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How Lasers and Hair Became Friends

In April’s first springy blog we delved into the ancient history of hair removal. From Cleopatra to Brutus to Queen Elizabeth, everyone was trying to get rid of unwanted hair. Plucking, raking it off with stones, applying harsh liquids…whatever it took, they tried to remove hair from their faces and bodies.

Lucky you, you’re living in a time where all you need to do is come see us at our beautiful Romeo & Juliette offices between Madison and Fifth and we can put our 12 lasers on the job of removing unwanted hair.

Before you make your next appointment, let’s finish the history of hair removal, getting into our favorite time when lasers came on the scene.

1700s

Americans may think the 1700s were our time, but we were more concerned with not losing a colony in the New World to smallpox or malaria than removing hair. The French were much more civilized, and French women wanted to get rid of the hair on their legs and armpits. To do that, Jacques Perret invented the first straight razor in 1760.

1800s

Another Frenchman, Dr. Gouraud, created the first depilatory cream called Poudre Subtile. This was probably because there still wasn’t a women’s razor. Then in 1880 King Camp Gillette invented the modern-day razor for men.

1900s

Gillette created the first razor specifically for women in 1915. But depilatory creams were all the rage. Around 1920 an ad showed a woman with her arms raised and her armpits bare, which made quite an impact in those days.

1960s

Wax strips were introduced and quickly became popular. But it was Theodore Maiman in 1960 with his ruby laser for hair removal that was the real news of the day. Unfortunately, this original laser took forever to function, and it could severely burn the skin if done incorrectly. That made it a flop in short order.

1970s

Electrolysis had been around for decades, but it became more reliable and safer with the development of transistorized equipment. It was a slow and tedious (and still is) process, though. More important, in 1970, the alexandrite laser was developed. But it lacked the necessary power to reliably remove hair. It was a start.

Also, in 1975 Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist, created the Fitzpatrick scale to classify human skin color. This scale is widely used to assess skin cancer risk, and it is vital to the laser hair removal process to match skin tone with the correct laser.

1983

Scientists discovered that the key to removing hair was to target the individual hair follicles. This was the only method that would prevent hair growth. But the lasers used were still either too low in power or too high in power and could cause burns.

1990s

Welcome to the 90s and Dr. Rox Anderson. This MIT graduate created the first laser hair removal method in 1996. The FDA approved it in 1997. Since those days, Anderson has earned more than 60 patents and published more than 250 scientific books and papers on lasers and hair removal. Now that sounds like a reading list we’d recommend at Romeo & Juliette!

Today

At Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal, we have 12 different lasers that we use for our laser hair removal for our clients from all over the New York area. Other hair removal practices may have one or two lasers; we feel a dozen is the proper number. Our variety offers the widest range of power and flexibility to adapt to every conceivable hair color and skin tone. No one has the functionality to match ours.

We’ve come a long way in the quest to get rid of unwanted hair. So, the question is: Do you want to get rid of your hair without using flints or ammonia? Call the pros at Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal, 212-750-2000, to make your appointment.

Posted in: Laser Hair Removal

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