Electrolysis is the best and the only reliable method to permanently remove white hairs. The electric current passes through the shaft of the hair and destroys the growing cells of the hair follicle to that the hair does not grow again. Electrolysis does not depend on the pigment of the hair (unlike lasers) and permanently removes of the hair irrespective of the colour of the hair (grey, blond or white) or the color of the skin (dark, tan, white or brown). It is the only FDA (Food and Drug Administration, USA) approved method to permanently remove the hairs (be it white or black) and has been used for the past 100 years with perfect efficacy and results.
The modern methods of hair removal using lasers all rely on pigment. If a hair is white, the laser cannot interact with the hair follicle and will have no effect. Laser hair removal requires pigmentation in the hair follicle, thus laser hair removal is completely useless for white hairs (also blond and grey hairs) and also lasers are harmful on certain types of skins as well like dark skin, brown skin or tanned skin. Some laser experts try to fool you by saying that they will dye the hairs and use laser hair removal, but that is totally useless, as the hair is dyed only on the shaft and not in the root. And the part that is dyed is shaved off as in any laser hair removal procedure, the roots of the hairs still remain white, on which the laser does not act. The principle of working of all the laser machines is heat produced by absorption of the laser energy the dark melanin pigment. If the dark melanin pigment is absent as in white hairs or if the skin is dark as well then the laser light will not act on the hairs but will burn the skin. White hairs have no pigment, therefore does not get affected by a laser energy. Even if the hair is dyed, there is no effect.
Laser hair removal is used to reduce unwanted hair. Common treatment locations include legs, armpits, upper lip, chin and the bikini line. However, it’s possible to treat unwanted hair in nearly any area, except the eyelid or surrounding area. Skin with tattoos should not be treated either.
Hair color and skin type influence the success of laser hair removal. The basic principle is that the pigment of the hair, but not the pigment of the skin, should absorb the light. The laser should damage only the hair follicle while avoiding damage to the skin. Therefore, a contrast between hair and skin color — dark hair and light skin — results in the best outcomes.
The risk of damage to skin is greater when there is little contrast between hair and skin color, but advances in laser technology have made laser hair removal an option for people who have darker skin. Laser hair removal is less effective for hair colors that don’t absorb light well: gray, red, blond and white. However, laser treatment options for light-colored hair continue to be developed
If you’re interested in laser hair removal, choose a doctor who’s board certified in a specialty such as dermatology or cosmetic surgery and has experience with laser hair removal on your skin type. If a physician assistant or licensed nurse will do the procedure, make sure a doctor supervises and is available on-site during the treatments. Be cautious about spas, salons or other facilities that allow nonmedical personnel to do laser hair removal.
Before laser hair removal, schedule a consultation with the doctor to determine if this is an appropriate treatment option for you. Your doctor will likely do the following:
- Review your medical history, including medication use, history of skin disorders or scarring, and past hair removal procedures
- Discuss risks, benefits and expectations, including what laser hair removal can and can’t do for you
- Take photos to be used for before-and-after assessments and long-term reviews
At the consultation, discuss a treatment plan and related costs. Laser hair removal is usually an out-of-pocket expense.
The doctor will also offer specific instructions to prepare for laser hair removal. These might include:
- Staying out of the sun. Follow your doctor’s advice for avoiding sun exposure before and after treatment. Whenever you go out, apply a broad-spectrum, SPF30 sunscreen.
- Lightening your skin. Avoid any sunless skin creams that darken your skin. Your doctor might also prescribe a skin bleaching cream if you have a recent tan or darker skin.
- Avoiding other hair removal methods. Plucking, waxing and electrolysis can disturb the hair follicle and should be avoided at least four weeks before treatment.
- Avoiding blood-thinning medications. Ask your doctor about what medications, such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, to avoid before the procedure.
- Shaving treatment area. Trimming and shaving is recommended the day before laser treatment. It removes hair above the skin that can result in surface skin damage from burnt hairs, but it leaves the hair shaft intact below the surface.
What you can expect
Laser hair removal usually requires two to six treatments. The interval between treatments will vary depending on the location. On areas where hair grows quickly, such as the upper lip, the treatment might be repeated in four to eight weeks. On areas of slow hair growth, such as the back, the treatment might be every 12 to 16 weeks.
For each treatment you’ll wear special goggles to protect your eyes from the laser beam. An assistant might shave the site again if necessary. The doctor might apply a topical anesthetic to your skin to reduce any discomfort during treatment.
During the procedure
The doctor will press a hand-held laser instrument to your skin. Depending on the type of laser, a cooling device on the tip of the instrument or a cool gel might be used to protect your skin and lessen the risk of side effects.
When the doctor activates the laser, the laser beam will pass through your skin to the hair follicles. The intense heat from the laser beam damages the hair follicles, which inhibits hair growth. You might feel discomfort, such as a warm pinprick, and you’ll likely feel a sensation of cold from the cooling device or gel.
Treating a small area, such as the upper lip, might take only a few minutes. Treating a larger area, such as the back, might take more than an hour.
After the procedure
You might notice redness and swelling for the first few hours after laser hair removal.
To reduce any discomfort, apply ice to the treated area. If you have a skin reaction immediately after laser hair removal, the doctor might apply a steroid cream to the affected area.
After laser hair removal and between scheduled treatments, avoid sunlight and don’t use a tanning bed for six weeks or as directed by your doctor. Use a broad-spectrum SPF30 sunscreen daily.
Hairs do not fall out immediately, but you will shed them over a period of days to weeks. This may look like continued hair growth. The repeated treatments are usually necessary because hair growth and loss naturally occur in a cycle, and laser treatment works best with hair follicles in the new-growth stage.
Results vary significantly and are difficult to predict. Most people experience hair removal that lasts several months, and it might last for years. But laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. When hair regrows, it’s usually finer and lighter in color.
You might need maintenance laser treatments for long-term hair reduction.
Q1 Can white hair be laser removed?
A1 Many light- and heat-based therapies have been tried for white hair removal such as use of radiofrequency, laser after colouring or use of melanin-encapsulated liposomes before laser therapy. However, none of them have proven to be an effective therapy with results varying 17%–54%.
Q2 Is there permanent hair removal for white hair?
A2 Electrolysis is your one-way solution for a more permanent and efficient method to remove grey / white hair. It is the only FDA approved hair removal method, medically recognized to be PERMANENT. Different from laser, it uses a tiny probe that kills the cells from inside the hair follicle by emitting heat.
Q3 What happens when you remove white hair?
A3 “Plucking a gray hair will only get you a new gray hair in its place because there is only one hair that is able to grow per follicle. … Plucking can traumatize the hair follicle, and repeated trauma to any follicle can cause infection, scar formation or possibly lead to bald patches.