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  Michael B. Stevens, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.
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Laser Hair Removal

Hair forms in a pouchlike structure below the skin called a hair follicle. What we see as hair is actually the hair shaft, which is the keratinized, hardened tissue that grows from the follicle. Humans have more hair follicles per square inch than most higher primates, including chimpanzees and gorillas. Because most of this hair is fine and pale (called vellus hair), it usually isn’t visible to the naked eye. Consider this: the forehead has more hair follicles than any other part of the body. The thicker, fully pigmented hair most people consider "real hair" is called terminal hair. This hair is found on scalp, eyebrows, legs, backs, underarms, and genital areas. This is the hair the laser treats.

Everyone’s hair grows differently, depending on age, weight, metabolism, hormones, ethnicity, medications, and other factors. But all hair goes through three distinct growth phases:

Active growth phase (called the anagen phase), which lasts up to several years. At any given time, the majority (85%) of our body hair is in this phase. During anagen, the hair has an abundance of melanin.
Regressive phase (catagen phase), which lasts about two weeks, during which the hair stops growing but is not yet shed. About 3 –4% of our body hair is in this phase at any given time.
Resting phase (telogen phase), which last 5-6 weeks, at the end of which the hair falls out and a new hair begins to form. Approximately 10-13% of our body hair is in the phase at any one time.
The laser most effectively disables hair that is in the active growth (anagen) phase. Because all the hair in a treated area may not be in the anagen phase, more than one laser treatment may be necessary to remove the hair that subsequently enters the growth phase.

       
  violet square Hair Removal: An Introduction  
  violet square Understanding Hair Removal
  violet square Understanding Laser Treatment
  violet square What You Can Expect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Plastic Surgery and Laser Center
2820 West Main Street, Visalia, CA 93291
559.625.8636 or toll free 800.321.5273

Beverly Hills Office
270 N. Canon, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
310.275.3030

Questions, comments or to request a consultation: info@drstevens.com

© 2000 Michael B. Stevens, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S. All rights reserved.

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