Most people whether a client or a technologist, say that fine hair is easiest to treat. Well, they answered incorrectly and I will explain.
Hair removal is achieved by having a target for laser to produce heat which is pigmentation or colour in the hair. Dark, coarse hair is the best type of hair to treat with laser. It has a great target, is generally deep-rooted and has a lot of moisture or sebum along the shaft of the hair.
Moisture is the other ingredient necessary to develop sufficient thermal heating to destruct hair germ cells lying at the base of the follicle. Without pigmentation or moisture hair removal will not be effective.
Electrolysis is the only method to achieve 100% permanent hair removal. Electrolysis relies 100% on moisture in the follicle to produce heat when releasing current, which eventually will eliminate all the hair germ cells which produce a hair. So, hair that is coarse and deep rooted will have more moisture and therefore produce intense thermal heating and achieve results much sooner than if treating fine, dark hair.
In addition, hair must be in the first stages of the hair growth cycle in order for a treatment to be effective. That means that when a hair is just surfacing at the skin level it must be treated as it is in the anagen stage. At this stage, the hair root is still being nourished by the bloodstream and is in a perfect condition to have the most effective treatment.
Concluding, a specific schedule must be adhered, to provide the best progress for a client. When you do not schedule a client at the correct time then the hair root will separate from the source of nourishment, start moving up the follicle, drying up and another hair will start to form at the base of the follicle.
Why do you say that fine dark hair would be more difficult to treat?
Fine hair does not have a deep root therefore it will not have as much sebum or moisture along the shaft of a hair. As fine hair generally will sit closer to the skin’s surface certain lasers wavelength will not be suited to this type of hair as it will surpass the target or root area.
What is the best way to treat fine dark hair?
Laser treatments would be more effective when you use a smaller spot size so that energy will be more intense and more concentrated. Settings also need to be adjusted when using a smaller spot size so that you do not overtreat the skin but, at the same time if you use too low of a setting you actually may stimulate hair growth. It is vital that you fully understand how to manipulate your laser according to the hair and of course skin type that you are treating. In addition, as your treatments progress this method of changing your settings and sometimes spot size will be necessary as there is less hair and the hair is finer. Following this protocol will provide maximum results and a happy client.
Fine hair may require more treatments to achieve the best end result and the remaining hair would require electrolysis when your client’s goal is 100% permanent hair removal.
*Note: If you are treating lighter skin then you would use a 755 wavelength even if you started with a 1064 when the hair was coarse.
Electrolysis treatments for fine, dark hair takes more treatments as this hair is not deep-rooted and therefore will not have sufficient moisture along the shaft. Your insertions would be shallow, therefore current would have to be reduced, to avoid a skin reaction, resulting in less hair germ cells being eliminated at each session.
Before beginning a case with fine hair confirm the options and process of what to expect with your client before moving forward. You do not want a client complaining it is taking too long, my skin is getting irritated etc. be proactive.
Okay what options are available for clients with light, fine hair?
First, we all know that laser requires pigment in order to produce heat and to be effective so this rules out fine, light hair. However, there is another technology that I have used and is very effective when treating fine, light hair which is Elos. Elos is a combination of radio frequency and light therefore producing energy similar to electrolysis, but it is colour blind and relies on the condition of the follicle and moisture. It has a crystal light similar to IPL but in addition has two electrodes one on each side of the crystal which when pulsed will heat up the area and produce sufficient heat to eliminate hair germ cells.
When treating blond, fine hair with Elos and the skin is light you start with a short pulse duration for the first pass and then switch to the long pulse duration and repeat for up to 4 passes on the area that you are treating.
Before Rx with Elos 6 years after 12 Rx with Elos
Generally multiple passes are required to achieve progress when treating fine light hair so that enough of a heating pattern is developed to the shallow roots and moisture in the follicle. It will take longer for hair to fall out, but it will. Of course, more treatments are required for this type of hair and treatments are generally booked more frequently then when treating clients with dark, fine hair. Should your client want to achieve 100% permanent hair removal then you will follow-up with electrolysis.
Electrolysis is the last procedure a client will receive when wanting to achieve 100% permanent hair removal. The hair remaining is very weak, with a shallow root with very little moisture. You must train yourself to position the client in such a way that you can see where the light hair is coming from and make sure your insertions are correct. Yes, it takes time and patience but there is no other alternative for this client.
Summary: By following the procedures mentioned you will be able to treat all clients, with any skin colour, hair colour and texture. There is no client that you need to turn away. Take the time to explain clearly what options are available so that there are no disappointments.