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Is Laser Hair Reduction A Safe Treatment? Know What A Dermatologist Has To Say

Laser hair reduction has been found to be an effective treatment for permanent hair removal. But is the hair removal really permanent? And are there any side effects associated with the treament? Dermatologist Dr Nivedita Dadu explains it all.

Is Laser Hair Reduction A Safe Treatment? Know What A Dermatologist Has To Say

Laser hair reduction may cause mild side effects like burning sensation and redness


  1. Hair removal from laser hair reduction is not necessarily permanent
  2. It reduces the hair growth significantly
  3. It thins down thick hair

Laser treatment is known to be effective in reducing the density of hair and gives you a smoother skin texture. It can help in reduce unwanted hair from any part of your body and can help provide long-term hair reduction benefits. One can see a difference in hair growth within two to three weeks, sometimes more, of the first session of laser treatment.

How laser hair reduction works

In laser hair reduction, the laser device emits pulses of light energy that penetrates in the skin and destroys hair follicles. The device's hand piece cools the surrounding skin. Since the hair follicles are targeted in the growth phase of the hair growth cycle, hair that is in the other stages will not be affected by laser. The sessions need to be repeated within a few weeks for up to 8 sessions on an average, though the length of the hair cycle varies depending on the body part. Face usually requires more frequent treatments whereas legs and back need less frequent treatments.

Also read: Hair Health: Here's How Vitamin C Can Help Boost Hair Growth

Laser hair reduction: Is hair removal permanent?

Laser hair reduction works by heating the hair follicles to stop growing new hairs. Laser hair reduction reduces the number of unwanted hair in a given area. It doesn't get rid of unwanted hair entirely. After laser hair reduction, some hair in the targeted area will grow back. Hair growth depends on numerous factors such as the thickness of hair. When hair regrows, it is lighter and less noticeable than it was before. Every single hair follicle cannot be destroyed and hence most people will experience hair growth even after a few sessions.

Benefits of Laser Hair Reduction

The main benefits of laser treatment are its precision. Lasers target dark, coarse hairs while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed. Each pulse of the laser focuses on a particular area, thereby treating many hairs at once. Lasers can treat an area approximately the size of a quarter every second. Small areas of skin such as the upper lip can be treated in much less time. While comparatively, the larger areas need longer time. It helps in reducing the complications of waxing like ingrown hair.


Laser hair reduction can help in getting rid of dark and course hair
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Simple And Effective Home Remedies For Ingrown Hair

Are there any side effects?

There are mild and temporary side effects associated with laser hair reduction. These include mild discomfort, reddening, bumps or mild swelling. Most of the side effects are mild and typically resolve within a week. For this reason, many skin experts apply a numbing cream to the area they are treating. Some other minor side effects of the treatment include changes in the color of the skin, particularly in people with dark skin, blistering or crusting of the skin. Note that these side effects are temporary.

How to prepare for the treatment before and after

Before the treatment

  • Do not thread, pluck or wax the area to be treated for at least two-three weeks before the treatment.
  • Stop using all active acne, anti-ageing and pigmentation products two days before your treatment.
  • Avoid going out and exposure to UV rays.

After the session

  • Apply calamine lotion or aloe vera gel on the treated area to soothe the skin.
  • After treatment, a person should avoid sun exposure. The sun can irritate the skin, which increases the risk of blisters and scars. For this, use sunscreen every three-four hours.
  • Start using creams and serums after 48 hours of the session.
  • Apply a mild exfoliant like AHA/BHA lotion after two three days

Also read: Should You Use A Moisturiser If You Have Oily Or Acne-Prone Skin?

(Dr. Nivedita Dadu is Dermatologist at Dr. Nivedita Dadu's Dermatology Clinic)

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