The Advantages and Disadvantages of Laser Hair Removal

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    Getting rid of unwanted hair every day is a tedious task for many people. Their hair can be removed effectively using conventional treatments like waxing, tweezing, and shaving, but these methods leave them with bumps, nicks, and ingrown hairs and don't give a permanent cure.

    More than a decade ago, technical developments led to the development of a hair removal technique called laser hair removal, which not only got rid of these irritating difficulties but also gave a permanent solution to hair reduction.

    What are the benefits and drawbacks of laser hair removal? You should think about all of your options before settling on one for permanent hair removal, because there are several.

    All the hair can be shaved off in a day or two, but it will come back. While depilatory treatments can quickly remove unwanted hair, they often leave behind an unpleasant odour reminiscent of a wet dog and gasoline. Waxing and sugaring are good options if you're looking for permanent hair removal because they pull the hair out by its follicles.

    Waxing is a painful process, and the regrowth of hair is extremely itchy, but hair doesn't regrow for weeks.

    Electrolysis is one such option that lasts far longer than the others. Hair follicles can be permanently removed using electrolysis by inserting a very thin needle into each one and then passing an electric current through it. You would be right in thinking that it sounds uncomfortable, and a session might last quite a while.

    Finally, there is laser hair removal, a well-liked semi-permanent method that works by causing damage to the hair follicle and so reducing hair growth. Carlos A. Charles, M.D., founder of Derma di colour, previously told SELF, "The laser detects the hair entirely by focusing on the pigment cells that reside in the hair follicle."

    The laser destroys the follicle and the root of the hair by focusing on the melanin in the hair. You can ditch the razor and skip the waxing after a few sessions. Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of laser hair removal so you can make an informed decision before scheduling your first of many sessions.

    The Preparation

    Find a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who is board-certified in their field and has experience using lasers to remove hair from your skin type if you want to get rid of unwanted hair with laser treatment.

    It is important to have a doctor on-site and available for supervision if a nurse practitioner or registered nurse will be doing the procedure. You should exercise caution when considering spas, salons, or other locations that employ non-medical staff to perform laser hair removal.

    • Consult your doctor first to see if laser hair removal is a viable choice for you. In most cases, your doctor will do the following:
    • Inquire into your past hair removal experiences, as well as any current or recently used medications, skin conditions, or scarring.
    • Think about what laser hair removal can and cannot achieve for you, as well as the dangers and rewards involved.

    Taking pictures for later use in comparisons and long-term studies is a great idea.

    You should talk about a treatment plan and any associated fees during the session. Costs associated with laser hair removal are typically borne by the patient.

    Course of the procedure

    A handheld laser device will be pressed against your skin as the doctor performs the procedure. The skin can be protected from the laser and its potential adverse effects by using either a cooling device on the instrument's tip or a cool gel.

    Once the laser is turned on by the doctor, the beam will go beneath the epidermis and into the hair follicles. The laser beam's high temperature causes damage to the hair follicles, which in turn slows or stops hair growth. You might feel some pain, like a warm pinprick, and the cooling device or gel might feel chilly.

    Small areas, like the upper lip, may just require a few minutes to treat. If you want to treat a wider region, such your back, it may take more than an hour.

    Following the procedure

    In the initial few hours following laser hair removal, you may experience some redness and swelling.

    Apply ice to the area in question to alleviate any pain. Your doctor may use a steroid cream to the afflicted area immediately following laser hair removal if you experience any sort of skin reaction.

    Don't go outside or use a tanning bed for at least six weeks after laser hair removal, or as long as your doctor recommends. Wear a sunscreen with a minimum broad-spectrum SPF30 rating every day.

    Instructions on how to get ready for laser hair removal

    Avoiding direct sunlight

    Avoid the sun as directed by your doctor before and after treatment. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF every time you go outside.

    To make your skin lighter

    Try to stay away from any darkening sunless creams. If you have darker skin or a recent tan, your doctor may also recommend a skin whitening cream.

    Doing nothing besides shaving or waxing

    The hair follicle should be undisturbed by plucking, waxing, or electrolysis for at least four weeks before to treatment.

    Abstaining from blood-thinning drugs

    Before having surgery, talk to your doctor about whether or not you need to stop taking any medications, such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory pills.

    An Area for Shaving

    Shaving and trimming should be done the day before a laser treatment for best results. The hair is removed from the surface of the skin, where it might cause burns, but the hair shaft is left unharmed below the skin.

    Here are some benefits of laser hair removal

    Small Number of Adverse Effects

    Infrequent side effects from laser hair removal typically don't persist longer than a few days.


