Photo-Epilation Light-Heat Energy

I spent $900 for hair removal and it did not work at all. I checked on the website and could not find this laser. It looks like a flash lamp but they call it Photoepilation. I got burn badly as well and it was extremely painful. I really want to get my money back but I would like to know what I am talking about when I talk to them about their awful laser. The dermatologists in the office keep telling me that it is a laser, can it really be, I have a hard time believing that.

Usualy flash lamps are just Zenon or Xenon flash lamps that produce a large range of wavelengths of light or photo energy. Most good flash lamps use a water block or other similar method to selectively allow only a more defined narrow range of wavelengths through.
I hate to break the bad news but the term epilation usualy refers to a short term removal of the hair similar to tweezing or waxing. If you paid for epilation then you have little recourse, however if your contract specifies permanent hair removal then you might be able to go in there and argue your case, but I would not put much hope in that.
Being burned is a sure sign that I would never go back to them even if they offer you free service. Take the lose of money and be happy they did not permanently damage your skin (I hope the burns have healed fully).
Laser and flash lamp devices can work to permanently remove hair but it does not work for all people, costs lots of money and requires and informed client (That’s you) and an properly trained staff.
Read some more on this site as there are numerous postings of people who have had good and bad hair removal experiences, then draw your own conclusions as to whether this type of hair removal is right for you.


Thank you Chris,
I will not go back there, that is for sure, only to get my money back because they say in the contract permanent hair removal. So is Photo-epilation, photo-energy the same? I still don’t know if they used a flash lamp.


In short all light based treatments use the energy that is carried by the photons “Light particles”. To get the energy out of these photons we need a target (the pigment in the hairs) that can effectively absorb them. To use a simple analogy think of how a dark surface like ashphalt gets much warmer when the sun shines on it compard to the lighter concrete based pavement. The ashphalt is more effective at absorbing the photons streaming from the sun then the concrete pavement.

Now photons can be emitted from almost any body of matter that has a temperature or energy level greater then its surroundings. An example is the incandescent light bulbs in your house, they are releasing photons across a large range of wavelengths and energy levels.
Hair removal sytems can use different methods to generate photons; from flash lamps (think pulsing light bulb) to lasers (solid state photon generator). The reason that lasers have some advantage is that they generate photons within a very narrow wavelength that can be tuned to be more effectively absorbed by the pigments in the hair. The flash lamps generaly produce a larger range of wavelengths and as such need filters (think like how your sunglasses work) to select those that are more readily absorbed by the pigment in the hairs.

As stated before epilation refers to temporary removal of hair, like tweezing, waxing, chemical, or heating using low power lasers and flash lamps.
Permanence will only happen if the damage to the hair growing structures is sufficient to kill them off so they can not regen. Heat like that from thermolysis electrolysis or that generated by absorbing photons form lasers or flash lamps needs to be of a sufficent quantity to kill those cells off. Another method is to use galvanic based electrolysis to generate the chemical lye which damages and dissolves the hair growing cells. Either way the goal is to cause enough damage to kill the hair growing cells without causing excessive collateral damage to surrounding tissues.