How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

How does laser hair removal work
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Laser hair removal serves as a popular cosmetic treatment for those seeking smooth, hair-free skin without the constant need for shaving, waxing, or plucking. But how does this seemingly magical procedure work? In this article, we’ll unravel the science behind laser hair removal, explore its benefits and drawbacks, and provide you with everything you need to know to decide if it’s the right choice for you.

What Is Laser Hair Removal and How Does it Work?

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic treatment that uses concentrated light to remove unwanted hair. During the procedure, a laser emits a light that is absorbed by the melanin in the hair. This light energy is converted to heat, which damages the follicles within the skin that produce hair. Finally, this damage inhibits future hair growth.

Unlike shaving or waxing, which provide temporary results, laser hair removal can eliminate hair and prevent growth for extended periods of time.

How Should I Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?

To optimize your laser hair removal treatment, take the following steps prior to your appointment:

  • Avoid Sun Exposure: Protect your skin from sun exposure for at least six weeks before your treatment. Sunburned or tanned skin can complicate the procedure and your healing process.
  • Limit Other Hair Removal Methods: Avoid waxing, plucking, or electrolysis for six weeks before your treatment, as these methods remove the roots of your hair, which need to be in place for laser removal to be effective.
  • Shave: Shave the area(s) that are going to be treated 24 to 48 hours prior to the treatment to help prevent burns.
  • Clean Your Skin: Ensure the skin around the treatment area is clean and free of cosmetics on the day of your appointment. This will minimize your risk of adverse reactions and maximize the treatment’s efficacy.
  • Discuss Medications: Inform your provider about any medications you are taking. Some can affect your skin’s sensitivity to the laser and/or the treatment’s outcome.
  • Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

    How laser hair removal feels to you will depend on your pain threshold and the specific area(s) being treated. That said, while some find the procedure mildly uncomfortable, it’s not generally considered painful. Many describe the feeling as one akin to a rubber band being snapped against their skin. In addition, ice may be applied to soothe sensitive areas.

    What Happens After Laser Hair Removal?

    After a laser hair removal session, you may notice redness and/or swelling around the treated area(s), which is a normal response. This mild discomfort is similar to a sunburn and can last for a few hours to a few days. Applying ice packs or aloe vera gel can help soothe your skin. It’s also crucial to avoid sun exposure and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect the treated area(s).

    Over the next few weeks, the treated hair will begin to shed. Be sure to follow your provider’s aftercare guidelines to achieve the best possible results with the least possible discomfort.

    How Long After Laser Hair Removal Do You See Results?

    After undergoing laser hair removal, patients often anticipate instantaneous results. However, it typically takes multiple treatment sessions for noticeable results to materialize.

    In addition, it’s important to note that results can vary widely based on your hair color, skin type, and the area(s) being treated.

    Does Laser Hair Removal Permanently Remove Hair?

    Laser hair removal can eliminate hair and impede growth for months or even years, but it’s not a permanent solution. Even after the treatment, some hair follicles can repair themselves, leading to new growth. Most people require at least six to twelve sessions to achieve their desired results and then intermittent maintenance sessions to preserve them.

    What Are the Risks and Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal?

    Like any cosmetic procedure, laser hair removal comes with its own risks and side effects. Most are minor and subside without intervention, but being aware of them is crucial.

    These risks and side effects can include:

    • Skin Irritation: Temporary discomfort, redness, and swelling are common following the procedure. These symptoms typically go away within 24 hours.
    • Pigment Changesvv: The treated skin may lighten or darken after laser hair removal, but this is usually temporary. Such changes are generally more noticeable in individuals with darker skin.
    • Burning or Scarring: While rare, there is a risk of burns or scars if the laser is misused or misapplied.
    • Unwanted Outcomes: Some patients may experience unwanted regrowth in the treated area(s).

    What Are the Benefits of Laser Hair Removal?

    Some of the numerous benefits of laser hair removal include:

    • Precision: Laser technology can target select areas of hair while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.
    • Speed: Laser hair removal is an outpatient treatment that only takes a few hours to perform.
    • Cost-Effective: Over time, laser hair removal can be more cost-effective than continuous waxing, shaving, or the use of depilatory creams.
    • Smoother Skin: Laser hair removal can spare you from the rough skin often associated with shaving or the stubble that can occur after waxing.
    • Less Painful: Many find laser hair removal less painful than waxing.
    • Reduces Ingrown Hairs: Laser hair removal is especially beneficial for those prone to ingrown hairs from shaving or waxing.


    Laser hair removal offers a promising solution for those looking to get rid of unwanted hair. While not a permanent fix, it can significantly decrease hair growth, leave your skin feeling smooth, and save you time and money. That said, outcomes vary from patient to patient, and it will take multiple sessions for you to achieve your desired results.

    If you’re seeking laser hair removal treatment, look no further than Bella Medspa. Our technicians have a wealth of experience using cutting-edge technology to deliver outstanding results.

    Book a free consultation with us today to discover whether laser hair removal is right for you.

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