Beauty-wise, there are few things more enticing than never, ever having to shave again. So in that sense, laser hair removal has been preeeetty revolutionary—just ask the Kardashians. But if you've ever so much as picked up a brochure for the procedure, you know it comes at a dear cost. And we're not just talking the insanely high bill you'll have to make it rain for...
As a new Veritasium video reveals, when you get into the nitty-gritty of the technique, it's INTENSE. Hell hath no fury like a laser determined to wipe out your hair follicles...
Likened to a "shoot-out at the O.K. Corral," the procedure annihilates hairs with ultra-quick zaps. "As the melanin absorbs laser energy, the hair heats up to over 100 degrees Celsius, causing it to burn and vaporizing the water it contains," explains the Veritasium host. "This puffs the hair up a little bit, like a Cheeto. You can actually see the bubble vapors on the hair from the vaporization of water. The objective is not to destroy the hair, it's to actually use the hair to destroy the germ cells in the follicle that produce the hairs in the first place. It's using the hair to kill the hair."
Wait, what now?
So, basically, when hairs are lasered at a super-high-temperature, the hair shaft gets destroyed, which ruptures the inner root sheath, and then damages the outer root sheath.
"The bonds and proteins and collage molecules start breaking apart and that's a process known as denaturization," he adds. "So the hotter it is, and the longer that temperature is maintained, the more denaturization occurs and the higher the liklihood that that cell will die. If you cause enough damage to the cells in the follicle that make the hair, the hair will never grow back."
Aha! So *that's* why it can take as many as 6-8 laser sessions for hair to be dead and gone. Moral of the story? Beauty is pain, always.
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