The laser beam passes through the skin without damaging it. The laser light is absorbed by melanin which is the dark pigment within the hair and then converted to heat. This allows a selective destruction of the base of the hair follicle, making it unable to produce hair as it did before. The surrounding skin is unharmed. With the appropriate laser technology all skin types can be treated safely.
It is virtually painless. The sensation is often described as a mild stinging, but the levels of sensitivity vary between people and skin areas. Cold air is blown during the procedure to cool and numb the skin, removing the need for any anaesthetic (though this can be used if required).
The number of sessions varies from person to person depending on their skin type, hair colour, thickness of the hair, hormonal imbalances and the area of the body to be treated. The exact number cannot be predicted precisely for any patient. However, most people require around 8 to 12 treatments, once every 6 weeks for the body and every 4 weeks for the face.
Because the laser affects the hair when it is in active growth (the anagen phase) and not every hair is in this phase at any one time. Anywhere from 30% to 90% of the hair on the body is in the anagen phase at any one time, depending on the part of the body. 60% to 90% of the hair in the anagen phase is damaged after each session.