A laser hair removal technician is a professional who is trained and certified to remove unwanted body hair with a laser. These technicians might work in a doctor's office, skin care clinic, or medical spa. Some technicians are also trained to work with lasers for other types of skin care, such as age spot removal, tattoo removal, or vein reduction.
The process of laser hair removal uses pulses of laser light against the skin. It is a permanent or semi-permanent method of getting rid of unwanted hair on the face and body. The hair follicle under the skin absorbs the light and is destroyed. In most cases, several treatments are required to remove all or most of the unwanted hair, but any hair that returns is generally thinner and sparser. Although this method of hair removal is expensive, it is popular because it is relatively painless compared to other methods such as electrolysis and waxing.
A laser hair removal technician must know how to adjust the laser for different types of hair and different skin and hair colors. Laser hair removal tends to work best only on people with light skin and dark hair because the light is attracted only to dark skin and hair pigments, so people with dark skin can get burned by a light that is too intense. Additionally, coarse hair takes longer to remove than thin or sparse hair.
Before undergoing a hair removal treatment, patients should be advised about after-care and possible risks. For example, sun exposure following laser treatment could cause dark spots or blisters to appear on the skin. The laser hair removal technician should be aware of any medical conditions a patient has, or medications the patient is using that might cause the laser to have adverse effects.
Most US states require technicians to complete a state-approved training program that culminates in a licensed certificate before they can practice. A good laser hair removal technician training program has at least one full-time physician on staff, and combines hands-on practice and classroom hours. Technicians should also learn how to use different types of equipment such as intense pulsed light lasers, neodymium lasers, and diode lasers. Some US states such as California require a laser hair removal technician to be a registered nurse while other states only allow medical doctors to perform the procedure. In some states, no medical background is required and the technician only needs a high school diploma or equivalency.