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Compare the reason and pain etc. that the effect of medical laser hair removal is longer than tha...




Chiharu Watanabe
Dr. Chiharu Watanabe

Chiharu dermatology clinic

medical doctor Dermatologist certified by the Japanese Dermatological Association AMI Japan Senior Trainer Specialist / Councilor, Japan Laser Medicine Association Member of Japanese Society of Allergology Member of Japanese Society of Clinical Dermatology Surgery Member of Japan Anti-Aging Medicine Association Dr. OBAGI certified physician Member of Japan Cosmetic Dermatological Association Director, Japanese Society of Placental Clinical Medicine Member of Japanese Society for Medical Hair Removal

In addition to medical laser hair removal, hair removal treatments using machines performed at beauty salons and medical institutions include light hair removal (flash hair removal / IPL hair removal) and needle hair removal (insulated needle electric hair removal).

The reason why medical laser hair removal is effective for a long time compared to light hair removal, what can be done with needle hair removal but not with medical laser hair removal, and the price and pain that differ for each hair removal method, etc. It is important to receive

Effect and pain comparison of medical laser hair removal and esthetic light hair removal

Effect of medical laser hair removal that removes hair without damaging the skin

Mechanism of medical laser hair removal

Medical laser hair removal removes hair by irradiating a laser, which is a type of electromagnetic wave .

While light consists of multiple wavelengths, a laser is an artificial light beam consisting of a single wavelength that travels in a straight line sharper than light and produces strong thermal energy.

Important laser parameters in medical laser hair removal

To effectively remove hair with medical laser hair removal, the following three parameters of the laser are important.

  1. wavelength
  2. Oscillation time (pulse width)
  3. irradiation energy

A hair removal machine that has an appropriate wavelength for medical laser hair removal, can set an effective pulse width and irradiation energy, and is equipped with a powerful cooling device is desirable.

laser wavelength

Lasers have the characteristic of being easily absorbed only by certain substances and colors . For example, if you use a laser with a wavelength that has a high absorption rate for black pigments such as melanin, you can treat hair loss and blemishes. I can. Laser hair removal uses the melanin contained in hair and hair bulbs to remove hair.

Laser oscillation time (pulse width)

The oscillation time of the laser is called the pulse width, and if the pulse width is short, it can selectively damage mainly the target substance, and if the pulse width is long, the target substance is not destroyed and heat is released to the surrounding tissue. increase.
In other words, in laser hair removal, it is necessary to irradiate with a pulse width that does not damage the surface of the skin and only damages the hair follicles.

Laser irradiation energy

The laser irradiation energy must be strong enough to destroy the target substance, but if it is too strong, it can cause burns . Therefore, a machine that can set an appropriate output and is equipped with a powerful cooling device is required.

Medical laser hair removal destroys the hair papilla and bulge area

The laser is adjusted and irradiated so that it affects only the target substance, so there is no significant damage to tissues other than the target.
Medical laser hair removal targets three tissues involved in hair growth.

  1. hair bulb
  2. sebaceous gland opening
  3. Hair follicle stem cells in the bulge area

It is said that hair loss is possible by using the heat energy emitted by being absorbed by the melanin contained in the hair and hair bulb to damage the hair bulb, the sebaceous gland opening, and the hair follicle stem cells . In the past, it was thought that only the hair papilla in the hair bulb had to be destroyed, but in recent years it has become clear that the destruction of the bulge region is also important.

hair structure ■ Hair shaft and hair root
The hair shaft is the hair exposed from the skin, and the hair root is the part wrapped in the hair follicle under the skin.

■ Hair follicle
skin appendage that produces hair

■ hair ball
Area with spherically swollen hair matrix cells under the hair root

■ hair papilla
Tissue that delivers nutrients taken in from capillaries to hair matrix cells

■ Hair matrix cells
Cells that receive nutrients from the dermal papilla under the hair matrix cells and divide to grow as hair

■ Piles muscle
A type of smooth muscle attached to oblique hair follicles in the dermis

■ Bulge region
Located above hair matrix cells and dermal papilla, it produces hair growth factors and promotes hair growth in hair matrix cells

■ Sebaceous gland opening
site that secretes sebum

The reason why the effect of medical laser hair removal lasts for a long time

The reason why the hair removal effect of medical laser hair removal lasts for a long time is that it hinders hair growth by damaging and destroying the hair matrix cells and the bulge area that are involved in hair growth .

