Will you believe it if we tell you that body hair wasn’t always perceived as being an eyesore? In fact, in early days, having hair all over was just a natural thing, and nobody really gave it a second thought. But the quest for beauty was always there, and this gave rise to voluntary hair removal for cosmetic reasons. There are many theories that abound around that, and we have evidence that certain ancient cultures considered hairlessness a symbol of one’s social status and financial standing. Egyptians are even said to have fashioned tweezers out of sea shells to remove unwanted body hair. Talk about going great lengths, or depths for beauty!
The fact of the matter is that today, both men and women across the globe spend a significant amount of time and money on personal grooming to keep unwanted body hair away. You would definitely be familiar with the many different types of hair removal methods today – shaving, threading, tweezing, waxing, epilating, depilatory creams and the like. Most of these methods are not only painful, but also do not give permanent results. In fact, it has been estimated that men and women who shave spend an average of 45 days to 2 months respectively of their lives shaving! That does add up to a colossal amount indeed.
Electrolysis continues to be the only permanent hair removal method, but it requires a very high level of pain threshold. This puts the spotlight on the increasingly popular method of laser hair removal. Today, this has been used by millions of people all over the world, and Melbourne as well. You can read more about how this method works in our previous posts on the topic.
But this method, despite being considered common and safe today, has a very interesting past.
How laser hair removal came into being
The history of keeping unwanted body hair away with laser removal spans over 4 decades, and has been peppered with milestones that made the technology more efficient, safe and affordable for all.
It all started off as an accidental discovery. Yes, that is right! The first laser was never really designed or intended to remove unwanted body hair. In 1960, physicist and electrical engineer, Theodore Maiman invented the first laser as we know it today, while trying out experiments to create a device that emitted short wavelengths of light. The ruby laser was a result of these experiments. Like any other first prototype or invention, this laser was slow and inefficient, and was accidentally tried on hair during research and testing. This was when it was discovered that it helped reduce hair growth, but also resulted in severe burns on the surrounding skin.
More research to improve the first laser followed, and the YAG laser was approved by the FDA in 1964. This was an improvement on the earlier lasers, and exhibited effectiveness in reducing hair growth. However, the results were still short lived. There were numerous attempts at improving laser technology even after that, and the first alexandrite laser was developed in 1970. While this was the safest laser till date, it still wasn’t able to help achieve permanent hair growth. After this, the pace of research slowed down as many researchers had lost faith in that idea. This was until Harvard Medical Professor, Dr. R. Rox Anderson restarted research on lasers. He, along with Dr. Melanie Grossman carried out many experiments in this field, with a special focus on using lasers for removing unwanted body hair. They even experimented on hairy dogs, and eventually did human trials, in which Dr. Grossman was also a participant. These experiments helped to perfect the intensity and duration of laser wavelengths required and formed the foundation for advancing laser technology, making it safer and effective for hair removal, and earning an FDA approval in 1997. We would also like to make a mention of Dr. Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist who created the Fitzpatrick scale, which is widely used in the laser hair removal process today.
Laser hair removal technology today
The laser technology used for hair removal today is much more advanced and sophisticated than ever, and boasts of a 95% success rate in long term hair removal. Unlike earlier lasers which were only suitable for light coloured skin, lasers have also evolved to cater to people with different skin colours, though some lasers still give better results on lighter skin tones. This method is generally considered safe for all skin types today, and the precision focus of modern lasers reduces the risk of burning or damaging surrounding skin or hair follicles.
If you wish to get rid of unwanted body hair as well, then laser removal is one of your best bets in Melbourne. Just ensure that you visit a reputed and experienced clinic to get the best results. Be wary of doctors or clinics offering deals that sound too good to be true, as they may not always have the correct certifications for this procedure. Victorian Laser & Skin Clinic is a renowned brand for those looking for laser hair removal in Melbourne. You can avail our free, no-obligation consultation by booking an appointment at any of our branches closest to you.