Hair removal treatment technologies have drastically advanced since their humble beginnings in the 1960s and the latest intense pulsed light (IPL) and diode laser hair removal systems could be a valuable addition to your medical aesthetic clinic’s service offerings.
The ruby laser, developed by Theodore Maiman in 1960, was the very first laser aesthetic device designed for hair removal. While the technology worked to reduce hair growth, the process was tedious, and its side effects were numerous. Skin was frequently burned or damaged and even small areas were a challenge, with the device being able to target very few follicles at once.
By 1969, researchers were developing laser hair removal devices that target individual hair follicles and by 1970, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began to better study the efficacy of these devices. The laser technology in these devices wasn’t as strong as that found in the ruby laser, which led to less skin damage but also less effective targeting of hair follicles, meaning treatment plans could take years to offer adequate results. These early technologies were also mostly limited to patients with darker hair colors and lighter skin tones.
By the 1990s, FDA approval landed. The first approved laser hair removal device purportedly halted hair growth for up to three months but didn’t offer permanent hair reduction. During this time, researchers also began to explore the use of photosensitive carbon dyes in boosting the efficiency of laser hair removal devices and converting radiation into thermal energy for improved results. This led the way to safer options for patients with darker skin tones or lighter hair colors.
IPL-based medical aesthetic devices began to hit the market in the 1990s as well. With further technological developments over the last 20 years, IPL hair removal devices have gained traction due to their ability to treat larger areas in less time compared to previous hair removal procedures, as well as the capability to adjust emissions by using filters for increased accuracy by blocking certain wavelengths.
In 2008, the FDA approved the sale and marketing of in-home laser hair removal devices, with the very first approved device featuring a diode laser, which offers greater levels of control for a wider range of skin tones.
Today, laser hair removal technologies are able to reduce hair growth by 90-95%, with devices featuring diode laser technology that is safe for treating patients with darker skin tones and tanned skin. Delivering targeted heat through customized and controlled pulse rates and spot sizes to target individual hair follicles across a larger surface area, the most recent developments in hair removal procedures risk less damage to skin around the hair follicles (compared to older technologies with longer laser pulses, such as electrolysis) and quicker treatment sessions. Likewise, the addition of advanced cooling technologies makes these treatments much more comfortable for patients compared to earlier laser hair removal treatments and electrolysis.
As the popularity of hair removal procedures continues to rise, prospective patients may be tempted to save money by purchasing an at-home laser hair removal device. It’s important to convey to prospective patients that these devices can’t promise the same results as in-office alternatives, nor can they offer the level of safety a professional medical aesthetics clinic can provide. The results achieved using at-home devices certainly are not as long-lasting as those achieved using professional laser hair removal devices with the latest in IPL or diode laser technology, nor are they as effective on darker and tanned skin tones. For patients balking at the price point of a standard IPL or laser hair removal treatment plan, these points may be enough to convince them to invest in professional results and a more comfortable treatment that could save them money and time in the long run.
To learn more about our fast and effective hair removal systems featuring advanced IPL and diode laser technologies, contact us today.