Flashlamp Technology: A Safe and Permanent Solution to Hair Removal
Hair, indiscreetly sprouting across the body, can cause a great deal of anguish and leave the sufferer searching for ways to remove these unwelcome trespassers. Fortunately, because unwanted body hair is such a
prolific problem, affecting literally millions of men and women worldwide, there are numerous hair removal methods available, offering both permanent and temporary solutions to the pervasive problem. One such
air removal solution is called ‘flashlamps’, otherwise known as ‘Intense Pulsed Light therapy’ (IPL). Unlike the wearisome task of shaving the body parts sheathed by unsightly stubble every few days, flashlamps
provide an effective way of permanently removing unwanted body hair.
How Flashlamp Hair Removal Works
Similar to laser beams, flashlamps target the pigment of the hair. These handheld devices use high intensity pulses of full spectrum, non-coherent lights in conjunction with low range, infrared radiation which
is then filtered to produce a specified wavelength light. When aimed at problem hair, the filtered light flashes onto the skin and causes the hair on the skin to heat up. The mechanical and thermal reactions
produced by the heat damages the follicles of the hair. Not only does the hair fall out, but the damage caused by flashlamps or IPL is so intense that it prevents the hair follicles from growing back. Hair is
made up of a pigment called melanin, which has two possible manifestations, eumelanin, which is the dark pigment and is found in dark hair, and phaeomelanin, which is the light pigment found in blonde and red
hair. Because the wavelength light can only be absorbed by the pigment eumelanin, it is only an effective method of hair removal for those with dark brown or black body hair and is consequently an ineffective
tool for those plagued by excessive amounts of fair or red body hair.
The History of Flashlamps
Initially flashlamps were developed as energy sources for laser beams. Throughout the 60s and 70s they were gradually used for medical purposes, particularly for the treatment of skin and eye disorders. Like
other hair removal treatments, flashlamps used within this context were a byproduct of other medical applications. By the mid-1990s, flashlamps were being used to treat vascular lesions, and it was during such
treatment that it was noted that hair loss was a side-effect. In 1997, flashlamps as a form of hair removal was cleared in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Eleven years later, the
method has gradually become more refined and sophisticated and has become an effective and popular way to eradicate unsightly and unwanted hair from the body.
The Advantages of Flashlamp Hair Removal
Unlike waxing, shaving, plucking and hair removal creams, flashlamp hair removal is a permanent hair elimination solution. Its ability to eradicate excess body hair permanently has to be flashlamp’s primary advantage. If
any re-growth does appear, it has been regularly reported that this re-growth is fundamentally finer and lighter than the pervious hair. When flashlamp hair removal is performed correctly by a professional
technician it is an extremely safe method of hair removal. It is also widely testified that IPL is a ‘virtually painless’ hair removal technique and pain relief is not commonly required when undergoing flashlamp
treatment. Another advantage of this method of hair removal is that unlike other types, namely electrolysis, flashlamps prove to be particularly useful when removing large areas of body hair, for example, from
the back or the legs. This is because flashlamps use a large, rectangular beam of light, which can cover larger areas of the body compared with other methods such as laser beams which emit a round and much smaller beam.