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How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Posted by Ann V. On 2017 Oct 4th

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

It’s summer time and often you have to shave or wax (your arms and legs) to wear your favorite dresses. The problem with both shaving and waxing is that the results are not permanent. After every two-three weeks, you need to follow the treatment to get rid of unwanted hair. To solve the problem in a better way, laser hair removal treatment is gaining popularity with each passing day.

If you’re concerned how it works, and if there are any side effects of this treatment? Here, we’re going to try to explain the ins and outs of the hair removal technique.

How does it work?

For laser hair removal, a highly concentrated beam of light is aimed at hair follicles. The light is absorbed by the pigment in the follicles to inhibit future hair growth. Unlike ordinary light, which is made up of different wavelengths, a laser beam contains only one wavelength. These wavelengths travel in unison in the same direction, creating a very narrow beam of light that can be focused on a tiny spot, thus the result is very concentrated and powerful.

Depending on your pain tolerance, lasers can feel like a gentle pinch or a snap of rubber band. Laser doesn’t remove hair permanently in just the first sitting. You need to follow a series of sessions to get rid of hair permanently.


Lasers can remove hair for anywhere (from arms and underarms to bikini line) within a period of several months. Most patients reach permanent hair removal after an average of three to seven sessions. Lasers can selectively target dark, coarse hair while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged, unlike shaving and waxing techniques that have a marring effect on the skin.

How long does it take to remove hair?

Lasers take a fraction of a second to remove many hair follicles at the same time. The laser can treat an area approximately the size of a quarter every second. Small areas such as the upper lip can be treated in less than a minute, whereas larger areas, such as the back or legs, may take up to an hour, in every sitting.

Tips to prepare yourself for laser hair removal

It is a medical procedure, which requires training to perform, and carries potential risks. So, it is important that before getting laser hair removal, you should follow the instructions of your doctor or technician performing the procedure.

Given below are some essential tips that you need to follow when preparing yourself for laser hair removal.

  • You should limit plucking, waxing, and electrolysis six weeks before treatment. This is because the laser targets the hair roots, which can be temporarily removed by waxing or plucking.
  • You should avoid sun exposure to the area to be treated about six weeks before and after the treatment. Sun exposure makes laser hair removal less effective and may increase chances of complications after the treatment.
  • Avoid using lotions or creams containing Renova, Retin-A and AHAs - as they can make skin fragile and sensitive.
  • Use numbing creams before the procedure to minimise pain.