Medical laser hair removal is effective for growing hair

Medical laser hair removal must interfere with hair growth by affecting hair follicles.
Hair has a growth cycle called the hair cycle, and it repeats the initial growth period, growth period, regression period, and telogen period. In this cycle, it is said that the growth phase can damage the hair matrix cells the most .

hair cycle

  • Early growth: The period when the hair matrix cells divide and the hair is born.
  • Anagen period: the period when the hair grows. A state in which hair matrix cells are repeatedly dividing.
  • Regressive phase: Growth slows down, cell division slows down, and the body becomes thinner. The period when the hair matrix cells and hair are easy to separate and the hair is easy to fall out.
  • Resting period: A period of time when growth ceases. It is the resting hair that falls out with shampoo.

The hair cycle differs depending on the part, and the growth period for the armpits and arms/legs is 3 to 5 months, and for VIO it is 2 to 3 months.
In addition, about 90% of the hair is in the growth phase, but only 20% to 30% is in the armpits, arms, VIO, and legs, and the rest of the hair is in the regressive or telogen phase.

Two irradiation methods and laser types for medical laser hair removal

What is the shot type and heat storage type by medical laser hair removal?

There are two methods of laser hair removal. The shot method (thermal destruction method / HR) is to give heat damage to the source of hair growth and destroy the hair follicle stem cells. The method is thermal storage hair removal (SHR) .

Thermal storage hair removal is a newer hair removal method than the shot method and is said to cause less pain during irradiation, but it is said that the final hair removal effect is not much different from the shot method.

The irradiation method of most medical laser hair removal machines is "shot type"

Shot-type (thermal destruction) hair removal treatment is the most common irradiation method.

Because it irradiates a high-energy laser, there is a stimulus that is lightly flipped by a rubber band, but it is a widely used irradiation method. The shot type removes hair by acting on the black pigment of melanin. Therefore, tanned skin that contains a lot of melanin, moles, spots, pigmentation, and areas with tattoos are characterized by the fact that the laser is absorbed by the pigment and generates heat, which increases the risk of burns and cannot be treated. .

In addition, the effect may be low for gray hair and thin downy hair with melanin. When removing hair without black pigment, it is said that needle hair removal (insulated needle electric hair removal) is suitable.

Main shot-type medical hair removal machines: Lightshare Duet, Gentlelase Pro, etc.

"Heat storage type hair removal" with less pain

Thermal storage hair removal is a relatively new hair removal irradiation method that uses a motion technique that slides the laser irradiation surface in contact with the skin. Since it is repeatedly irradiated and heated with low-output energy, the burden on the skin is minimized .

It acts on the hair bulb and melanin, but it gradually accumulates heat around the hair follicle and denatures the hair follicle, the hair follicle stem cells in the bulge area, and the substance that transmits information between the hair-related cells, resulting in hair loss. Therefore, it is possible to remove hair such as sunburned skin with dark pigment, and hair removal such as hair that is difficult to be effective with the shot type.

Main thermal storage type medical hair removal machines: Soprano Ice Platinum, Mediostar NeXT PRO, etc.

Summary of comparison between shot type and heat storage type

shot type Thermal storage type
Hyperpigmented skin or darkly pigmented areas I can't handle it because the risk of burns increases Hair removal is possible for Japanese skin color
white or blond hair I can not cope can handle
pain pain like being snapped with a rubber band Less pain than shot type

4 types of lasers used in medical laser hair removal

The type of laser varies depending on the wavelength. The wavelength that is well absorbed by the black pigment of melanin is said to be 600 nm to 1200 nm, and it is said that the shorter the wavelength in this wavelength band, the better the absorption. The longer the wavelength, the deeper it reaches the skin, and the pain is less, but the effect is mild .

Laser type (wavelength) Irradiation method feature
alexandrite laser
Shot type / heat storage type hair removal

Do not irradiate skin with dark pigment such as sunburn, as it may cause burns.

Widely used for hair removal

diode laser
(800nm to 810nm)
Shot type / heat storage type hair removal

Even skin with dark pigment such as sunburn can be irradiated

Widely used for hair removal

YAG laser
shot type

Even skin with dark pigment such as sunburn can be irradiated

Can be expected to be effective for hair with deep roots and hair that cannot be removed with other lasers

ruby laser
shot type

Effective for hair loss on Caucasian skin

In Japan, it is mainly used to treat age spots, freckles, and bruises.

Thermal storage hair removal at Chiharu skin clinic

Director Watanabe, who supervised the article, uses a machine called Soprano Ice and Soprano Titanium to perform thermal storage hair removal. The feature of Soprano Titanium, which is the latest model among Soprano models, is that it can simultaneously output three wavelengths: YAG laser, alexandrite laser, and diode laser .
Therefore, it reacts to thick hair and hair with different depths of hair follicles, and can be removed efficiently. In addition, the laser irradiation surface is large, so the treatment time can be shortened. For example, in the case of the back, with soprano titanium, it is possible to perform the treatment in about 5 to 10 minutes by using a part called a Quattro handpiece.

