What are unwanted hair ?
  • Unwanted  hair in women is basically having terminal hair in areas where normally women have finer hair, It’s called Hirsutism.
  • For men unwanted hair may be excess hair on trunk, beard covering most part of cheeks, or may be full body.
  • Hirsutism can be caused by either an increased level of Androgens, (the male hormones) or an over sensitivity of  hair follicles to androgens. Genetics plays a major role in unwanted hair .

How do lasers help in targeting unwanted hair?

  • Nd YAG and Diode laser are proven lasers for Indian skin and hair type. Laser basically targets chromophores (colored cells).
  • For hair targeting lasers MELANIN is the chromophore. So they destroy only specific cells without damaging other cells without chromophores.

Why we need multiple sessions for optimal results?

  • Laser targets only growing hairs, and all hairs are not in growing phase at any given time.
  • So, when you take laser, with each session thickness, density, and rate of growth comes down.

Will the hairs go completely and permanently?

  • Results in laser depends on body part and hormonal issue the person is having. For example, under arm hair is good in density and thickness, so laser can target them very effectively. Secondly, under arm hair is a universal phenomenon, there is no hormonal abnormality.
  • When we talk about unwanted facial hair, results vary a lot depending on duration of hair thickening, density,
    thickness, hormonal imbalance, medications etc.

So in Hirsutism, is it worth taking laser as its not going to remove hairs completely?

  • In a lady with Hirsutism there is a continuous process going on at hair follicle level, where finer hairs are getting
    thicker gradually. That’s the exact reason why people are not very happy with laser treatment for hirsutism. One need to understand this to be happy with laser treatment.
  • The fact is, laser is destroying existing thicker hairs which are in growing phase. However, results depend on how fast or slow finer hairs are getting thicker. This is totally individualized depending on hormonal status.
  • On a long run it helps in controlling hair density, thickness and reducing thickness permanently.
  • If one works on other factors like weight reduction, exercises diet etc , laser can really benefit and help in improving quality of life. 

Is it possible to get hirsutism with normal levels of blood hormones?

  • Yes, Hirsutism with normal blood hormones is seen in many individuals. The reason is end organ hypersensitivity, they have sensitive follicle which react to even normal hormone levels. Hirsutism in itself is a very vast subject, difficult to cover everything in this topic.

What are the side effects of Laser?

  • Most of the side effects of laser are temporary like redness and mild swelling. However, there can be heat reaction in some individuals especially with darker skin.
  • Laser in contraindicated in Pregnancy and lactation

Take home message.

  • Laser hair reduction is a good modality of treatment for unwanted hair.
  • Results depend on multiple factors like body part, hair thickness, skin color, hormonal profile ,etc.
  • Dermatologist with laser experience  can advise you better as results are totally individualized .