- Upper lip,
- Bikini area,
Abnormal or excessive hairiness is not a disease, but is only of aesthetic importance. However, it may be a symptom of deep disorders of endocrine gland functioning. Yet, to a woman, presence of hair on the upper lip or chin is a significant stress factor in social and professional contacts, as it concerns the so-called first aesthetic field of the face.
Reasons or abnormal or excessive hairiness
- Genetic factors, family history
- Endocrinological diseases
- Adverse effect of certain medicines
In case of women, hormonal factors are of very high importance, including excessive quantities of male hormones. This prevents complete removal of the hair using various methods (including laser-based methods), and hormonal treatment is also required. In order to allow understanding how to prepare most effectively to the permanent epilation treatment, one needs to be familiar with hair development stages.
Hair growth stages:
- Anagen – growth stage; the bulb is connected with the matrix and fed by capillaries adjacent to the follicle; melanocytes produce melanin. The hair reaches its full length, the bulb is open and its feeding takes place through the papilla (connected with the blood circulation system). This stage is perfect to perform the procedure;
- Catagen – transitory stage, the hair is released from the papilla and it travels up; melanocytes stop producing melanin. Reproduction processes within the hair are stopped.
- Telogen – resting stage, the hair becomes dead and falls out, a new hair is produced under the dead matrix. If performed during this stage, the procedure is not very effective.
Hair removal methods
- Wax epilation
- Mechanical removal
The classical methods do not provide a lasting effect, as the hair matrix which allows quick reconstruction of the hair, remains intact. Moreover, some people do not tolerate these methods well because of inflammatory reactions or hypersensitivity to substances used for epilation.
A popular method ensuring greater durability of effects is electrolysis, but it may be painful and slow. The hair, one by one, is subjected to the influence of electrical current which is applied by a needle to the hair root, damages it and stops its growth. It takes months or even years of regular treatments – even in case of such small areas as the upper lip. Risks connected with this procedure include electrocution, infection, development of scars or enlarged pores.
A breakthrough in hair removal was the introduction of lasers. Their common characteristic is the impact of a concentrated light beam with particular properties onto the hair bulb and destruction of its matrix. The hair does not grow back or is significantly weakened once it grows back. Laser epilation involves very durable reduction of hairiness using equipment emitting high energy light – lasers and VPL. The procedure is based on the phenomenon of selective photothermolysis. It involves heating of certain skin structures (chromophores) which contain pigments such as melanin (pigment responsible for the colour of the skin and hair) or haemoglobin (blood pigment).
Laser hair removal is performed by heating of the hair and hair follicles (bulbs) by a light impulse up to the temperature of app. 70°C, sufficient to destroy them. At the same time, the skin around the hair, which contains much less pigment, gets heated less – as a result, it does not get burned. In consequence, the procedure is more effective the hair is darker and the skin is fair. Thus, the skin may not be suntanned before the laser epilation treatment.
Unfortunately, all these methods are only effective during the 1st stage of hair growth – during the anagen stage. Approximately 20% of the hair is at this growth stage at a time. This explains why the treatments need to be repeated to achieve permanent epilation of the area, irrespective of the equipment used.
Appropriate energy density is crucial for effectiveness of the procedure. Insufficient densities will not be effective, whereas excessive densities will cause side effects. Therefore, another stage in the development of laser technologies was development of VPL (Variable Pulse Light). This device generates light in the form of a flash, but in fact, a single visible flash contains several or even over ten flashes separated by time without the rays. Duration of the micro-impulses is very short (milliseconds), but their intensity lets conduct an effective procedure. Pauses before the micro-impulses let the skin rest and, therefore, there are practically no side effects or they appear in the form of minor reactions. At the same time, the procedures are much less painful. These are the only devices allowing treatment of patients with dark complexion and the only ones applied in countries with high sunlight exposure. Thus, one may safely perform the treatments in summer. VPL is effective in case of any kind of hair (even fair hair) except for grey hair.
Applied at our Clinic for over 10 years now, laser epilation has provided excellent results. It is fast and painless. The number of men interested in this kind of treatment is growing (beard and moustache, forearms, back, chest).
Laser treatments allow permanent removal of dark hair in any desired area in patients with white skin. Hair falls out during the treatment, so the cosmetic effect is achieved instantly. The number of sessions depends on the colour and thickness of hair, complexion, body area as well as intervals between subsequent treatments. Best results are achieved in case of removing thick and very dark hair.
Alexandrite laser is a state of the art laser device, emitting a beam of light rays penetrating into the skin down to the follicle, where it is absorbed by the skin and the hair pigment – melanin. That is why we may only remove dark hair. Laser radiation causes permanent destruction of the hair with the papilla, leaving the skin intact. The treatments are to be repeated several times, as only hair in the growth stage will be removed during one session. Hair in the “rest” stage is invisible to laser radiation. After 3-4 sessions, all hair in the treated area is made to reach one development stage. In this way, during subsequent sessions a greater number of follicles may be affected, the treatment becomes more efficient and hair growth is hindered by 2-3-times. Complete removal of hair requires 4-6 treatment sessions. CANDELA® has a patented cooling system – Dynamic Cooling Device – which, thanks to the application of cryogen before and after each laser impulse, protects the epidermis against getting burned.