Reason why medical laser hair removal does not end in one time

The reason why medical laser hair removal does not end in one time and requires multiple treatments is that one irradiation has a hair removal effect only for hair in the growth phase, which is about 20% of the total .

The shot type is repeated once every 2 to 3 months for a total of 5 to 10 times.

Medical laser hair removal must be performed at a time suitable for hair removal, but it is impossible to visually check the hair cycle. Therefore, the frequency is once every 2 to 3 months from the average rest period of each part . Even if it is repeated in a shorter period of time, there is no effect except during the growth period, so the hair loss will not end quickly.

Assuming that 20% of the hair is in the growth phase, 100% of the hair will be removed if you receive 5 laser hair removal treatments. Become. There are individual differences, but it is said that you can feel the hair removal effect when you repeat about 5 times.

The heat storage type is repeated once every 1 to 2 months for a total of 5 to 10 times.

Heat storage hair removal, like shot hair removal, needs to be irradiated at treatment intervals that match the hair cycle. It is said that the hair removal effect can be felt by irradiating 5 to 10 times every 1 to 2 months .

The heat stored by heat storage type irradiation damages the cells that grow hair and the tissue that directs growth, so about 2 to 3 weeks after laser irradiation, the hair becomes thinner and begins to fall out. .

The reason why it looks like "hair loss grows back"

Even though you have had medical laser hair removal, hair may appear to grow back. This may be due to insufficient damage to hair matrix cells and other parts other than the growth of resting hair.

In order to obtain a sufficient hair removal effect, it is necessary to consider the thickness of the hair and the hair growth site according to the hair cycle, set the laser energy amount and pulse width appropriately, and repeatedly irradiate.

Compare medical laser hair removal with esthetic light hair removal and needle hair removal

Medical laser hair removal irradiates a laser, and needle hair removal stops the cell division of hair matrix cells by passing electricity from a needle stuck in a pore. Therefore, the hair removal effect is said to be long-lasting.

On the other hand, light hair removal performed at beauty salons (hereinafter referred to as beauty salons) is performed at a lower output than medical lasers according to the Pharmaceuticals and Machinery Law, so it is a hair reduction treatment that weakens the action without destroying hair matrix cells .

For both sides medical laser hair removal light hair removal needle hair removal
(insulated needle hair removal method)
medical practice medical practice not a medical practice medical practice
place to receive Medical institution Esthetic Medical institution
duration of effect long term hair loss Temporary hair reduction and depilatory effect long term hair loss
pain, skin irritation・Pain differs depending on the amount of hair, hair quality, model, etc. ・The heat storage type generally causes less pain than the shot type.・There is pain depending on the operator and output power Strong, may require anesthesia
price Around 4,000 to 30,000 yen From 300 yen 100,000 to 150,000 yen
1 time A few minutes to about 30 minutes about 30 minutes about an hour and a half
Average number of treatments to complete 5 to 10 times 10 to 18 times 5 to 6 times
merit・It is less painful than needle hair removal ・Because it is performed at a medical institution, it is possible to respond when skin problems occur・Because the irradiation energy is small, the stimulation and pain are mild ・The price per session is low・Can be applied to gray hair, under the eyebrows, and tanned skin
Demerit・It is difficult to remove hair with thin melanin pigment such as gray hair ・Shot type cannot irradiate skin with dark pigment such as sunburn・It is difficult to remove hair with thin melanin pigment such as gray hair ・Irradiation is not possible for skin with dark pigment such as sunburn ・It has a hair reduction effect and is not long-term ・It takes longer than medical laser hair removal to complete・The effect varies depending on the technician. ・It takes a long time for one session, and the number of times is required, which increases the cost.
(need to stretch)

Home-use hair removal devices also use lasers and light, but they are designed to have a lower energy output than medical lasers and light hair removal in esthetics according to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.

Medical laser hair removal requires a doctor's license

It should be noted here that medical laser hair removal and needle hair removal (insulating needle electric hair removal), which react with melanin pigment and apply heat to the deep part of the skin to destroy the hair root, sebaceous gland opening, and hair papilla , A hair removal method that destroys, etc., is a medical practice.”

It can be said that doctors who specialize in dermatology are able to provide appropriate treatment in the event of burns, etc., and determine the irradiation energy to prevent trouble.

