A hair follicle goes through 3 stages of growth:
- 1. Anagen: This is the “perfect” stage for treatment. The hair shaft is attached to the papilla, thus enabling the laser to attack the melanin in the shaft and disable the papilla. This period for facial and body hair can be as long as 2-3 weeks.
- 2. Catagen: The growth process has reversed itself and the hair is getting ready to shed (this is not the same shedding process as post-laser treatment). The moisture, water and salt have begun to dry up. It is still possible to treat with laser in the future since a follicle in the Catagen stage will produce another hair. This stage is variable and can last as little as 2 days.
- 3. Telogen: This is the final stage, the “resting” stage. The hair is neither developing nor growing. It cannot be treated during this stage. The hair shaft is completely detached from the papilla, not allowing for the laser to attack the melanin and disable the papilla. This stage can last from a few days to a few years.
What this all means is that it is important to treat hair during the Anagen or growing stage. Only during this stage of the cycle can the hair be permanently destroyed. It takes 6-12 weeks for a hair to grow from the papilla to the surface of the skin. Our medical aestheticians may change the number of weeks between treatments depending on the rate that “your” hair grows.