    Once you begin laser hair removal, you can say goodbye to the expense of frequent waxing sessions, depilatory lotions, razors, and other hair removal tools. This option may be more expensive initially, but it will save you a tonne of money over the course of your lifetime. You'll also avoid wasting a tonne of time on beauty maintenance like shaving and waxing.

    There Will Be Zero Ingrown Hairs

    You won't have to go through painful and ugly ingrown hairs like you would after waxing, threading, or epilating. In the same vein, you won't have to worry about getting razor burn or razor rash. As a bonus, laser hair removal can help with those pesky ingrown hairs, too.

    You Don't Have To Wait For Your Hair To Grow

    Laser hair removal can be performed in areas where hair growth is not visible. Avoid scorching any surface hair by shaving right before your session. Of contrast to waxing and other hair removal procedures, which require sufficient length in surface hair before a session, laser hair removal can be performed on smooth skin.


    During the hair removal process, the laser beam is directed directly at the follicle, where the hairs grow out of. When compared to intense pulsed light (IPL), laser hair removal is preferable since it is safer and more effective on persons with darker skin tones. Because of the accuracy, the process should be accelerated.


    You can expect to notice effects within the first few weeks of treatment (how quickly depends depend on the size of the region being treated). The time you save by not shaving or getting regular waxes is a nice bonus.


    With laser hair removal, most individuals can experience permanent hair loss in between three and seven treatments.

    Here are some drawbacks of laser hair removal

    Initial Investment

    The cost of laser hair removal is not cheap. Even though the initial investment at a clinic may seem pricey when compared to other methods of hair removal like waxing, you will really end up saving money in the long term. However, you can find much more affordable options, such as a laser hair removal device for home use. These have the same technology as the salon treatment, but cost a fraction of the price.

    Because of the Time Involved

    The findings won't be seen right away. It may take several sessions before you see benefits, as the hairs drop off slowly over the weeks after each session. At least you can keep shaving till it works!

    The Possibility of Pigment Variation in the Near Future

    Light exposure has the potential to cause a temporary discoloration of the treated skin. However, this is usually only a temporary problem.

    There should be no tanning prior to or following treatment.

    Make sure you are not tanned before undergoing laser hair removal treatment. This includes getting a tan in the sun and using a self-tanner from a bottle.

    The Limits of Its Applicability

    Eyebrow, genital, and facial hair on males are just a few places where laser hair removal is not recommended. Fine, peach fuzz hair may also not benefit from this. Those with dark hair and light complexion will see the most improvement; those with lighter hair may need more sessions to achieve the same results, but with the correct tools, anyone may achieve stunning transformations.

    Adverse reactions

    There are a few potential negative reactions to laser hair removal. Generally speaking, adverse effects are mild and short-lived. A dermatologist should be seen by anyone who experiences persistent adverse effects.

    Anger and redness

    Hair follicles are directly affected by laser hair removal. As a result of the body's reaction, the affected areas may become red and irritated in some people. Tingling or tenderness in the skin is possible, as can a small swelling appearance.

    The majority of the time, the symptoms only last temporarily. The affected region could have the appearance of freshly waxed or plucked skin. Some dermatologists choose to employ a topical anaesthetic to lessen the severity of the skin reaction their patients experience.

    After the initial reaction, usually within a few hours of therapy, irritation should subside. An ice pack or a chilly bath could help reduce swelling and redness.


    The affected area may develop a crust in some persons. This is a small problem, but it can still be annoying.

    Scabbing and scarring may follow a bout of crusting. It is possible to avoid long-term side effects from laser removal by properly caring for the treated region afterwards, such as by applying moisturiser.

    Discoloration of the skin

    Subtle changes in skin tone are possible after treatment. After getting rid of hair with a laser, the colour could shift somewhat in either direction.

    Darker pigmentation alterations may be more noticeable on people with lighter skin. It's possible that lighter pigmentation alterations occur more frequently in those with darker skin tones. Over time, the skin usually returns to normal and the symptoms subside.

    A harm to the eyes

    Lasers of a significant power level are used in the hair eradication process. This means that the practitioner runs the danger of serious eye injury whenever they are working on the face of a patient.

    Protective eyewear is recommended for both the patient and the doctor during the process to avoid any potential harm.

    Skin infection danger

    Similarly to other forms of hair removal, laser treatment poses a risk of infection since it damages hair follicles.

    While the injury is healing, the affected region should be cared for as if it were a wound. Skin infections should be reported to a dermatologist immediately.

    Finally, if an infection develops, they shouldn't treat huge areas of skin with OTC antibiotic creams.

    Rarely, it may cause a side effect.