Things to check before medical laser hair removal and aftercare

Compare the reason and pain etc. that the effect of medical laser hair removal is longer than that of esthetic light hair removal

Areas where medical laser hair removal can be performed

Areas that can be treated with medical laser hair removal include armpits, upper elbows, lower elbows, backs of fingers, chest, areola area, upper abdomen, lower abdomen, navel area, entire V, I-line, O-line, neckline, upper back, etc. Lower back, hips, front thighs, back thighs, knees, below the knees, tops of toes, forehead, cheeks, under the nose, chin, under the chin, nose hair, ear hair, etc.

Depending on the policy of the medical institution, it may not be supported, so please check in advance with the medical institution where you will receive the treatment for the corresponding parts and target people.

Risks of medical laser hair removal

There is a risk of developing burns, redness, irritation, swelling, folliculitis, hair thickening, terminal hair, bruises, and temporary hyperhidrosis .
In the unlikely event that trouble or complications occur due to medical laser hair removal, please contact the medical institution that performed the treatment and receive appropriate treatment.

Preparation before medical laser hair removal

Before undergoing medical laser hair removal, a simple preparation is required. It is necessary to pay attention to the following so that it does not become easier to feel pain or lose its effectiveness. Also, if you have skin troubles in the hair removal area, please consult in advance.

  • Take UV protection
  • Remove unwanted hair by shaving
  • Strictly no plucking
  • Avoid alcohol and stay hydrated
  • get a good night's sleep
  • Be aware of drug effects
  • don't use antiperspirant

If you are worried about the pain, some medical institutions can use anesthetic cream to remove hair if you ask in advance, so please consult with us during counseling or consultation.
Medical laser hair removal is possible even in the following cases, but please check with your doctor at the time of diagnosis without self-diagnosis.

Acne Medical laser hair removal is possible for partial acne or if inflammation is not strong
lichen pilaris
(Once again, shark skin)
Lichen pilaris refers to bumpy skin on the upper arms, shoulders, back, hips, thighs, etc. Because the surface of the skin is uneven, it is difficult to self-treat with a razor. Irradiable
ingrown hair Medical laser hair removal is possible even for ingrown hairs that do not appear on the surface of the skin if the black color is visible. Because it is still there, I recommend moisturizing and going out as soon as possible.If it does not improve for a long time, consult a doctor.
menstruating Medical laser hair removal is possible if it is other than VIO

Pleasant effect of medical laser hair removal

Eliminates skin roughness and makes pores less noticeable

Self-treatment tends to cause ingrown hairs, and treatment with tweezers often causes inflammation in damaged pores. By performing medical laser hair removal, the pores are not noticeable because the skin is not damaged by self-treatment.

Symptoms of Wakiga calm down because the growth of various bacteria is suppressed

Wakiga is a combination of sweat and bacteria on the skin that produces a unique odor. If you forcibly pull out the hair by self-treatment by tweezers, the pores will become inflamed. Inflammation can stimulate the body to produce odor-causing substances, such as increased perspiration.

However, by eliminating the burden on the skin caused by self-treatment , sweating due to inflammation stimulation can be suppressed, and a decrease in bacterial growth can be expected. In addition, since there is no place (hair) for bacteria to adhere due to hair removal, the breeding of bacteria is suppressed.

Aftercare after medical laser hair removal

Immediately after medical laser hair removal, the skin is sensitive, so aftercare is necessary. Under the doctor's instructions, please also pay attention to the following.

  • Only take a shower and refrain from drinking alcohol on the day
  • Thoroughly protect against UV rays and moisturize
  • If you feel a hot flash after hair removal, cool it down
  • Apply topical medicine prescribed according to skin condition after irradiation
  • Tweezing is strictly prohibited not only before hair removal, but also during the hair removal period.

Medical Laser Hair Removal at Chiharu Skin Clinic

Professor Watanabe, who supervised the article, taught me.

