Title: Optical hair removal.
Authors: Ort RJ, Anderson RR
Journal: Semin Cutan Med Surg 1999 Jun;18(2):149-58
PMID: 10385283, UI: 99312009
Affiliated institution: Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine, and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.
Traditional methods of hair removal have proven unsatisfactory for many individuals with excessive or unwanted hair. In the last few years, several lasers and xenon flashlamps have been developed that promise to fulfill the need for a practical, safe, and long-lasting method of hair removal. Aggressive marketing of these has contributed to their popularity among patients and physicians. However, significant controversy and confusion surrounds this field. This article provides a detailed explanation of the scientific underpinnings for optical hair removal and explores the advantages and disadvantages of the various devices currently available (Nd:YAG, ruby, alexandrite, diode lasers, and xenon flashlamp). Treatment and safety guidelines are provided to assist the practitioner in the use of these devices. Although the field of optical hair removal is still in its infancy, initial reports of long-term efficacy are encouraging.