Epilation done by laser was performed experimentally for about 20 years before it became commercially available in the mid 1990s. Laser and light-based methods are sometimes called photoepilation. The primary principle behind laser hair removal is Selective Photothermolysis.
Lasers cause localized damage by selectively heating dark target matter in the area that causes hair growth while not heating the rest of the skin. Light is absorbed by dark objects, so laser energy can be absorbed by dark material in the skin, called melanin, with much more speed and intensity. Several wavelengths of laser energy have been used for hair removal, from visible light to near-infrared radiation.
These lasers are usually defined by the lasing medium used to create the wavelength. There are three fairly well accepted types of Class IV medical Lasers for Hair Removal, with Alexandrite, NdYAG and Diode been the most popular and effective. Each of these techniques is FDA-approved and proven effective, fast and safe methods for successful hair removal. In our office we use the most advanced model – dual Alexandrite and NdYAG Laser equipment from Polylase and have an ability to treat a variety of patients with different skin types.
Please note, that in addition to Lasers, there are some light-based epilators that use xenon flash-lamp emitting full-spectrum Intense Pulsed Light (IPL).
Devices utilizing IPL method, radio frequency (RF) as well as several other methods are sometimes popularly (and mistakenly) referred to as Laser Hair Removal, though they are NOT LASER devices, and therefore, they are much less effective for hair removal.