How do Hair Cycles work?
Have you ever wondered why you need to wait so long in between each laser hair removal appointment? The answer is in the hair cycles. Learn about your hair cycles and treatment intervals for laser hair removal here.
Everybody has 3 different stages of hair growth. The Anagen phase is active growth phase. This is the only phase where laser hair removal is effective. The cells in the hair bulb divide rapidly creating new hair growth. Only 20% of hair is actively growing during one Anagen growth phase, which is why multiple treatments are necessary for laser hair removal to be effective for long-term results. The phase can last 3-4 months on the body and 5-7 years on the head. (This is why you can't grow long, head-type hairs on your arms or legs.)
The second phase is the Catagen phase, which is the shedding phase. Laser hair removal is not effective during this phase. This phase usually lasts around three weeks. In this transitional phase, hair stops growing and detaches itself from the blood supply and is then named a club hair.
The last phase is the Telogen phase, or the dormant phase. Up to 80% of hair can be in the Telogen phase at any time. Laser hair removal is not effective during this phase. After this time, the resting club hairs will fall out to allow the new hair to come through the hair follicle. This is nothing to be alarmed about and is a natural process that should go completely unnoticed. Each follicle is independent and goes through the growth cycle at different times so you don’t lose patches of hair all at once and only shed 50-100 hairs each day. Meanwhile, the other 80-90% of your hair will be in the Anagen phase, growing long and strong!
Since laser hair removal is only effective during the anagen phase of hair growth, it is important to come in regularly at the intervals your esthetician recommends to get the best and quickest results.