At Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal, it’s not that we hate hair; it’s just that we hate unwanted hair. And of the 5 million or so hairs on each of us mammals, there are more than enough of the unwanted variety to go around.
But why can’t we just zap them all at once? Patients often wonder why it takes numerous laser hair removal sessions to get those pesky hairs. And even then, about 85 to 90 percent is about what most people can expect to permanently remove.
Well, it all comes down to two things really: the hair growth cycle, and the stubbornness of human hair follicles.
That darn growth cycle
First, every one of the five million or so hairs on the average human (men have a few hundred thousand more than women) operates like an independent contractor. Each hair follicle moves in and out of the three phases of the hair growth cycle — anagen (growth), catagen (transitional), and telogen (resting).
Laser energy is only effective in damaging or destroying hair follicles that are in the growth phase because the hair is actively growing and strongly anchored in the hair follicle. In the catagen and telogen phases, the hair is already on its way out as the body is in the process of shedding it. The hair is no longer receiving any nourishment from the follicle, and it may have already separated from the follicle. This is why laser energy applied to hairs in these phases can’t get down into the follicle. When you think of the number of unwanted hairs you’re seeking to target, catching each unwanted hair in the growth phase isn’t easy.
Each successive session in our beautiful 57th Street offices catches more hair in the anagen phase. But you can see it’s a numbers game when dealing with 5 million total hairs.
Also, human hair follicles want to do their job. They want to grow hair. Unless they are being affected by male or female pattern baldness (which of course never occurs on areas you’d actually like to be bald), human hair follicles are quite resilient. Consider they reside just below the skin surface, but, unlike skin cells, hair follicles aren’t damaged by the UV rays of the sun. You can hammer your skin with sun damage, but the hair follicles will keep on keepin’ on, so to speak.
Plus, they’re tough. If laser energy partially damages a hair follicle it may stop growing hair for a while, but often it will return to full hair growth again. For women, our hormones also play a role. Follicles that were basically dormant or heavily damaged can return to growth when given a megadose of raging hormones, such as during pregnancy or menopause.
OK, so there are a lot of hairs and they are stubborn customers. All the more reason to come into Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal today to start getting rid of the little buggers. Call us at (212) 750-2000 to make an appointment.