Laser hair removal has to revamp its claims after FDA ruling

FDA rules state that manufacturers cannot claim that IPL or laser hair removal is permanent unless there data evidence that this is true and the FDA themselves validate this evidence. Permission has been given to some manufacturers that they can claim their products give ‘permanent reduction’ but not that they give ‘permanent removal’.

Although laser and IPL treatments do remove unwanted hair, sometimes they do not remove all the hair and also the hair will regrow, albeit much finer. So it is, strictly speaking, hair reduction because usually it is necessary for the client to have further treatments.

Many things influence the growth of hair such as age, diet, metabolism, hormones, weight, ethnicity and even any medication you may be using. It grows in cycles and only hair in the growing cycle can be destroyed by the IPL or laser treatment. The amount of hair growing and its thickness and resilience obviously vary from person to person but it is usual to allow 4-8 weeks between treatments.

Energy in the form of light is used to destroy hair follicles when IPL and laser treatment is used. The follicle is destroyed when the handgun is pointed at it and the energy is absorbed by the melanin in the follicle. The follicle heats for a split second to about 70 degrees Celsius and is killed.

A slight problem is that most people’s skin contains melanin and this also absorbs the energy. This can burn and blister the skin of some people such as those with fair hair and dark skin. The ideal complexion for IPL/laser treatment is dark hair and fair skin. It is absolutely vital for all operatives to be fully trained and in the UK all places offering these treatments must be registered with the Health Care Commission.