Laser hair removal is an increasingly popular way to get rid of unwanted hair on all parts of the body. Laser hair removal works by administering thermal damage to the hair follicles and then removing hairs. The procedure can have dramatic, long-lasting results, but is laser hair removal permanent?
Laser hair removal is much more permanent than most methods of hair removal, and it can lead to a permanent hair reduction in the treated area. Overall, it’s a highly effective method of removing unwanted hair. However, some hair will usually grow back.
Below, we’ll break down the basics about laser hair removal, how long you can expect it to last, and the benefits and drawbacks of the procedure.
What happens in a laser hair removal session?
During treatment, a practitioner will run a laser over the desired treatment area. This administers thermal energy that damages the hair follicles causing unwanted hairs to stop growing and fall out.
The treatment may be uncomfortable at first. Some patients experience a prickling feeling accompanied by increased heat or coldness. However, most people do not report extreme pain or discomfort.
Sessions can take anywhere from five minutes to thirty minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area. After treatment, you may experience redness or soreness on the treatment site, but it should subside in a few days. There generally are not any other side effects.
Multiple treatments are usually needed to remove hair permanently. Most patients undergo six treatments within a span of months.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
Yes, however, not all the hairs will be removed with one treatment. A general rule of thumb is that approximately one third of all remaining hair follicles are removed per treatment. This means that whatever hair is left behind from your previous treatment, two thirds of that hair will be removed with the current treatment. This leads to a permanent reduction in the number of hairs, however it is very unlikely for laser hair removal to remove every single follicle.
The only way to remove hair permanently is to destroy the follicle. Lasers can destroy hair follicles, but it efficacy it dependent on the type of laser, the color of hair, and the amount of melanin in the hair and skin. The darker the hair and the lighter the skin, the more effective the laser is. There are lasers that can reduce hair growth in patients with very light hair or very dark skin, but these lasers generally do not produce a permanent reduction.
After a series of laser hair removal treatments, any hair that does grow back will often be finer and lighter. In fact, many people who undergo multiple laser hair removal sessions are able to stop shaving completely.
Why does hair sometimes grow back?
People who undergo at least six laser hair removal sessions are most likely to see a permanent reduction in hair growth. However, again, only destroying the follicle removes hair permanently. You may see some hair grow back, although they will be much less noticeable. When done correctly, hair removal leads to a permanent reduction in unwanted hair.
The reason some hair grows back is because not every follicle is destroyed by each laser session. The follicle can be damaged, but not destroyed and those follicles may grow back finer hairs than the original. How effective each treatment is depends on the pigment of your hair and/or skin.
Not all lasers work on all hair types, however there is a laser out there that is effective for your hair type. If you have very dark hair or thick hair, you are the ideal candidate for laser hair removal. That is one of the reasons laser hair removal is so popular – people who’ve struggled with other hair removal techniques are able to see dramatic results.
What are the benefits of hair removal?
The main benefit of laser hair removal is that the results are long lasting. Even while some hair will grow back, successful laser hair removal treatments usually eliminate the need for shaving and waxing.
Laser hair removal also lowers your risk for complications like ingrown hairs, which are common for other hair removal techniques. While some patients find it uncomfortable, it’s much less painful than options like waxing. Also, most patients report laser hair removal gets progressively less painful over the course of several sessions.
Laser hair removal can also be done anywhere on the body. Whether you’re looking to remove hair from your back, your face, or your bikini line, laser hair removal is a safe, effective option.
The main downsides are it can be expensive and – if you’re removing a lot of hair – treatment may take a long time. No cosmetic procedure is for everyone, so it’s important to consider both pros and cons before undergoing laser hair removal.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for long term hair removal options, laser hair removal is among the most effective. While we cannot technically say it’s permanent, it does lead to a permanent reduction in hair growth. If you undergo several sessions, it can eliminate the need for shaving and waxing.
Laser hair removal is, of course, not for everyone. It’s important to consider what’s right for you when undergoing any cosmetic procedure. However, most patients find laser hair removal minimally painful and an effective means of removing unwanted body hair.
Ready to get started? The practitioners at BLUSH Beverly Hills have extensive experience with laser hair removal and other forms of aesthetic medicine. We work with every patient one-on-one to create a treatment option that works for them. Reach out here to set up a consultation.