtually painless" hair removal on all skin types. in the treatment - contact is made with the skin and cooling begins, laser pre-heats the target, RF is drown towards heated target deep inside the dermis and both energies work to attack both the inside and outside of the target.

Cooling Protection
Choose from two cooling systems - Air Cooling Compatible (ACC), which offers high air flow at a specified temperature, or Dynamic Cooling Device (DCD).

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LightSheer® systems


The Lumenis' LightSheer® systems (INFINITY™, DESIRE™, DUET™ and ET) uses state-of-the-art 805nm diode laser technology that has become the preferred method for photoepilation and the industry's 'Gold Standard'.

Vacuum Assisted High-Speed Integrated Technology (HITTM)
Vacuum gently draws skin into the handpiece, skin is stretched thin and target is pulled closer to the energy source. Energy is applied to target in which melanocytes are spread apart and blood flow is constricted.Target is damaged and skin is released.

ChillTipTM Technology.
Skin is cooled before and during treatment, Skin is compressed, Laser beam applied to skin and target is damaged.

3 handpieces with various spot sizes
The HS has a HIT 22x35mm spot size enabling use of low-fluence and a unique mechanism of pain reduction; The XC has a Sapphire ChillTip spot size of 12x12mm, providing optimal solution for large and small areas requiring higher fluence levels; The ET has a Sapphire ChillTip spot size of 9x9mm designed to treat small areas that require maximum precision and high fluence.

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Vectus Laser


The Vectus® Laser is a dedicated, reliable, and powerful solution for high-volume hair removal.

800nm Laser System
With the proven reliability and low ownership cost of diode technology, the Vectus Laser provides high-volume permanent hair reduction for a wide range of skin and hair types – without sacrificing client comfort.

Largest spot size available today
The vectus laser has a 23mm X 38mm and up to 3Hz repetition rate.

Advanced Contact CoolingTM
Sapphire treatment tips with Advanced Contact CoolingTM help protect the epidermis and help keep clients comfortable throughout treatment, while Photon RecyclingTM and the uniform beam profile allow for the most thorough coagulation of hair follicles, reducing the need for multiple, overlapping passes.

Skintel™ Melanin Reader™
The Vectus Laser features the integrated Skintel™ Melanin Reader™, the only FDA-cleared melanin reader, helping providers to more safely offer optimized hair removal treatments tailored to each client’s skin type, lifestyle, and ethnicity.

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V-Laser Nd:YAG Hand Piece


1064nm handpiece Applicable for the V30 multi-technology platform device. this hand piece is good for Vascular Lesions, Hair Removal and Skin Rejuvenation treatments, complimenting the hair removal treatment with the company V-IPL handpieces.

4 different spot sizes
With 9.5 mm2, 5.5 mm2, 3.5 mm2 and 2X4 mm spot sizes enabling a wide variety of options, you can customize treatments for each individual patient, according to his or her needs.

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XP Line Lasers


Fotona’s Nd:YAG lasers incorporate revolutionary pulse-control technology and a proprietary three-dimensional treatment pattern (FRAC3®) to provide safe and effective hair reduction.

FRAC3® Technology
FRAC3® is a three-dimensional treatment effect that seeks out minuscule, age-related imperfections in skin tissue. With FRAC3® more surrounding tissue remains unaffected, ensuring faster healing and less patient downtime compared to conventional fractional treatments.

Variable Square Pulse Technology
VSP (Variable Square Pulse) technology is a patented solution for generating square laser pulses for more controlled energy absorption. Pulse durations can be adjusted from 50 us up to 1500 us, depending on the practitioner’s needs.

Fotona PIANO mode
PIANO mode is a new Nd:YAG bulk heating approach based on super-long pulse durations (0.3 - 60 s) which are longer than the thermal relaxation time of the epidermis and other skin structures such as hair follicles or blood vessels.

Energy Feedback Control Technology
EFC (Energy Feedback Control) technology is a core safety feature which actively monitors each individual pulse’s energy level to ensure that the output energy is exactly matched to the practitioner’s chosen parameters throughout the duration of each treatment session.

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Additional Laser Systems



The eLaser features proprietary elōs combined-energy technology of bi-polar radio frequency (RF) with both light and diode laser energies. Proprietary Active Dermal Monitoring™ feature monitors dermal temperature changes during each pulse for added safety. Contact cooling promotes patient comfort. Up to 15 x 12 mm spot size and up to 2Hz repetition rate.

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Combining Cutera’s proven long-pulse 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser and a new high-power 755 nm Alexandrite laser with the superiority of sapphire contact cooling, excel HR redefines modern laser hair removal.

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The Icon™ Aesthetic System is the next generation of platform technology. Offering multiple devices in one machine, it enables aesthetic practitioners to provide a comprehensive suite of the most popular treatments, from hair removal to wrinkle reduction to scar and stretch mark treatment.

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elōs Plus


Motif HR Plus "Pain Free" Hair Removal - Especially advantageous when treating larger areas (i.e. legs), increased spot size enables treatment times that are two times faster. Permanent hair reduction of pigmented and minimally pigmented hair on all skin types, including tanned skin.

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