How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal may offer a more permanent solution than many other types of hair removal, but how long the effects last varies by individual and by the type of treatment. Here’s what you need to know about how long laser hair removal lasts.

What Happens After Laser Hair Removal?

After the procedure is done at your dermatologist, you may notice swelling and redness for several hours. It can help to apply ice to the area that has been treated. 

For people who immediately have a skin reaction after laser hair removal, your dermatologist might apply steroid cream to reduce the reaction. It is important to avoid tanning for about six weeks or so after you have had laser hair removal. Be sure to always use a broad spectrum SPF sunscreen on the area that has had hair removal if you will be going into the sun.

The hair doesn’t fall out right away. Instead, you will gradually shed hair over the next several days or weeks. At the same time, more hair will continue to grow in. This is because laser treatments are most effective when hair follicles are just beginning to grow. Hair that is not in the ideal target state may continue to grow after removal.

How Long Does Hair Removal Last?

The results of laser hair removal are highly variable. Some people may see very little effect at all, while others may be hair-free for years. Most people end up somewhere in the middle, with a substantial reduction in hair but needing repeated treatments to sustain hair loss over time.

After multiple treatments, many people will see months go by without hair growing back. When hair does come back, it tends to be finer and lighter. This may make it less susceptible to laser treatment in the future, but may also make it unnoticeable enough that you will decide you don’t mind having the hair grow there as much as you used to. 

How Many Treatments Does it Take?

In the early days of laser hair removal, it might have taken a dozen trips to the dermatologist to do the job thoroughly. However, laser hair removal has advanced. As many as half of patients are now done after only four treatments or so. 

Most patients don’t need more than eight treatments to see great results. For the results to be as effective as possible, treatment should be done each month until the desired result is achieved.

Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

For some people, a thorough laser hair removal treatment will have permanent results. If hair does grow back at all, it’ll be so much finer and lighter as to be almost unnoticeable. 

Some people don’t have any hair grow back at all for a very long time. Hormonal changes may cause hair growth to change. Pregnancy or menopause may cause hair to grow even though you have had hair removal and not had any hair grow back for a long time.

Does Laser Hair Removal Work for Everybody?

In the early days, laser hair removal wasn’t affective on skin that had more melanin in it, or darker skin tones. It is still less effective on people who have the same color hair and skin. However, advancements have made laser hair removal effective even for very dark-skinned people.

Because laser therapy works on the melanin in the hair, it is not effective on very light hair. In many years of studies trying to treat gray hair, blonde hair, and white hair, there have not been real good results. Therefore, anyone with very light hair will not be able to reap the benefits of laser hair removal.

Is At-Home Laser Hair Removal an Option?

If the idea of having to go to a dermatologist and sit through multiple treatments that can be painful is not appealing to you, you may wonder whether you can get some of the same effects at home. In fact, there are extremely high-quality options for laser hair removals. At home treatments can get you similar results, although they may take more treatments than going to a center. They are generally much more affordable than other options. 

Home laser hair removal is milder, and high-quality lasers may also have beneficial effects on reducing wrinkles, increasing collagen, and improving the appearance of acne blemishes. Home lasers have the same limitations in regards to hair and skin color as professional lasers.

Give Permanent Hair Removal a Try

If you are sick of dealing with removing your hair over and over again, laser hair removal might be the solution for you. The intense pulsed light offered by at home laser hair removal is great at removing many types of hair for many people, and it may also be able to give you an improved skin tone overall.