Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
Can you please tell me why with each successive hair removal treatment the energy needs to be increased?
Laser Hair removal laser’s are attracted to pigment, both in our hair and our skin – hence the paler the skin, and the darker the hair, the more effective the treatment. As the hair gets lighter and finer as the treatments progress, the less contrast there will be between the hair and skin, thus the laser energy will need to be increased in order to target the hair for the best result.
Laser hair removal, once attracted to the dark hair, converts the laser light into heat – the darker the hair, the more heat the laser will produce to destroy the follicle. This is why low settings are applied in the beginning as this is a time where we have the most hair, and the hair is at its darkest. If we used high settings straight away, too much heat may be produced, and we risk side effects such as burning of the skin. As the hair gets lighter and finer, the less heat is produced, thus to get a good result, we need to gradually turn the settings higher, while ensuring there are no adverse effects on the skin.