Can Hair Be Permanently Removed by Laser?

Medically Reviewed on 11/16/2022
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is effective in people with lighter complexions and darker hair.

Although laser hair removal may keep unwanted hair away for months or even years, it does not ensure permanent hair removal.

Laser hair removal is a procedure in which unwanted hair is removed using a laser. The laser destroys the hair follicles and prevents hair growth. It is considered the best treatment for unwanted hair removal, but laser hair removal is not permanent.

The destroyed hair follicles inhibit hair growth for longer periods; however, the hair regrows after certain periods. The hair that grows after the laser treatment is usually finer and lighter in color.

Important things to know about laser hair removal

  • Stay away from the sun
  • Painless procedure
  • Few and temporary side effects
  • Quick procedure
  • More than one session is often required

How does laser hair removal work?

During the hair removal procedure, the laser emits light, which is absorbed by the hair follicles. This light is converted to heat and destroys hair follicles in the skin from where the hair grows. This damage in the hair follicles may stop or delay hair growth. In most people, the hair grows back in a few months. Follow-up sessions of laser treatment may delay hair growth.

Common areas where laser hair removal is frequently performed include:

  • Chest
  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Bikini line
  • Legs

Facial hair removal should be avoided around the eyes to avoid eye injuries.

Usually, six to eight sessions of laser treatments are required for maximum hair removal. In these eight sessions, maximum hair follicles are damaged but not all. The follicles are damaged and shrunk in size, which results in finer and lighter color hair, and the growth occurs very slowly.

As mentioned, 100 percent of hair removal is not expected; 75 to 90 percent of hair removal is seen.

Results may vary from person to person depending on the following:

  • Area of the treatment (hair removal done on the face may require several sessions for satisfactory results)
  • Settings used during the procedure
  • The number of follow-up sessions taken
  • An individual-specific hair growth cycle

Studies have reported that laser hair removal is effective in people with lighter complexions and darker hair because the color contrast makes the light travel easily and destroys the follicles. However, in people with darker skin, more sessions are required.


An average adult has about ________ square feet of skin. See Answer

Who can have laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is indicated in the following people:

Laser hair removal is contraindicated in people with the following conditions:

What are the risks and side effects of laser hair removal?

Side effects of laser hair removal are very low, but may include:

  • Burning, stinging, or discomfort
  • Allergic reactions due to anesthetic gel or creams used to numb the area during the procedure
  • Redness
  • Burns
  • Temporary color changes in the skin (people with darker skin tones)
  • Blistering and crusting of the skin

What happens during laser hair removal?

Several steps are involved in laser hair removal, such as:

  • Your doctor cleans the area to be operated on.
  • You will be provided with protective glasses, and your healthcare provider may also wear protective glasses.
  • Anesthetic gel or cream is applied to the area, and the skin is treated with a laser.
  • You may feel a series of mild stings.
  • The procedure takes little time, from a few minutes to hours, depending on the area to be treated.
  • Smokey and hair-burning smells can be noticed as the procedure involves burning the hair follicles with the heat produced by a laser.

What are the benefits of laser hair removal?

Benefits of laser hair removal include:

  • Long-term procedure compared with other methods of hair removal, such as shaving, waxing, tweezing, and plucking
  • Very low side effects
  • Fewer sessions
  • Less pain during the procedure
  • Decreased risk of ingrown hair
Medically Reviewed on 11/16/2022
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