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Laser Hair Removal Glossary

Alexandrite 755nm Laser:

this is the Candela Gentlase Laser and is also know as the “Mini-lase.” It is often used for age spots, brown spots, or laser blemish removal. It is also the primary laser for laser hair removal used by Ideal Image.


the acronym for the American Society for Dermatological Surgery.


the acronym for the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery.

Bikini Line:

an arbitrary line noted with respect, to laser hair removal, waxing and shaving. This term is utilized to indicate the desired amount of pubic hair removal necessary such that hair would not be exposed beyond the line of one’s swimsuit and/or bikini underwear.

Brazilian Hair Removal:

at Ideal Image, the Brazilian includes laser hair removal from the entire pubic area. Clients may elect to leave a small strip of hair in the front. The Brazilian treatment area does not include the peri-anal, but this treatment area may be added.


second layer of skin underneath the epidermis and above the subcutaneous fat, which is made up of blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, collagen bundles, elastic fibers and fibroblasts. The dermis is responsible for the mechanical tightness of our skin and it is the place where our hair grows from.


a chemical (usually a sulfide) used to remove hair on a temporary basis.


the process of passing an electric current down a needle and into the skin and hair root to temporarily deaden the hair follicle and impede hair growth. Electrolysis hair removal requires more time than laser hair removal because it’s a process that treats only one hair at a time. Although electrolysis produces results that last longer than waxing and depilatories, it’s time consuming, costly, and can be painful due to the one hair at a time process.


top layer of skin protecting the dermis; composed mainly of squamous cells, as well as basal cells, melanocytes, and keratinocytes.


redness of the skin due to capillary dilation. This is sometimes a temporary after effect of laser hair removal.

Female Facial Hair:

can either be hereditary or as a result of hirsutism, and is often associated with mild levels of androgenic or male-hormone elevation. This hormone imbalance can occur as a result of obesity. 41 million women in the United States remove unwanted facial hair at least once in a six-month period.

Hair Follicles:

a tube of squamous epithelial cells found in the dermis of the skin. It is responsible for creating hair by packing old cells together. Inside the follicle the sebaceous gland is found, a tiny oil-producing gland found everywhere except on the palms and soles of the feet. During laser hair removal, it is this hair producing tube that is disabled without any repercussions.


female facial hair growing in a male pattern like a beard or mustache. This results from androgenic (increased male hormone) origin.


defined as a focused beam of intense light (light radiation). This is in no way related to the dangerous ionizing radiation from x-ray or nuclear particles.

Laser Circles:

blemishes that occur on the skin from treating tanned skin with laser. Prudent laser hair removal practitioners, like those at Ideal Image will not treat patients with excessively tanned skin because of the possibility of developing laser circles or laser skin burn.

Laser Cosmetic Enhancement:

the non-invasive, non-surgical use of light beams to remove unwanted hair, to remove undesirable freckles or blemishes, subdue wrinkles and to smooth and rejuvenate aging skin. Laser treatment is also successful for eliminating unsightly facial and leg veins. Laser Hair Removal – the use of laser light beams for epilation, or removal of hair by disabling the hair producing function of the follicle beneath the skin. Although lasers have been used experimentally since the 1970’s, they became commercially available in the mid 90’s. Today, laser hair removal has become a preferred hair removal procedure and offers much promise for effective results for removal of unwanted hair. Synonyms for laser hair removal – phototricholysis, photoepilation. Also see: Laser Hair Removal Facts

Melanin Pigment:

a substance or pigment that gives color to the skin. Darker skin, or moles on the skin have more melanin. The pigment is produced by specialized epidermal cells called melanocytes.


the specialized epidermal cells that produce melanin, the pigment responsible for the amount of color in one’s skin, moles, or freckles (i.e. darker =more melanin and lighter =less melanin).

Perifollicular Edema:

swelling due to collection of fluid in the interstitial spaces (area around the depression in the skin from which the hair emerges). It is sometimes a short term, mild side-effect of laser hair removal and typically resolves in a matter of hours following the procedure. For more info on side effects of laser hair removal see: Laser Hair Removal FAQ

Pseudo Folliculitis Barbae:

the name medical experts give to painful inflammation of the hair follicles sometimes experienced after shaving. These inflammed razor bumps are commonly experienced by the male population, although woman who shave their legs may also experience such. This is more likely to occur on the face because the skin is more sensitive and the condition is often minimized by the use of a good aftershave tonic. This condition is one of the many reasons a man may opt for laser hair removal, which eliminates this condition.

Razor bumps:

an inflammation of the hair follicle(s) as a result of shaving and known in medicine as “Pseudo Folliculitis Barbae.” Also see: Laser Facial Hair Removal

TAC (triple anesthetic cream):

a very special cream sometimes prescribed by Ideal Image as an extra measure of comfort for laser hair removal in sensitive areas.

Terminal hair:

the longer, more coarse hairs that are pigmented, fully developed, and normally found on the scalp, beard, pubic region (bikini line), torso in men, arms legs and underarms. Unwanted hair in these areas, or terminal hair that is growing out of place (e.g. dark or coarse facial hair in women) are the major targets of treatment with laser hair removal. The other, softer, shorter, non-pigmented hair found on the face, body or even a baby’s head is called “vellus hair,” and is not targeted with laser hair removal procedures.


a low powered FDA-cleared laser hair removal device made for home use by those with the correct skin tone, and with no formal training or previous laser hair removal experience. The treatment heads on home laser hair removal systems like the ones used on Tria devices are smaller than what’s used on professional laser hair removal machines. When using a Tria home laser device, laser hair removal treatment on anything but the smallest treatment area will take considerable time.


prescription cream (eflornithine HCl), 13.9% suggested as being able to slow the growth of unwanted facial hair (UFH) in women. Although popularly prescribed by cosmetic surgeons, Ideal Image is generally not an advocate of this method for hair removal.

Vellus hair:

very fine, soft, usually short, non-pigmented hair found on the face, body or even a baby’s head is called “vellus hair,” and is not targeted with laser hair removal procedures.

Yag 1064nm Laser:

not effective when treating fine hair, but is versatile enough to remove hair on patients with darker skin. It targets black hair while leaving the skin alone

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