How long does the consultation (counseling) and treatment take?
Dr. Chiharu Watanabe
Although it depends on the hair removal site, the treatment takes about 30 minutes, and it takes about 1 hour from the examination to the time you leave.
At Chiharu Skin Clinic, there are shot type and heat storage type hair removal. Please tell me the difference between shot type and heat storage type hair removal.
Dr. Chiharu Watanabe
With the shot type, the rapid temperature rise causes a pop-up phenomenon in which the hair falls out from the root, so you can feel the effect immediately. In addition to hair removal, you can expect the effect of reducing skin problems such as spots and freckles.
How painful is thermal storage hair removal?
Dr. Chiharu Watanabe
Heat storage type hair removal is less painful than shot type. In addition, since the shot type is effective for dark pigmented skin and downy hair, which is difficult to do with the shot type, it is possible to remove hair with less pain, even for men's beards and thin hair such as elementary, junior high and high school children's downy hair.
Can children receive treatment?
Dr. Chiharu Watanabe
In the case of hair removal for children, we ask parents to be present if necessary. In rare cases, parents may come for hair removal at their request, so we will always confirm the child's intentions and explain in detail so that both the parents and the child do not have any concerns. Children's hair removal can be received from elementary school students who can basically confirm their intentions.
How often do you recommend treatments?
Dr. Chiharu Watanabe
For armpit hair removal, once every one and a half to two months, although there are individual differences, you can feel the hair reduction effect by repeating it about 3 to 5 times.
Please give a message to those who are considering medical laser hair removal.
Dr. Chiharu Watanabe
In the past, most people wanted to remove unwanted hair, especially armpit hair, but now more and more people want laser hair removal for other reasons.
Dr. Chiharu Watanabe
For example, there is an increasing need for "design hair removal" for women such as nape, sideburns, eyebrows, V-line, etc., and "beard hair removal" for men who want to eliminate the hassle of shaving every morning and are concerned about their appearance. However, in the future, there is an increasing need for "nursing care hair removal", which is performed out of consideration for those who will care for them, and "child hair removal", for reasons such as being concerned about appearance or being a target of bullying.
Dr. Chiharu Watanabe
When thinking about hair removal, many people may be worried about hair removal at beauty salons and hair removal at medical institutions, but in the case of hair removal at beauty salons, clinical results have shown that more than 90% of the hair grows back after the treatment. , assuming temporary hair loss.
Dr. Chiharu Watanabe
On the other hand, laser hair removal performed at medical institutions is premised on long-term hair reduction. In the first place, hair removal is to destroy the stem cells of the hair follicle, and laser hair removal is a medical practice. For that reason, we want you to consider safety and efficacy first, and receive it after convincing yourself.
Thank you very much, Dr. Watanabe!

Chiharu skin clinic medical laser hair removal fee

(5 times/tax included)
heat storage hair removal
(Soprano Ice)
shot hair removal
both sides 39,600 yen 24,750 yen
below the elbow 138,600 yen 123,750 yen
below the knee 188,100 yen 172,700 yen
V line
(women only)
89,100 yen 74,250 yen
whole back 287,100 yen 272,250 yen
abdomen 188,100 yen 173,250 yen

*First visit fee 3,300 yen Re-examination fee 1,100 yen

Medical laser hair removal is a free medical treatment, so the price setting differs depending on each medical institution. Hair loss treatment may be subject to medical expense deduction for hirsutism (Ambras syndrome) where abnormally large hair growth is observed, but basically it is not covered by insurance.

Flow from arrival at the clinic to treatment of medical laser hair removal

(1) Fill out the medical questionnaire

Write down what you want to consult, areas of concern, symptoms, etc.

(2) Examination/Counseling

We will explain medical laser hair removal, examine the skin, check the effect, and discuss any concerns.

(3) Change clothes

If necessary, change into the gown provided by the clinic.

(4) Treatment

For heat storage hair removal: A gel is applied to the hair removal area to protect the skin and improve slippage, and the laser is irradiated. When the irradiation is over, wipe off the gel and you are done. If there is redness, perform cooling.
In the case of shot type: The laser is irradiated while cooling with a cooling device to make it difficult to feel pain. When the irradiation is over, it is finished with cooling.

Hair removal is not just for young women. There is an increase in the number of people in their 40s and older who wish to have their hair removed in their delicate areas in anticipation of receiving nursing care in the future, and men who wish to have their beards and chest hair removed.

Even those who were hesitant about medical laser hair removal because they are sensitive to pain can reduce pain with heat storage hair removal. In addition, a clinic like Chiharu Skin Clinic, which checks the pain for each irradiation and adjusts the energy output and performs careful irradiation, can be said to be safe .

Introduction of supervising doctor

Dr. Chiharu Watanabe, Director and General Director of Chiharu Skin Clinic. He belongs to the Japanese Society of Hair Removal and is a specialist and councilor of the Japanese Society of Laser Medicine. He has a deep knowledge of medical hair removal using lasers, and has devoted himself to researching diverse hair removal needs, such as giving lectures at the general meeting and academic conference of the Japanese Society of Aesthetic Dermatology, and discussing in specialized magazines on aesthetic medicine. Based on his experience with atopic dermatitis in his childhood, he offers detailed advice that sympathizes with his worries and a treatment policy of "skin friendly clinic".