Hair Removal Articles

The Top 5 Risks of laser hair removal you need to know about before you decide on treatment

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?

How does Laser Hair Removal work?

What can I expect after a laser hair removal treatment?

What you need to know about laser treatment vs the other options

Is laser hair removal permanent?

The top Pro's and Con's of laser hair removal you need to know about

Will you need to take out a 2nd mortgage to afford laser hair removal?

Questions you need to ask the facility where you will have laser hair removal done

Send us your story about your laser hair removal experience. Email us at:

Laser Hair Removal Story

  Home > How does laser hair removal work?

How does laser hair removal work?

 Laser hair removal is a long-lasting way to remove unwanted hair. Approved by the FDA, the process works by sending a beam of laser light directly to the target area. This light is designed to disable or destroy the hair follicle, causing the existing hair to fall out while preventing new hair from growing back.

3 things you need to know to make sure laser hair removal will work:

  1. The first is that the laser must have a clear target to aim for. Lasers are designed to go after the darker matter while leaving the lighter areas alone so to target the laser, dermatologists rely on our melanin – the naturally-occurring chromosphore that gives our hair and skin its color. The more melanin you have, the darker your hair or skin will be.
  2. Another important aspect of this process is the hair itself. Laser hair removal only works on hair in its “active growth phase”, known as anagen. Luckily, this phase lasts for quite some time and the majority of our hair is in the anagen phase at any given time. The downside is that hair that is not in this phase will not be affected by the laser treatments.
  3. In addition to the laser itself, certain skin types and hair colors are more compatible than others. Traditional laser hair removal works best on light-skinned patients with dark hair because the contrast between the two makes it easier to accurately target the laser.

Patients who don’t fit into this profile can still sometimes pursue laser hair removal – it will just need to be done with a different type of laser. Because laser hair removal can sometimes irritate the surrounding skin, many dermatologists also use a cooling agent to minimize skin irritation and other side effects. There are currently four types of cooling agents available:

  • Cryogen spray
  • Forced air cooling
  • Circulating water
  • Chilled gels

The lasers used for hair removal will only penetrate the skin two millimeters deep. In contrast, the hair shaft structure (dermal papilla) rests much deeper, up to 8 millimeters for coarse hair, making it difficult for the laser to reach its target.

With so many variables, it is typically necessary to repeat the laser hair removal several times before seeing any real results. In general, a minimum of three to five sessions are required before the patient will notice any substantial difference.

Certain areas of the body are more difficult than others as are certain skin types and hair colors as mentioned above. These factors can increase the number of required sessions. Unfortunately, too many sessions too close together can damage the skin so it’s necessary to space them out. Depending upon the area being treated, skin type and other factors, treatments are typically spaced anywhere between one to three months apart.

Please continue to look for our new articles on laser hair removal.


Learn about a good alternative to Laser Hair Removal

Find a Laser Hair Removal Clinic in New York:
permanent hair removal nyc
© 2005-2009 Hair Removal NYC