Ready to get your laser hair removal machine? Great! But as necessary as it is to search for the best permanent hair removal device, it is equally essential to understand your hair growth cycle!
For most of us, our hair cycle is as essential as removing our hair through waxing/shaving and the hair growing back after a few weeks. But in reality, there is much more to our hair cycle that we need to understand if we want to make the best out of our laser hair removal journey.
We know that doing laser hair removal by yourself can sound quite overwhelming initially. After all, it concerns your hair and concern!
But in our blogs, we ensure to take you through the A-Z of laser hair removal at home so you can get salon-like results within the comfort of your home!
Understanding our hair cycle
If there is one thing on our body that can be termed “easy come, easy go”, it is our “hair”. Well, not mostly “easy go”, considering the endless struggle of waxing, shaving, plucking and what not.
Did you know? Our body has around five million hair strands, and each one of them works independently. That’s mind-blowing, right? But there is one thing that unites all the hair on our body: the hair growth cycle.
All of our body hair undergoes three stages. This is also why it takes more than a single session, both professionally and at home, to remove unwanted hair permanently.
The effectiveness of laser hair removal is directly linked to the stage your hair is currently on. So now that you know why you can’t get rid of all the unwanted hair at once, let’s now deep dive into our hair cycle.
Hair Growth Cycle
How does our hair cycle of growth work?
Our hair follicles are constantly undergrowth and repair at different stages. There are total stages of our hair growth, and it is vital to remember that all of our hair does not grow in unity.
So, while your armpit’s hair might be in the first stage of hair growth, the hair on your legs might be in the last stage. Hence, a single zap of laser will not get rid of the hair permanently at once. It requires patience and consistency before you can see the actual results.
The stages of the hair growth cycle
Now, let’s have an insight into the stages of our hair growth in detail!
The growth stage, Anagen
The first and primary stage of our hair growth is Anagen. To put it in simple words, this is the stage you witness after a few days of shaving or waxing. In the anagen phase, you can see the hair clearly visible on the skin attached to the hair follicle’s papilla.
For those who don’t know, the papilla is a knob-shaped indentation that regulates the growth of our hair. The anagen phase is the favourite of professionals in laser hair removal salons as the hair is available for the laser to work!
In the anagen phase, the hair is readily available to absorb the laser energy, which in turn destroys the hair follicle and stops the hair from growing back. The stage lasts only about two to three weeks for the body and facial hair.
Anagen is also the stage in which the root is largest, so there is plenty of melanin, the hair pigment, available. Our hair is darkest during the Anagen stage. So, this allows for our hair to quickly absorb the laser energy!
Only 20 percent of our body hair grows actively in the anagen phase. Therefore, it takes several sessions to take all our body hair during their growing stage. The phase can vary from person to person. After all, we all have different genes!
The transition stage, Catagen
Between the growth and rest period, there is the catagen phase in which our hair undergoes the phase of shedding. You can look at this stage as what your cat looks like during winters!
Removing your hair permanently during the catagen brings a great degree of success to the whole process. However, the problem here is that the hair shaft has left the papilla, so any laser energy absorbed by the papilla doesn’t reach our hair follicle.
So, in this case, our hair follicles are not ‘damaged enough’ to reduce hair growth in the long run. This stage of hair growth lasts for about two days.
During the catagen stage, the hair follicles also shrink in size and separate from the papilla, providing it with the essential nutrients. People with longer body hair often see hair strands on their pillowcases. This is probably because it is the “catagen stage” of your hair cycle!
The rest stage, Telogen
The final show, or the final stage, is the Telogen stage. The hair has either stopped shedding or is going to shed. Your hair is in the telogen stage right after waxing your body hair.
The hair is no longer in contact with the papilla. Instead, if it is not already gone, it is on the way out! This stage is of no use to laser hair removal treatment as our hair follicles are in the resting stage, and no hair is visible.
Nevertheless, as easy it is to predict the duration of the anagen or catagen phase, the telogen stage is unpredictable! It can go from a few days to as long as years. So you can say that after permanent hair removal, your hair goes into the resting stage permanently!
Why is understanding the hair growth cycle necessary for laser hair removal?
Now that you know how our hair cycle works, you can better understand the laser hair removal process. So, as we mentioned above, you need to target the hair you want to get rid of permanently in the anagen stage.
Since every hair strand is at a different stage, you need to consistently use your permanent hair removal machine to ensure that all the hair is targeted. It takes about three to four months of using the device regularly to get the best results for most people.
Investing in an at-home IPL laser device like SkinGen is probably one of the best investments you can make for yourself! Not only do you get rid of unwanted hair permanently within the comfort of your home, but it also saves you a reasonable amount of time and effort that it takes to get laser done professionally.
Make sure that after doing a good amount of research regarding at-home laser hair removal, you also understand your hair cycle of growth. With our article above, we can assure you that laser hair removal will be a breeze for you as you get smooth, hairless skin!