    The following are examples of possible less frequent complications following laser hair removal:

    Weakened skin and burns

    If laser hair removal is not performed properly, it might cause burns and blisters. However, burns and blisters are uncommon when performed by a trained professional. The lasers used in hair removal generate a great deal of heat.

    Before using a laser on a patient, a doctor may apply a cooling device to the skin. This reduces the risk of the laser causing burns to the skin.


    As a general rule, laser hair removal does not leave any scars behind. However, scarring can develop if the doctor makes a mistake. Most competent medical professionals should not have any trouble with this.

    If patients don't take good care of the treated area thereafter, scarring can occur.

    To prevent further skin damage, they should treat the affected area as though it were sunburnt. This includes checking for indications of infection frequently, keeping it moist, and avoiding direct sunlight.

    Pregnancy and laser hair removal

    Pregnant women are not advised to get laser hair removal, according to experts. This is because there are currently no human trials establishing that laser hair removal is safe during pregnancy.

    There are physiological and hormonal shifts that occur during pregnancy. This often results in the growth of unsightly facial and body hair. Even though this hair growth is unattractive, it usually disappears after a while.

    After pregnancy, laser treatment may be an option if the hairs don't fall out on their own. A woman may be advised to wait a few weeks after giving birth to get therapy.

    Is it risk-free to get rid of hair using a laser?

    Generally speaking, laser hair removal is a safe and well-tolerated procedure. It appears that the technique does not pose any risks to the patient's health in the long run.

    Some people who have laser hair removal, however, may endure little discomfort. Before having the treatment done on a larger area of skin, people should ask their dermatologist to test how the treatment reacts to a small patch of skin.

    Those interested in laser hair removal should only go to a specialist.

    Is it uncomfortable to get rid of hair using a laser?

    A few days after receiving therapy, the affected area of skin may be red and painful. One common comparison is to a sunburn. However, the procedure itself is often quite painless.

    Typical Results

    Two to six sessions of laser hair removal are often necessary. The time between sessions varies from one facility to the next.

    The treatment may need to be repeated every four to eight weeks on places with rapid hair growth, such as the upper lip. Treatments on the back, which has very sluggish hair growth, may be spaced out to every 12-16 weeks.

    Special goggles will be used throughout each session to shield your eyes from the laser light. In the event that additional shaving is required, an assistance may do so.

    You may have a topical anaesthetic applied to your skin by the doctor to help with any pain you experience.

    How to Know When You Need Medical Attention

    If you've had negative responses to laser hair removal, you should talk to your doctor. Redness and swelling are normally manageable at home, but anyone noticing these symptoms should see a doctor or dermatologist immediately.

    Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the risk of long-term effects.

    Before undergoing laser hair removal, a woman wanting to conceive should consult with her doctor. In light of the fact that laser hair removal typically necessitates numerous sessions, which should be avoided during pregnancy, a physician can recommend alternative treatments.

    After laser hair removal, most people report feeling much better fast and experiencing few or no problems. Because of how quickly you'll feel better after treatment, you can even schedule a session during your lunch break and go back to work right away.


    In some cases, laser hair removal can permanently get rid of unsightly hair. Bumpy skin, nicks, and ingrown hairs result from alternatives to waxing, tweezing, and shaving. The results of electrolysis, for example, last significantly longer than those of any other similar method.

    Find a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who is qualified to perform laser hair removal and is board-certified in their profession. If a nurse practitioner or registered nurse is performing the procedure, a physician should be present and readily available to provide oversight.

    In most cases, the patient must pay for their own laser hair removal treatment. The hair is only plucked from the skin's surface, where it could cause burns, leaving the hair shaft intact below.

    People with darker skin tones can benefit more from and safely undergo laser hair removal. Between three and seven treatments, most people will experience permanent hair loss. Exposed to light, treated skin may temporarily change colour, but this effect normally fades quickly.

    It's important to be aware of the few possible adverse responses of laser hair removal. The skin may feel tingly or painful, and it may appear to have somewhat swollen.

    There's a chance the affected area will look like it's been recently waxed or plucked. Dermatologists may choose to apply a topical anaesthetic to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by a skin response. For best results, have a doctor treat the region as though it were sunburnt.

    Laser hair removal is safe and effective, but experts say it should not be done on pregnant women. This is due to the lack of available human trials demonstrating its safety during pregnancy.

    It is generally accepted that laser hair removal is a safe and well-tolerated procedure. However, laser hair removal may be relatively painless for some patients. In areas with rapid hair growth, like the upper lip, you may need to repeat the treatment every four to eight weeks.

