How Does Laser Hair Removal Work Exactly?

Posted by Beyond Skin Aesthetics on

Over 1.1 million Americans undergo a laser hair removal procedure every year, spending over $16 billion. It uses concentrated beams of light to prevent unwanted growth.

Laser hair removal is a safe and painless procedure that will save you the time and money you would have otherwise spent shaving or waxing. These benefits have created plenty of devoted fans who receive it again and again.

If you're not one of these devotees, you may have questions such as how does laser hair removal work and how much does it cost? Read our guide to learn the answers to all your questions and more.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser is an acronym that stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Strong beams of light that can be used to cut, burn, or destroy body tissue.

Laser hair removal therapy is similar to other therapies such as laser eye surgery or teeth whitening.

The difference is what it focuses on and how it does its job. It seeks out pigments in your skin and uses the light from a laser to kill the root of a hair follicle until it dies and the hair falls out.

Lasers are easy to point at a specific area, meaning that you can use them to remove hair on almost any part of your body. The most common treatment areas for laser hair removal include:

  • Legs
  • Armpits
  • Upper lips
  • Chin
  • Bikini area

The process works best for patients with contrasting pigments in their skin and hair. It's less effective with hair colors such as gray, red, or blond that don't absorb light well.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal is a safe, painless, and quick procedure, but it still requires a bit of research before jumping into it. You need to know what to expect before, during, and after it.

Before the Procedure

Start by visiting a technician so they can determine what type of laser they'll need to use. Their decision is based on a measure of skin tone and ethnicity known as the Fitzpatrick scale.

One of the most important parts of preparing for laser hair removal surgery is to make sure that you don't do anything that could change the levels of pigment in your skin such as tanning.

If your pigment levels are off, the laser won't be able to find the roots of your hairs. This could lead to ineffective results and creates the risk of skin damage.

For the same reasons, you should also avoid any procedures that affect your follicle roots such as waxing, tweezing, or heading. Wait to shave the area you want to be treated 1-2 days before your appointment.

During the Procedure

Find the right technician and set up a time to begin a session. They may perform a test burn to see how your skin reacts to the laser.

The full laser hair removal process will require multiple sessions, each lasting about 20 minutes.

After the Procedure

Patients report a 90% permanent reduction in hair growth after a laser hair removal procedure. You should notice a change after 2 sessions and full results after 12 weeks.

Laser hair removal is safer than it has ever been, but there are a few risks to be aware of. Side effects are minimal but can include:

  • Pinkness
  • Swelling
  • Bumps
  • Blisters
  • Scabbing
  • Hyper or hypopigmentation

The best way to prevent these effects is to follow the instructions of your technician. You may need to use a cold gauze or apply medication such as cooling serums or hydrocortisone 1% cream.

You should also continue to avoid the sun for a few more days after the procedure to prevent damage to your skin.

What Are the Benefits of Laser Hair Removal?

87% of patients would undergo laser hair removal again. They realize how its pros outweigh its cons and the advantages it has over all other forms of hair removal.

The benefits of laser hair removal include painlessness, fewer ingrown hairs, financial and time savings, and improved personal image.


11% of patients experienced no pain during their sessions, and 84% reported only mild-to-moderate pain. It's one of the fastest and most painless ways to remove hair.

Reduction of Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs occur when hairs curl back into the skin instead of growing out. They can occur on almost any part of the body for several reasons, including improper removal, clogged follicles, and friction.

These growths are usually a mere nuisance, but they can become painful and infected. Laser hair removal keeps them from growing large enough to impact your skin and stops them from coming back.

Financial and Time Savings

Shaving takes at least 2 hours, but laser hair removal can give you that time back. It's also financially smart; compare the lifetime cost of $3,000 to laser hair removal to over $10,000 for shaving and $23,000 for waxing.

Improved Personal Image

There's also plenty to be said for the psychological benefits of laser hair removal. It makes you feel comfortable and attractive no matter where you are or what you're wearing.

All of these benefits are long-lasting and show up quickly. You'll see results in 6-12 months, and your need to shave or remove hair will reduce over time as your follicles die.

How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost

The average cost of a laser hair removal session depends on factors such as the provider and where the hair is being removed from.

Beyond Skin Aesthetics is a trusted aesthetic office offering a range of cosmetic procedures. Check out our laser hair removal prices to get an idea of what we charge.

Where Can I Get Laser Hair Removal?

Answering a question like "how does laser hair removal work" is more important than you may realize. Realizing how to use it saves you money and time, makes you feel more confident, and reduces ingrown hairs.

These benefits explain why the procedure is becoming more common. It's nearly painless and safe for all skin tones.

Contact Beyond Skin Aesthetics today to begin the laser hair removal process.

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