The Latest in Laser Hair Removal and Why You Should “Duet”
Article by Steven F. Weiner, MD
Pensacola Facial Plastic Surgeon
There is now a new laser for hair removal which is safer, faster, more effective, and more comfortable than the prior “Gold Standard”.
Laser hair removal is not a new concept. The first laser for hair removal was approved in 1995 by the FDA. It was soon pulled from the market for being ineffective. The LightSheer laser was approved in 1997 and since then, it has been recognized at the most effective laser for permanently removing hair. Other forms of hair removal using the Alexandrite, YAG, or Ruby lasers and IPL have more side effects and risk, or are not as effective. The limitations of all the lasers has been speed and comfort. That has changed with the recent introduction of the LightSheer Duet.
The concept of laser hair removal was invented by Dr. Rox Anderson from the Wellman Institute at Harvard’s Mass General. To permanently remove hair, the hair germinal cells must be killed. This is done by using a laser whose wavelength matches the pigment of the hair. The heat absorbed by the pigment travels to the germinal cells and permanently injures them. In the growth phase of a hair cycle (one of 3 phases of the life of a hair), the hair is attached to the germ cells so the heat is effectively transferred to them. In the other 2 phases of the hair cycle, the heat will not lead to killing the germ cell. This is why several treatments are needed, so as to eventually hit most of the hairs in the growth phase.
The LightSheer Duet is a giant leap in laser hair removal technology. While still using the gold standard diode laser, it has added a larger treatment surface which cuts the time of doing a back treatment from an hour or more to less than 15 minutes. The Duet also incorporates a vacuum in its head which pulls the skin closer to the laser. By being closer to the skin, less energy is needed, so a safer treatment can be performed. The vacuum also compresses the blood vessels and stretches the pigment in the skin which makes the light from the laser go more directly to the hair follicle. Most of all, the combination of using lower energy levels and tenting the skin with the vacuum, the comfort level is significantly improved. Topical numbing creams or cool gels are not required so the “mess” factor is also reduced. Even Brazilian bikini hair removal can be performed in about 5 minutes without cold air, iced rollers, or any anesthetics. There is also evidence that the Duet might be more effective than its predecessor, so fewer treatments might be needed.
The best time for laser hair removal is when a person’s sun exposure is minimized. Tan skin cannot be treated with a laser, and sun avoidance is needed before and after having the procedure. So get ready for the beach with the latest technology in laser hair removal, the LightSheer Duet during the spring. Say good -bye to those razor bumps. Say hello to smooth, hairless skin.