Laser Hair Removal
When you’re looking for a dermatologist to help you with laser hair removal, it can be challenging to know where to start. Solv helps simplify your search process with a convenient, hassle-free tool that connects you with top-rated local providers so you can book online appointments instantly.
Here’s everything you need to know about laser hair removal, including how to find treatments near you.
All about laser hair removal
According to the NIH, laser hair removal uses the power of lasers to damage hair follicles. This can cause hair to stop growing in a specific area, and the effects can last for months to years. Laser hair removal is most likely effective for people with light skin and dark hair, as this combination makes it easiest for lasers to selectively target hair follicles.
Preparing for laser hair removal is essential. The NIH recommends, inn the 4 to 6 weeks leading up to the procedure, it’s vital to wear sunscreen. This can reduce the possibility of sunburns or suntans, limiting the contrast between the color of your skin and hair. It’s also important to avoid plucking or waxing for weeks before the procedure because these can temporarily remove the parts of the hair that the laser targets. The day before, you’ll need to shave or trim the area to be treated. This can reduce discomfort during the procedure and make it easier for the laser to reach the hair follicle.
During a laser hair removal procedure, your dermatologist will first clean the treatment area and may apply a numbing medicine. You will also be given protective eyewear before a handheld light beam is used to treat your skin. You may feel momentary discomfort as the light is absorbed. The procedure may take a few minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the treatment area, notes the NIH.
After the procedure, your skin may appear sunburnt, with redness or swelling. Cold compresses and anti-inflammatory medications can help with these symptoms. It’s important to avoid sunlight while your skin is healing and wear sunscreen. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s also possible to have side effects such as blisters, color changes of the skin, scars, or herpes outbreaks, though these are uncommon. You may require a handful of treatments at first, spaced over several weeks, to capture all of the hair in a given area.
Laser hair removal has many benefits. It is very safe, precise, fast, and predictable, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Compared to waxing, plucking, or shaving, it offers longer-term hair removal. Compared to other longer-term hair removal procedures, it requires fewer treatments and is less painful.
The cost of laser hair removal varies, but the American Society of Plastic Surgeons notes that the average out-of-pocket cost in a recent year was $389.
Find Laser Hair Removal near you
Laser Hair Removal FAQs
How much is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal costs vary depending on the area being treated and who performs the treatment. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of laser hair removal based on 2020 statistics was $389. Because laser hair removal is considered a cosmetic procedure, it is generally not covered by an insurance plan. This means you will likely need to pay “out of pocket” for laser hair removal.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
Laser hair removal is typically not permanent—however, experts at the NIH note that it can result in “long-term hair reduction.” Often, the hair that grows back after a laser hair removal procedure is thinner, less coarse, and lighter. Because laser hair removal is not entirely permanent, an initial session is usually recommended, followed by periodic follow-up sessions.
Is laser hair removal safe?
Yes, laser hair removal is a safe procedure according to the NIH. Like any medical procedure, it does carry with it the risk of side effects. Most commonly, these are skin redness and slight discomfort, which go away automatically. Other potential side effects include blisters, skin color changes, scarring, or herpes outbreaks. However, according to WebMD, these are rare.
What to do before laser hair removal?
Before laser hair removal, you will want to follow your dermatologist’s specific instructions. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these will likely include avoiding plucking, shaving, or waxing for several weeks before the procedure. You will also be instructed to avoid sun exposure for several weeks before the procedure and to also avoid using tanning products. One day before the treatment, your dermatologist will likely tell you to shave or trim the area getting treated.
What is Brazilian laser hair removal?
According to the NIH, brazilian laser hair removal is a technique that describes the removal of hair from a particular area of the body—the pubic area and the area around the anus. It tends to leave people completely “bare” in the area that is typically covered by underwear. Brazilian laser hair removal is often contrasted with bikini laser hair removal, which leaves a bit more hair behind. A bikini laser hair removal procedure tends to remove hair just below the traditional “underwear line,” so that no hair can be visible when wearing a bikini or swimsuit.
What is the difference between electrolysis and laser hair removal?
Electrolysis and laser hair removal use different methods to remove hair. In electrolysis, a thin wire is used to damage hair follicles with electrical current. This is usually accomplished throughout multiple sessions and can be more painful and tedious than laser hair removal. However, according to a recent literature review conducted by [ ] of hair removal practices, electrolysis usually leads to permanent hair removal, whereas laser hair removal is not usually permanent.
Why does laser hair removal hurt?
Laser hair removal hurts because of the mechanism, notes the NIH. During the procedure, a laser beam passes through the top surface of your skin to reach the hair follicles. The goal of laser hair removal is to damage these follicles, so that hair cannot grow anymore. This can be slightly painful, with a pinprick or snapping sensation. If you have hair in the area being treated, you may also smell the hair burning. Most providers offer numbing cream or injections to lessen the discomfort.
Where can I get laser hair removal near me?
If you’re interested in getting hair removal with a laser hair removal procedure, you may have questions about how to find a dermatologist who can help. A board-certified dermatologist can ensure that the procedure is as safe and effective as possible while minimizing pain. When you are looking for top-rated providers in your local area, use the Solv care locator tool to connect instantly with the service you desire.
Solv has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
- Laser Hair Removal. (Aug. 26, 2021).
- Hair Removal Practices: A Literature Review. (Sept. 2021).
- Laser Hair Removal. (2022).
- Laser Hair Removal. (Sept. 01, 2021).
- Laser Hair Removal. (July 26, 2021).
In Good Health
Tips, advice, news—your resource to stay healthy and safe while improving your experience with healthcare providers when you need them.
Visualizing convenient care: Solv’s new illustrations
At Solv Health, we believe everyone deserves to be free from the stress of everyday healthcare. That’s why it’s...Read more
XBB.1.5: A new Covid variant spreads across the US. What do you...
The holidays may have ended, but COVID continues to loom large. As you navigate the new year, the last thing you...Read more
COVID habits worth keeping, and those you can leave behind
COVID made us rethink our daily routines to keep from getting sick and to protect others from the virus. But...Read more
Flu season 2022 may be bad, experts warn. Are you prepared?
Why the 2022 flu season may be worse The flu was almost non-existent during the last few years. It’s not so...Read more
New Omicron Bivalent COVID-19 Booster: What is it? When should you...
On August 31st, 2022, the US FDA authorized new single-dose booster shots for COVID-19, targeting the Omicron...Read more