How does the system work?
The energy from the light source is taken up by the pigments (Melanin and Haemoglobin) in the
skin, hairs and blood vessels. Selective filtration makes the energy uptake specific for melanin (600
to 950 nanometres) or haemoglobin (530 to 950 nanometres); thus the system can be used for hair
removal, vascular lesions and pigmented lesions.
Hair removal is accomplished by the generation of heat from light in the melanin, which is then
transferred to the hair follicle (root). Pulse times of this applied light have been chosen to destroy the
hair follicle by heating for at least 1millisecond (one thousandth of a second) to 70 degrees
Why is gel used?
It is necessary to apply a thin layer of gel to the skin prior to treatment to assure an optimal optical
transmission of light from the applicator to the skin. The gel also provides a cooling effect.
How is the treatment carried out?
The Applicator (hand-piece) is placed in contact with the skin surface and the light pulsed through it
onto the skin. The applicator is then moved to the neighbouring area and the process is repeated.
Who can be treated?
Dark hairs are most easily treated due to the large concentration of dark melanin in these, which
gives maximum absorption and conversion of light energy to heat.
Very fair hair has less melanin and consequently less heat is produced making it slightly less certain
of permanent destruction of the hair follicles.
Grey (white) hair has almost no melanin and cannot be efficiently treated. The upper skin layer, of
the epidermis, also contains melanin and the concentration increases when the skin is exposed to UV
It is therefore necessary to treat dark skinned and tanned individuals with less energy to avoid
generation of excess heat and pain in the skin. The Pulsar computer has pre-programmed treatment
suggestions for different hair and pigment types.
Does it hurt?
As the light energy is absorbed by the pigments (melanin and haemoglobin), the discomfort depends
upon the concentration of melanin in the epidermis and the hairs combined. Consequently it hurts
more in dark skinned people and those with dense, dark hairs. No anaesthesia is required and most
patients describe the pain as moderate and acceptable (as if a rubber band is lightly snapped against
Does the patient need to shave prior to treatment?
Hairs should be 1 to 2mm long when the patient comes in for treatment so it is possible to mark out
the treatment area. Long hairs take up the energy and prevent all of it reaching the hair follicle.
Therefore hair is trimmed just before treatment for maximum transmission of the energy. If the hair
is normally shaved and can be seen when shaven then patients can shave right up to the day of
treatment although plucking and bleaching should not be done. By avoiding epilation and waxing 4
weeks before treatment it ensures as many follicles as possible contain a hair and thus can be
destroyed by the light.
Why do hairs grow after treatment?
Contrary to other treatments, hairs are not vaporised by the Pulsar treatment, the hair follicles are
killed by the heat but the hairs remain in the skin and often become attached to the epidermis.
They will fall out after 1 to 3 weeks as the epidermis is renewed. During this period it will seem that
the hairs are growing as the epidermis pushes them out.
How can you tell if the treatment has worked when the hairs are not removed immediately?
After treatment the hairs are often loose within the follicle and often can easily be pulled out with
tweezers. A red ring around each follicle is often seen a few minutes after treatment. These two
things are good indications that sufficient heating of the follicles has taken place. Unfortunately they
are not always seen and we have seen many patients with successful treatment results without the
What are the side effects?
The visible light is completely safe so no special precautions are needed apart from glasses for the
brightness. The skin of some patients becomes quite red immediately after treatment and very rarely
small blisters, as from excessive sun exposure, can occur. However, most patients experience no side
effects at all and the described skin reactions above usually disappear within hours to a few days.
Unlike electrolysis the Pulsar treatment is non-invasive.
How many treatments are necessary?
Only hair in the growth phase can be treated. The number of hairs in this phase varies from 10 to
70% depending on the body site. The lengths of the growth cycles also vary. For most clients
anything between 6 to 8 treatments is enough to remove virtually all hairs. Treatments are usually
spaced either one, two or three months apart, depending on the area.
After the first treatment most patients get a significant reduction in hair density also new grown hairs
tend to become finer. It is important to know that the first treatment is believed to synchronise the
anagen (growth) phase of the non-anagen hairs. This may cause what seems to be re-growth, but
which is actually just the sleeping hairs starting to grow at the same time (new growth). This in turn
makes your next treatment(s) more effective.
How do I prepare for treatment?
Patients should avoid tanning 1 month ahead of and during the entire treatment scenario to avoid
excessive discomfort from excessive light absorption in the epidermis. Immediately after the
treatment the skin is particularly sensitive to UV light and strong sunlight should be avoided for 4-5
How long does treatment take?
The facial treatment usually takes 10 minutes whereas both legs or an entire back take approximately
Is it permanent?
Most authorities would agree that using current laser and light technology it is possible to
permanently remove hair. Histology studies have found destroyed and denatured hair follicle cells
post treatment. A recent study showed that the percentage reduction in hairs after one treatment at 9
weeks was 52.6%