Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to remove unwanted body hair. Heat from a laser destroys hair follicles, resulting in long-lasting results that are more permanent than waxing, shaving, or plucking. However, laser hair removal can be dangerous in inexperienced hands, and it is important to take precautions to reduce the risk of potential side effects. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that you choose a board-certified dermatologist to perform laser treatments.
Results vary from patient to patient, depending on the color and thickness of the hair, the area treated, the type of laser used, and the color of the skin. Generally, you can expect hair reduction between 10% and 25% after the first treatment, with 2 to 6 treatments needed for complete removal. When hair grows back after treatment, it tends to be less in quantity and thinner and lighter in color. Laser hair removal is safe for your face and other areas of your body, but it should not be done near the eyes or during pregnancy.
Temporary side effects have been reported in a small number of patients, such as skin irritation or redness. Nowadays, laser hair removal is a treatment option for people with light hair and fair skin as well as those with dark skin. However, people with blonde, reddish, or gray hair may not notice much change as laser lights are attracted to dark hair and often don't succeed on light hair. Although laser hair removal effectively delays hair growth for extended periods, it usually doesn't result in permanent hair removal.
Several laser treatments are needed for initial hair removal, and maintenance treatments may also be needed. If you're considering laser hair removal, it's important to understand how it works and what potential side effects may occur. When the doctor activates the laser, the beam passes through the skin to the hair follicles. A research article published in Lasers in Medical Science evaluated data from previously published studies and articles to assess how common the side effects of laser hair removal actually were. If you plan to undergo laser hair removal, you should limit hair removal, waxing and electrolysis for six weeks prior to treatment.
If you have facial hair, hair on your back, legs or bikini area, laser hair removal is a possibility. If you're tired of traditional methods such as shaving or waxing to remove unwanted body hair, laser hair removal may be an option worth considering. However, it is important to consult your doctor if you have any rare symptoms after laser treatments.