5 Things You Should Know About Laser Hair Removal

What should you know before getting laser hair removal? You're not sure if this is the right removal option—but you want to learn more before making a decision one way or the other. Take a look at what you need to know about the process, pain, laser professionals, and more. 

The Laser Stops Hair Growth From the Follicles 

Unlike shaving, which removes surface-level hair, a laser stops growth under the skin—at the follicle. The follicle is a structure that contains the hair's root. It is responsible for hair growth and can even help with wound healing. A laser procedure targets the follicles, stopping body hair growth before it starts.

The Laser Uses Light

It's all in the name. The word laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Even though laser removal procedures destroy the follicle, the light doesn't reach this sub-surface area. Instead, the melanin (pigment) of the hair absorbs this light. The light converts to heat in the hair, damaging the follicle. 

The Laser Doesn't Cause Pain

Are you worried about burning or pain during a laser procedure? While the laser does use light to heat the hair, it won't burn your skin. You may feel a slight sting or minor discomfort during the procedure. A laser procedure shouldn't feel painful or more uncomfortable than a hair waxing treatment. 

The Laser Requires Multiple Treatments

Even though this is a semi-permanent or longer-term hair removal option, it isn't a one-time and you're done type of process. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), you could need between two and six sessions to see substantial hair reduction results. But this doesn't mean you won't notice less hair after your first treatment. 

While your legs, upper lip, bikini zone, or other areas won't look or feel completely hairless, the AAD notes that single laser treatment could reduce hair growth. Not only will you notice less hair, but the hair may also look lighter or feel significantly finer after your first few treatments.

The Laser Requires A Skilled Professional

Laser hair removal is not a job that just anyone can do. Failure to use the laser correctly could result in serious burns, skin irritation, scarring, or skin color changes. This means you need to choose a skilled, experienced, licensed professional to perform the procedure. Medical doctors (M.D.s) who specialize in dermatology or cosmetic procedures should perform the procedure or supervise another licensed medical professional who is trained to use the laser.