    Content Summary

    • Many people find it tedious to have to remove unwanted hair every day.
    • The advent of laser hair removal technology over a decade ago not only eliminated these bothersome issues, but also provided a permanent solution to hair reduction.
    • There are a variety of permanent hair removal methods available, so it's important to weigh all of them carefully before making a decision.
    • Laser hair removal is a popular semi-permanent option because it damages the hair follicle, thereby reducing hair growth.
    • After a few sessions, you won't need to shave or wax again.
    • During and after therapy, the affected area of skin may be red and painful.
    • If you want to get rid of unwanted hair with laser therapy, you should visit a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon who is board-certified in their profession and has experience utilising lasers to remove hair from your skin type.
    • If a nurse practitioner or registered nurse is performing the procedure, a physician should be present and readily available to provide oversight.
    • The best way to find out if laser hair removal is right for you is to talk to your doctor.
    • In most cases, the patient must pay for their own laser hair removal treatment.
    • You can expect the doctor to perform the procedure by pressing a handheld laser device against your skin.
    • Some redness and swelling are common in the first few hours following laser hair removal.
    • Put some ice on it and that should help with the pain.
    • After laser hair removal, you should avoid direct sunlight and tanning beds for at least six weeks.
    • Preparation guidelines for laser hair removal Staying out of the sun Sun protection should be used before and after therapy as prescribed by your doctor.
    • For optimum results from laser hair removal, shaving and trimming should be done the day before treatment.
    • Negative reactions to laser hair removal are uncommon and usually disappear within a few days.
    • You'll save a lot of time that you would have spent on grooming activities like shaving and waxing.
    • Even if you can't see your hair growing, you can still get rid of it using a laser.
    • Shaving before your session will ensure that no surface hairs are scorched.
    • Laser hair removal, unlike waxing and other methods, can be done even on smooth skin because hair doesn't need to be long enough to be seen from the surface.
    • No tanning is allowed before or after treatment.
    • Before getting laser hair removal, you should avoid getting a tan.
    • When it comes to men, laser hair removal isn't a good idea anywhere that hair grows back inwards, such as the eyebrows, genitalia, or face.
    • It's important to be aware of the few possible adverse responses of laser hair removal.
    • Mild and transient negative effects are the norm.
    • Anyone experiencing prolonged skin irritation should consult a dermatologist.
    • It is the hair follicles themselves that are immediately affected by laser hair removal.
    • By taking good care of the treated area following laser removal, such as through the application of moisturiser, you can reduce or eliminate the likelihood of experiencing any long-term negative consequences.
    • Following therapy, subtle alterations in skin tone may occur.
    • However, because it destroys hair follicles, laser treatment carries the same risk of infection as other methods of hair removal.
    • The injured area needs to be treated like a wound while it heals.
    • Acne and other skin infections need to be treated quickly by a dermatologist.
    • Some less common side effects of laser hair removal include:
    • Burns and blisters are possible side effects of improper laser hair removal procedures.
    • A medical professional may first use a cooling device to prepare the skin for laser treatment.
    • Laser hair removal is safe and effective, but experts say it should not be done on pregnant women.
    • This is because there have been no studies with pregnant women that prove laser hair removal is safe.
    • As a rule, laser hair removal is a noninvasive and well-tolerated process.
    • Individuals considering laser hair removal should seek the care of a professional.
    • In most cases, two to six treatments with a laser hair remover are required to get rid of unwanted hair.
    • The doctor might choose to apply a local anaesthetic to your skin to ease any discomfort.
    • Consult your physician if you've experienced any unfavourable reactions after undergoing laser hair removal.
    • The potential for long-term consequences can be mitigated by prompt diagnosis and treatment.
    • It is recommended that a woman who is trying to conceive wait until after consulting her doctor before undergoing laser hair removal.


    While laser treatment doesn't get rid of hair forever (only electrolysis is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for permanent hair removal), it does drastically reduce hair growth—to the point that many patients won't see any for months or even years, and the hairs that do crop up are often thinner.
    Most people experience hair removal that lasts several months, and it might last for years. But laser hair removal doesn't guarantee permanent hair removal. When hair regrows, it's usually finer and lighter in color. You might need maintenance laser treatments for long-term hair reduction.
    Laser hair removal is not a one-and-done sort of deal. After you're finished receiving all of your sessions, laser hair removal will last for two to six years. However, maintenance sessions one to four times a year may be needed to keep the area hairless forever.
    When you're getting ready for your laser hair removal procedure, make sure you shave the night before or the morning of your treatment. The reason for this precaution is simple – you want to remove as much hair as possible so that it doesn't absorb most of the laser's energy.
    Most patients can have laser hair removal once every 4 to 6 weeks. Your dermatologist will tell you when it is safe to have another treatment. Most patients see some hair regrowth. Your dermatologist can tell you when you can safely have laser treatments to maintain the results.
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