How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal is a beauty solution that destroys your hair from the roots permanently or for a longer period of time and saves lot of time, efforts and pain.

In waxing, the hair is ripped off the skin but the hair grows back. However, in laser treatment the hair follicles are damaged and the growth cycle is interrupted. It is one of the most commonly used techniques in U.S and has started making waves across the globe as an effective hair removal solution.

Laser technique is preferred for face, leg, arm, underarms, bikini line and other areas. The treatment time depends upon the area of the skin taken. It is a medical procedure which requires trained and highly-skilled professionals for the best outcome. So, if you plan to get lasered, here is all what you need to know to make it worth that time, pain and cost.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

The procedure straight away targets the pigment in the hair follicles with a concentrated beam of light. When the roots situated at inner layers of the skin heats up, the pigment named melanin absorbs all the heat which eventually damages the sacs (hair follicles) and hair bulbs within the skin that produces hair. 

The destruction reduces future hair growth or stops the hair-growth completely. This results in silky smooth skin and a fresh feel. The cool gel like ointment is applied onto the skin before starting the treatment to protect outer layers (epidermis) from being damaged by heat.

It is said that the best combination for this procedure is dark coloured hair and light skin. The reason being that the dark skin which is said to have greater melanin/pigment might get burns due to heating up of pigments. And also, if one has lighter hair, the laser won’t be as effective as it in case of darker hair.

Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

These are the few good points to know if you are planning laser hair removal.

  • Highly effective procedure- All energy goes into damaging hair follicle
  • Provides relief from shaving and waxing
  • Can be done at the comfort of home
  • Quick and Time-saving
  • Permanent removal of hair
  • Shaving is allowed between the sessions
  • Cheaper in the long-run
  • You can get laser removal on all parts of body
  • Less painful as compared to tweezing and waxing
  • Leaves your skin glowing and beautiful

How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal? 

While considering the high-tech treatment, you need to make sure it is accurate for your skin type. Here is how you need to get prepared.

  • Avoid sun exposure a few weeks before and after the method- UV-rays makes the treatment less effective.
  • Shave your hair just a day before appointment so that the energy reaches to the base and not to the extra length of hair
  • Consult your skin specialist before indulging
  • Go for reputed and well-known salons only
  • No plucking and waxing between the treatments because it uproots hair on temporary basis. While laser hair removal is something that target the roots. So, for the procedure to be effective it is required to have normal hair growth.
  • Laser with longer wavelengths are recommended. Long pulsed Nd Yag laser is used for dark skin.

Laser Hair Removal Vs IPL

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is similar to laser in terms of destructing the hair growth cycle. But based on the wavelength of light used and the ability of destruction, both procedures are slightly different from each other. Unlike concentrated beam, a broad spectrum of high-intensity light is used to kill the hair in IPL method. The light is emitted from the device at multiple wavelengths unlike a single focussed beam of laser treatment.

Laser hair removal.

IPL is also said to be cheaper as compared to laser technique. Also, IPL works best for those who have dark and thick hair because dark and thicker hair absorbs the light better and hence the outcome is better. But at the same time it is not safe for dark skin tone because heating of pigments means greater risks of skin burn.

No wonder IPL is highly effective but just because there is a shallow penetration it may require greater number of treatment sessions. The key difference lies in the technology used to generate light. Laser goes deeper into the skin with a single beam of light and produces fast results.

Laser Hair Removal Side Effects

Laser hair removal technology is tried and tested for over years (approx 20 years as per studies) before being commercialized. Naturally, there is a peace of mind associated with the therapy. Also, the technique is FDA approved and a safe procedure but potential consequences should never be ruled out.

While there is absolute relief from hair emerging back, the technique comes at its own risks. For majority of people there are no health risks or side risks associated. But a few may experience different types of issues. Also, it is different with each skin type, tone and adaptability.

  • Hyper and Hypo pigmentation: While the former darkens the skin, the latter lighters the skin tone. So, the procedure tampers with your original skin tone. Hypo is more common and happens to people with dusky complexion.
  • Burns and irritation
  • Redness or skin being tender.
  • Cancer is also associated with this technique
  • Skin irritation
  • Skin crusting on treated area

In most of the cases, symptoms are short-lived and don’t pose any health risks as such. It is advisable to see your dermatologist before and after the treatment.

How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?

The cost of laser hair removal is determined by the area of skin that has to be treated. It can be as low as $72 for your upper lips. In case of removal of facial hair, it may cost somewhere around $290 to $506 for each session. 

Also, if you opt 2 to 3 parts of body together, price automatically comes down. There are chances to end up in lakhs if you want a complete laser hair removal for face or arms etc. But in the long-run you will find the technique economical and feasible.

Needless to say, that the laser hair removal technique is costlier as compared to waxing and shaving but considering the wonderful results, you will find it totally worth and effective. Also with time, laser hair removal is getting cheaper in many countries.

At Home Laser Hair Removal

Having that salon-thing at home sounds interesting. Isn’t it? But for beginners, it can be equally hazardous. Choosing a quality-device before indulging is a must. Remember, it’s not an office laptop or just another gadget that you are handling. There are hundreds of things that you must be acquainted with before going about it by yourself. To get an idea, have a look at the best devices for laser hair removal at home


Why Laser Hair Removal is required?

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure required to get rid of unwanted hair growth. It is an effective and time-saving alternative to shaving, waxing and plucking. Long-term hair reduction is the key advantage of the method.

What to expect during a Laser Hair Removal?

The area of the treatment is cleaned by the beautician/aesthetician. Cool gel is applied to protect the skin from the powerful laser beam. You may be asked to wear protective eyeglasses too. Due to heating of the hair roots during the process, you may expect slight burning sensation on your skin.

How many sessions will be needed?

The sessions are determined by the type of skin, hair and hair growth. Usually there are multiple sessions (anything between 5 to 10 sittings and spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart). Upper lips and underarms takes less time compared to other body parts. In all, you have to commit yourself to several sessions for laser hair removal.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

The treatment is not completely permanent. But the laser hair removal definitely lasts for long and in few cases the hair growth becomes considerably slow due to damaged hair follicles.

What are the recovery & risks?

There may be tentative changes in the colour of your skin or even hair. You may need cool compresses or heavy moisturizing post the treatment to avoid scarring and redness. Blisters and rashes may appear in case of dark complexion.

How long does laser hair removal last?

The outcome of the treatment varies from person to person. Other factors are skin texture, colour and hair colour. Also, the type of laser used may determine the re-growth of the hair. Generally it is after 8 to 10 months that hair starts growing back.

Is laser hair removal safe?

There are no health risks associated with this treatment. There may be minor side effects after the procedure like blisters and swelling but it is a safe procedure in the long-run. However, it is always advised to consult your doctor or dermatologist.


Well, the technique that looks and sounds complicated is actually wonderful and can make you feel on seventh heaven. But we suggest, don’t rush into this life-changing procedure and before getting on-board make sure you consult your beautician. Even-though it is risk-free, asking experts go a long way in making it a success.