Laser Hair Removal: 5 Frequently Asked Questions

woman sitting with legs crossed

The basic upkeep that comes with looking good is hard work, and a lot of that effort is spent dealing with unwanted body hair. Most men and women tire of their typical hair removal routine at some point, and would like an alternative to razors, messy creams or wax treatments. Laser hair removal may be a welcome option.

This cosmetic technology offers a safe, permanent overall reduction in hair. Using a pulsing beam of light to target follicles below the skin’s surface, laser hair removal works by disabling the follicle to prevent future hair growth. And because the method provides long-lasting results, ingrown hairs and irritated skin can become things of the past.

Despite its popularity, there is still a lot of mystery around how laser hair removal works. Somewhere between the myth and the fantasy about the method lies the reality. Given the demand for the cosmetic procedure, many men and women are eager to learn more about laser hair removal to see if it’s right for them.

1. Is Laser Hair Removal Safe for My Skin?

Laser hair removal is optimal for people with darker hair and lighter skin. Advances in light-based technology, however, have made the treatment accessible to a broad range of skin types.

The best way to determine if laser hair removal is a good match for you is to start with a consultation. A certified laser technician can evaluate your hair, skin tone and sensitivity by doing a patch test before conducting a full treatment. Based on the results, you may decide to proceed with laser hair removal, or opt for a different method.

2. What Areas of the Body Best Respond to Laser Hair Removal?

Unlike shaving or depilatory creams, which can cause irritation in certain parts of the body, laser hair removal can be safely used almost anywhere, with the exception of the area around the eyes.

For women, the most commonly treated regions are the underarms, upper lip, chin, bikini line, legs and arms. Men often seek hair removal on their back, shoulders, chest and stomach.

3. How Many Treatments Are Necessary?

Because hair grows in phases instead of all at once, laser treatment takes a staged approach to hair removal. The concentrated beam of light targets hair when it’s in the active growth phase, making multiple sessions necessary. Most people experience permanent results after just 6 to 9 treatments.

In order to protect the skin and achieve an optimal outcome, best practices include scheduling each treatment session 10 to 12 weeks apart. Once the course of treatments has been completed, some people find that an annual maintenance session helps to zap any rogue hairs that can sprout up on occasion.

4. Will My Hair Fall Out Right Away?

The length of a laser hair removal treatment session depends upon the size of the treatment area, but is typically an hour or less. Treated hair doesn’t immediately come off, however. Most people notice hair loss in the targeted spots in a week to 10 days following a session.

5. Can Anyone Practice Laser Hair Removal?

The short answer to this important question is ‘no.’ Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see ads for laser hair removal posted by unqualified, inexperienced practitioners.

In the right hands, laser hair removal is safe, effective and can offer beautiful results. However, it’s dangerous to have it performed by an unlicensed, unskilled amateur. Seek treatment from a certified, experienced technician will help to ensure an optimal outcome.