Ann Knapp asked:
Olympic athletes, professional athletes and even college athletes know that treating their bodies right, not only through diet and exercise but also skin care and health can yield improved results on and off the playing field.
Weekend warriors can be a lot like Olympic athletes, too. They’re acutely aware of their bodies and want to know the latest trends in products, gear and services that can improve their performance.
Many Olympic swimmers shave most of the hair from their bodies to prevent drag. Walking around on a college campus, you might find a group of men with shaved heads – not necessarily members of some underground society, they are probably part of the college swim team getting ready for their next big competition.
Gymnasts and runners also are keenly aware of the effect that body hair has on their performance. Any efforts to increase speed and positioning are highly valued, and the latest advances in technology can help athletes fine tune their efforts while at the same time enhance their physical appearance.
All across the country, athletes have found a way to take advantage of new ways to look healthier and increase performance without enduring the pain associated with other methods, nor the surgery that once offered the only means of improvement.
Hair removal was one of the earliest applications of laser technology; and improved treatment protocol from national laser center chains have deemed it more effective than ever before, succeeding even with the darker skin tones or light-colored hair that were not amenable to treatment by more conventional lasers.
The most effective laser hair removal process combines pulsed, high-intensity light with precisely controlled radiofrequency waves to damage follicles. The result of permanent hair reduction can often mean: no more shaving, waxing or bleaching of the treated areas.
Laser hair removal is not limited to just women who no longer want to shave regularly. An increasing number of men are getting the treatments to remove unwanted back hair, and hair on other parts of the body that can impede athletic performance.
According to recent data, the nation’s largest laser hair removal chain saw a 337 percent increase between 2003 and 2007 in the number of men who received laser hair removal.
The main concerns for men usually include the stigma and their falsely-perceived fear of discomfort that they expect to endure during the treatment. The reality is, laser hair removal is safe, comfortableand most clients experience no side effects at all and are able to resume their normal day-to-day activities immediately. Depending on where the process is to take place, men may find it comforting to know that the type of laser being used is not harmful to the region that it is being applied to, and there are no long term effects to worry about (aside from the lack of hair, of course!).
To understand how laser hair removal works, it is important to understand hair and how it grows. Human hairs are made up of three parts: the bulb at the base of the hair follicle (which produces hair), the shaft and the hair. The bulb and the shaft are embedded beneath the surface of the skin, therefore the hair is the only part visible to the naked eye. The hair growth cycle is comprised of three stages: telogen, catagen and anagen. At any given time, approximately 30 percent of your hair is in its anagen growth stage, which is the only time the hair is susceptible to laser hair removal treatments. Each laser hair reduction session will permanently damage 30 percent of the hair follicles in the treatment area.
Essentially, laser hair removal works by destroying the hair follicle. The only way to permanently reduce the amount of unwanted hair is to damage the hair follicle to a point where is unable to produce hairs. The hairs that are destroyed with each treatment are destroyed permanently. While patient protocol is determined on a case-by-case basis, on average our center recommends a minimum of six treatments, spread about two months apart per treatment.
Even more comforting to know is the idea that the stigma that surrounds laser hair removal is also being eroded as more and more men listen to the scorn of an angry society and begin taking notice of their hairy-selves – an added benefit to the increased athletic performance.
While companies that sell razors, shaving lotions and self-waxing kits have long targeted athletes, laser hair removal is a process that can eliminate unwanted hair and get athletes back on the field – and in the swim – much more quickly.