This article needs additional citations for verification. Laser hair removal is the process of hair removal by means of exposure to pulses of laser light that destroy the hair follicle. Cream hair removal had been performed experimentally for about twenty years before becoming commercially available in the mid-1990s. Rox Anderson discovered that it was possible to selectively target a specific chromophore with a laser to partially damage basal stem cells inside the hair follicles.
This method proved to be successful, and was first applied in 1996. In 1997 the United States Food and Drug Administration approved this tactic of hair removal. Melanin is considered the primary chromophore for all hair removal lasers currently on the market. Melanin occurs naturally in the skin and gives skin and hair their color.
There are two types of melanin in hair. Eumelanin gives hair brown or black color, while pheomelanin gives hair blonde or red color. Laser hair removal has become popular because of its speed and efficacy, although some of the efficacy is dependent upon the skill and experience of the laser operator, and the choice and availability of different laser technologies used for the procedure. Some will need touch-up treatments, especially on large areas, after the initial set of 3-8 treatments. The review found no statistical difference in short term effectiveness, but a higher incidence of side effects with diode laser based treatment. Hair reduction after 6 months was reported as 68. IPL, though technically not containing a laser, are sometimes incorrectly referred to as «laser hair removal».