Laser hair removal uses a specific wavelength of light to damage and destroy hair follicles, but not the skin around them. It’s a form of skin damage but, in nearly all cases, does not cause any lasting harm.

Laser Hair Removal

How it Works
Lasers are concentrated light, and light is absorbed by the dark pigment in hair. When a laser is shone over your body, the light reflects off the skin, but is absorbed by the thick dark hairs. This light heats up the hairs, burning and destroying the follicle.
How Well it Works
Laser treatments remove most large hairs. A few large hairs may escape it if the follicle is in a dormant phase, but successive treatments allow the laser to catch as many follicles in their growth phase as possible.
With three treatments, large hairs should be completely absent from the area. Over time, though, some hair may return as new follicles are created or enter a growth phase. Despite this, it’s extremely unlikely that an area treated with laser could be considered “hairy” ever again.
What are the Risks?
The risks associated with laser hair removal are minor. The most common problem is damage to surrounding skin. Highly pigmented skin, especially moles and freckles, can absorb some of the light and heat up. This leads to damage similar to sunburns. In rare cases, it will also lead to blisters or to small red bumps. These should heal over in time, especially if you protect the affected area from sun.
In rare cases, blistering is severe enough to cause permanent scarring in the area.
How Can You Limit Risk?
There are a few ways to limit the odds of skin damage in a laser hair removal procedure. These include:

  • If the targeted area is sunburned, put off your appointment to another time
  • Avoid chlorine and saltwater
  • Avoid treatments and medications that increase skin sensitivity, like AHAs and Renova

Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?
Laser hair removal can tend to be uncomfortable. People compare it to being snapped with a rubber band. Someone of low pain tolerance may find it hard to deal with, but it is certainly a less painful option than waxing.
Is Laser Hair Removal Right for Me?
For a safe and semi-permanent cosmetic enhancement, laser hair removal is among the safest and most effective options on the market. If you’re tired of shaving or waxing, talk to your esthetician about laser!