Is Laser Hair Removal Occam's Razor?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In the hands of a skilled practitioner laser hair removal is a rather simple and long lasting procedure. If we interpret the words of William Occam: "Why repeat a difficult task, when there is a more simple solution?" Since the 14th century, this popular theorem has been known as Occam's Razor. So why spend a lifetime shaving, when you could keep it simple. When it comes to unwanted hair removal, Occam's Razor is laser hair removal.

You could keep shaving or waxing, but why would you? Perhaps the means should be the end. -- Such is the theorem suggested by Occam.

OTHER HAIR REMOVAL METHODS Before laser hair removal, removing unwanted hair meant either having to endure pain and irritation and/or spending a lifetime utilizing temporary, less than satisfactory measures. For years, the suggested alternative was electrolysis, a laborious process whereby an electric shock needle literally burns hair follicles one at a time. Waxing and shaving, while quicker than electrolysis do not offer permanent hair removal and require a lifetime of self-service. Advances in laser technology have spawned a new solution to an age-old problem -- removal of unwanted hair.

LOW RISK OF LASER HAIR REMOVAL Risks associated with laser hair removal treatment are low when compared to most medical procedures. No incisions, injections or oral medications are necessary. The variability of laser hair removal results has everything to do with the equipment quality, the technique used, and the competency of the laser operator. The most common interference with successful laser hair removal is "tanned skin." Guests at Ideal Image are reminded and warned repeatedly to not tan while receiving laser hair removal. If a suntan were to go unnoticed a patient could develop "skin circles" after treatment. Although temporary, they require 3 to 6 months to fade. Unlike competitors in the field of laser hair removal, Ideal Image has never been sued for medical malpractice.

COST OF LASER HAIR REMOVAL After resolving their safety concerns, most people wonder about the cost of laser hair removal. In the long run, laser hair removal is considerably more cost-effective than electrolysis and other methods like waxing or shaving.

Considering time, cost and inconvenience of waxing, shaving, purchasing razors, creams, depilatories, etc., laser hair removal can be more practical.

To make a fair comparison, one must compare the time and cost savings of laser hair removal with methods that are less efficient and offer less permanent hair removal.

SHAVING: The average person spends 1 hour per week shaving. When all totaled, that is the equivalent of 1.5 working weeks per year, only to elicit less than satisfactory results, possible razor burn, razor-bumps and the ever-present five o'clock shadow from dark hairs showing beneath the skin. COST OF WAXING VS. LASER HAIR REMOVAL: One bikini wax has an average cost of $43 and often only lasts one month. If you compare this to the Ideal Image monthly payment plan for bikini line or Brazilian procedure, the cost-effectiveness of laser hair removal is apparent. Although cost may vary per location, the national average for financing bikini line laser hair removal is $35 per month. The "Full Brazilian" is $44 per month. CHOOSING THE RIGHT LASER FOR LASER HAIR REMOVAL L.A.S.E.R., or Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, refers to the radiation of light beams, and is not to be confused with harmful ionizing or nuclear radiation. Lasers produce one wavelength of focused light. This differs from sunlight, which has many wavelengths (and is evident in the colors of a rainbow). Laser light is amplified, making it more powerful than light produced by typical light sources. For laser hair removal this focused and amplified light is pulsed on and off for an instant. This is not to be confused with IPL, Intense Pulsed Light that is not laser and can easily burn the skin.

Lasers were first introduced to treat medical disease in the early 1970's. The first laser used for hair removal was the Ruby (694nm), introduced in 1995. The theory behind laser hair removal was developed at Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine at Harvard. The Ruby Laser could only be used on fair-skinned individuals. Thus, lasers were developed offering 3 more wavelengths - 755nm, 810nm, and 1064nm, making it possible to customize laser hair removal for various skin tone and hair types.

Lasers work by heating up a target. For laser hair removal, the target is hair just under the skin. At centers specializing in purely laser hair removal - like Ideal Image, it is important to have both the 755nm Alexandrite and the 1064nm YAG lasers by Candela Corporation. The combination of FDA-approved lasers allow treatment for all skin types, from light or fair skin, to dark black skin types. The most versatile laser and the primary laser used at Ideal Image is the Candela 755nm. It produces a 3-millisecond pulse targeting the color in the hair shaft, thus damaging the structure supporting the hair root. Lacking a supportive structure, the hair falls out. In all likelihood, it will not re-grow. Candela medical lasers are so selective; they can remove black ink from a white page without burning the white paper. In summary, they selectively destroy hair, leaving the skin undamaged. Candela lasers continually prove to offer the most comfortable service, while producing the most favorable results.

At Ideal Image the means is the end. Thus, simplicity, safety, cost-effectiveness and long-term hair removal is the signature service provided. In conclusion, Occam's Razor is laser hair removal.

Author: Dr. Richard Mikles Founder of Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal and pioneer of their signature laser hair removal services.

� 2006 Ideal Image Development Corporation

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