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How do Laser Hair Removal Treatments Work?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Many people would love to eliminate the frequency of removing hair via shaving, tweezing or waxing, and now these people are turning to laser hair removal treatments. These treatments, which use pulsating high frequency beams of light to remove hair, can be quite expensive. Before most people begin laser hair removal treatments, they want to know if it will work.

According to medical research, laser hair removal treatments are anywhere from 40-80% effective. Effectiveness can be rated by increase of time between hair growth, elimination of hair growth for a year or two, or hair growth that is much lighter and softer than before. Most people need several laser hair removal treatments to see satisfying results. It generally isn’t worthwhile to get just one treatment, as this may not do much in reducing hair growth or destroying hair follicles.

There’s also significant evidence that laser hair removal treatments work best on certain types of people, and will be more effective with fewer treatments on these people. The best candidates for laser hair removal are people with light colored skin and relatively dark colored hair. People with darker skin may need a lot more treatments, and they do run the risk of changing the pigment of the skin in the treatment areas to a much lighter or darker color. This is usually temporary, but is an unwanted side effect.

Laser hair removal treatments may also be affected by the skill of the person removing the hair. People considering these treatments should be wary of practitioners without medical licenses, or who are offering services at highly discounted rates. You should plan to work with a board-certified dermatologist, plan to pay the going rate for these services, and investigate the references and background of the doctor before starting. Unfortunately, the growing popularity of cosmetic surgery treatments has led to many people being duped out of their money when they used “backroom” doctors or non-medical personnel who really aren’t skilled in this work. These are not only ineffective ways to get your hair removed, but they can also be dangerous.

If you look at the lower figure of 40% effectiveness for laser hair removal treatments, you can see that less than half of the people using them may find them successful. The upper figure of 80% presents a more hopeful possibility that this procedure will work. The range between these two figures is very large, and it’s best to work with doctors who can prove that their success rate is in the much higher range before making a decision on whether laser hair removal is right for you.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

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Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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