When it comes to results from laser hair removal, the hair growth cycle is one of the most relevant factors.
Your hair moves through a few different stages of growth, and whether it’ll respond to laser hair removal depends on where it is in the cycle. That’s why most people see different results depending on the body part they’re having treated.
Read this post to understand the impact of the hair growth cycle on laser hair removal, especially for different body parts.
What Is the Hair Growth Cycle?
Your hair follicles move through a few stages of hair growth.
Those stages are:
- Growth (anagen)
- Transition (catagen)
- Rest (telogen)
There is also shedding (exogen). It’s sometimes referred to as its own stage, but it usually corresponds with other stages – especially with the start of a new growth phase.
Hair Growth Cycle and Laser Hair Removal
Each one of your hair follicles moves through the hair growth cycle individually. At any given time, more of your hair follicles are either in the growth stage or rest stage, with a smaller percentage in the transition or shedding stage.
Laser hair removal works by damaging the ability of the hair follicle to regrow hair. The beam of light is attracted to the melanin at the root of the hair. Through the root of the hair, it reaches the base of the follicle where it impedes its functions.
For the powerful beam of the laser to actually work, your hair follicle has to be in the growth phase of the cycle. This is because that’s the only stage when the root of the hair is pigmented enough to impact the follicle itself. During the other phases, the laser can’t reach the area where it’ll be most effective.
Our hair goes through the hair growth cycle at different rates depending on the body part. For example, our head hair can grow very long because it tends to have a more long-lasting growth stage, while elsewhere on the body hair is shorter.
Hair Growth Cycle in Different Body Parts
Here’s how the hair growth cycle can influence your laser hair removal results depending on the body part. It’ll give you an idea of how many sessions of treatment you are likely to need.
Facial hair has a relatively longer growth period and a shorter rest period. As such, laser hair removal tends to show results quite quickly. However, hormonal factors often stimulate hair regrowth, so follow-ups might be necessary months or years after you complete a series of laser treatments.
Bikini Area, Trunk, and Underarms
The pubic area, chest, stomach, back, and underarms have similar hair growth cycles, with a shorter growth stage and longer rest stage compared to the face. Expect to need about a medium number of treatments.
Amongst these, the underarms tend to respond a little faster thanks to lower hair follicle density.
Arms and Legs
The arms and legs both have the highest percentage of hair in the resting stage at any given time. However, the thicker, darker hair in the active growth stage tends to respond to the laser readily. As such, results often take more sessions, but they last.
Your hair growth cycles and therefore your laser hair removal results are impacted by other factors, beyond just the body part being treated. Some of those factors include:
- Your hormones, and especially male hormones that stimulate regrowth
- Your age, and especially big transitional periods like puberty or menopause
- Medications that impact your endocrine system like birth control or hormone replacement therapy
- Lifestyle factors like stress, sleep, and diet
Getting the Best Laser Hair Removal Results
You can’t control your hair growth cycle for the most part. But, there is one thing you can do to make sure your laser hair removal results are as good as can be: choose an excellent hair removal provider.
The skills of your technician and the quality of the laser technology being used will also influence your hair removal results.
At SEV, our experienced nurses and laser technicians know how to cover every inch of skin and utilize the right intensity levels to give you effective results with minimal pain and irritation.
We keep our service level high, but our prices are affordable to guarantee you can keep coming in for as many sessions as you need no matter your budget. Book your appointment and start your journey to hair-free skin.