Top Laser Hair Removal Questions

Regular waxing, shaving and tweezing can be both time consuming and painful. Fortunately, advances in laser technology have made traditional hair removal woes a thing of the past. Laser hair removal has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S.

If you’re considering laser hair removal, or any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to do some research in advance. Below is a list of the top laser hair removal questions.

How does laser hair removal work?

During your laser hair removal treatment session, your laser specialist will deliver concentrated beams of bright light to your skin. The light will penetrate through the surface of your skin and be absorbed by the pigment in your hair follicles (growing hair). This process ultimately causes damage to your hair follicles.

In the weeks following your laser hair removal, the treated hairs will begin to fall out. Because your hair grows in cycles, some of your follicles will be dormant at any given time. More than one treatment session will be needed to target the dormant hairs when they re-enter the growth cycle.

Are the results of laser hair removal permanent?

The results will be long-lasting, but probably not permanent. Your hair will gradually begin to grow back in the weeks or months following treatment. The new hair generally grows back thinner and lighter in color than your normal hair would.

The duration of results varies greatly from patient-to-patient and it’s impossible to determine in advance who will respond best long-term. Some patients will see results that last for several years, while other patients will require regular maintenance sessions to ensure consistent results.

Are there any risks associated with laser hair removal?

As with any cosmetic procedure, there are some risks associated with laser hair removal. Following treatment, it’s common to experience some redness (erythema) and swelling (perifollicular edema) near the treated hair follicles. These temporary side-effects can easily be controlled with over-the-counter medications.

Although uncommon, there is also the risk of blisters or burns which can lead to hyperpigmentation (skin lightening) or hypopigmentation (skin darkening). There is also the rare risk of permanent scarring.

If you have additional laser hair removal questions, contact UNC Health Care in Raleigh-Durham.