Hair Growth Phases and Laser Hair Removal

Hair growth is a complex process that many of us take for granted until we want to alter, reduce, or remove it. Today, we dive deep into the world of hair growth cycles and how this knowledge enhances the effectiveness of laser hair removal treatments.

Understanding Hair Growth Cycles

Our hair undergoes three main phases in its growth cycle:

  1. Anagen (Growth Phase): The active growth phase of hair that lasts 2-7 years. This is when the hair is firmly anchored into the follicle, receiving nourishment, and growing.
  2. Catagen (Transitional Phase): Lasting around 10 days, the hair follicle shrinks, and the hair bulb is pushed up towards the surface.
  3. Telogen (Resting Phase): Lasting a few months, the hair is released from the follicle and eventually sheds, paving the way for a new hair to grow in its place.

At any given time, different hairs on our body are in various stages of this cycle.

Why Hair Growth Cycles Matter in Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment in the hair follicle. The laser’s energy is absorbed by the pigment, heating the follicle and destroying its ability to produce hair. However, for this process to be most effective, the hair needs to be in the anagen phase.

  • During the anagen phase, the hair has the highest concentration of melanin (pigment), which makes it an ideal target for the laser.
  • The connection between the hair and the follicle is strongest during this phase, ensuring that the laser’s energy is efficiently transferred to the follicle.

Because only a percentage of hairs are in the anagen phase at any given time, multiple laser hair removal sessions are often required to catch more and more hairs in this optimal phase.

Maximizing Laser Hair Removal Results

  1. Consistent Sessions: Adhering to your treatment schedule ensures that you’re targeting hairs as they enter the anagen phase.
  2. Avoid Sun Exposure: Tanned or sunburned skin can be more sensitive to lasers. Plus, increased skin pigmentation can reduce the contrast between the hair and skin.
  3. Avoid Plucking or Waxing: These methods remove the hair from the follicle. Laser hair removal needs the hair intact as a conduit for the laser’s energy.


Understanding the intricacies of the hair growth cycle offers valuable insights into why laser hair removal requires patience and persistence. With each session, you’re progressing towards smoother, hair-free skin.

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