What Is Laser Hair Removal And How Does It Work?

Tweezing, waxing, shaving, threading – all these hair removal methods are not only time-consuming, but also they are not a permanent solution. So what is the best alternative to get rid of this cumbersome on-going activity? A laser hair removal procedure is the answer to this question. With the technological advancements in the cosmetology industry, laser hair removal is by far the best and the most popular treatments.

So, what’s laser hair removal, is laser hair removal safe, what are the laser hair removal pros and cons, is laser hair removal painful – all of these questions might be troubling you. Read on to find out the answers to all these and to know more about laser hair removal.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that helps in permanently getting rid of unwanted hair. This treatment makes use of laser light which directly targets your hair follicles, thereby ensuring that there is no regrowth of hair in the treated area. Because of the successful laser hair removal results as well as the various laser hair removal benefits, this procedure has become one of the most sought-after procedures, both by men and women.

The History Of Laser Hair Removal Treatment

The history of laser hair removal treatment started with Theodore H Maiman, who invented the very first laser on July 7, 1960. Though the Ruby laser invented by him was able to target the hair follicles and reduce the growth of hair, it wasn’t very efficient as it also ended up damaging the skin with burns.

Over the years, after tons of experiments, Rox Anderson, an MIT graduate discovered that laser beams could be used to target a specific molecule (chromophore) which is present in the hair follicle. This method was first tried out in 1996, and in 1997, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its approval to this new hair removal technique. With the advancement in technology, the laser hair removal technique was further developed to make it efficient and safe for use.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

The laser hair removal treatment works on the primary principle of selective photothermolysis (SPTL). What it means is that a specific duration of pulse and wavelength of light are matched, which is then focused on the targeted area so that there is maximum effect without the damage to any nearby tissues.

Another basic principle that is used in a laser hair removal process is the fact that light objects usually reflect light whereas dark objects usually absorb the light. So when the laser is used on a targeted area, it selectively heats up melanin, which is a dark pigment present in our skin. This ensures that the laser affects only the basal stem cells of the hair follicles and not any of the surrounding body areas.

how does laser hair removal work


It is to be noted that only certain hair colors can be removed by the laser hair removal process and there is scientific reasoning behind it as well. Melanin is the main component present in our skin which gives us our skin and hair color, and it consists of two different types. A brown or black colored hair is the result of the presence of eumelanin, while red or blonde color hair is due to the presence of pheomelanin. Since the photons of the laser light can be absorbed by only dark objects, hair colors such as black, brown, dirty blonde or reddish-brown can be easily removed through the laser hair removal procedure. Light or strawberry blond hair or white hair is not ideal for this hair removal procedure.

Also Read: How To Find Best Laser Hair Removal Clinic

Benefits Of Laser Hair Removal

  • The first and foremost benefit is definitely the fact that this is a permanent solution. All you need is a couple of sessions to say goodbye to unwanted hair forever.
  • The time taken to complete this treatment is another plus point. A small area such as the upper lip would hardly take a few minutes while your legs or your back might just take up to an hour.
  • This procedure has wide coverage which means that you can get unwanted hair removed from any of your body parts, be it your underarms, upper lips, back, bikini line, face, legs, and the list goes on.
  • The level of pain endured is also much less than what you endure in a waxing or epilation session.

From the time it was introduced, this is one cosmetic treatment whose popularity has only grown over the years. More and more people are now opting for a laser hair removal treatment.

Most Effective Laser Machines Used In Hair Removal

There are different types of lasers used in hair removal –

  • The Ruby laser is usually used for people who have light skin and dark hair. Since only a small beam of light is used in Ruby, the sessions are more when compared with other laser hair removal options.
  • Ideal for coarse hair, the Alexandrite laser requires lesser sessions and is also less painful for the patients. The beams are much longer than what is used in Ruby.
  • The next type of laser is the Nd:YAG laser which is not only the most innovative of the lot but is also the most effective. The risk of complications is also less with this type of laser.
  • Next, we have the Diode laser. If your skin tone is light to medium, then this would be ideal for you.
  • The Soprano laser is the latest type of laser to hit the markets. The USP of this laser is that it is ideal even for people with sensitive skin. It is a painless procedure when compared to the other types of lasers.

Read More: Types Laser Hair Removal Machines

Laser Hair Removal Success Rate

Ideally, on an average, the success rate of a laser hair removal procedure ranges from 70% to 90%. But this rate is achieved only after the completion of all the sessions. You will find about 10% to 25% hair reduction just after the first session, but that does not indicate the true success of the treatment. Also, the success of laser hair removal differs from person to person. There are certain factors that can make or break the success of your laser hair removal process.

  • People with light skin and coarse hair have a better success rate than those who have darker skin and lighter hair.
  • Lack of maintaining your appointments can also affect the success rate. A 100% commitment is required to attend all the sessions promptly.
  • Exposure to sun and tanning of skinning prior to your laser hair removal sessions should be completely avoided. This is because there is a higher risk of skin damage or burning and scarring of skin during the treatment if you have tanned skin.
  • For your laser hair removal process to succeed, you need to follow all the pre-care and post-care steps that your doctor recommends.

Rules And Regulations For Laser Hair Removal

There are quite a few regulations surrounding a laser hair treatment such as the location of the laser room, the qualification of the dermatologist and physician, uninterrupted supply of power, proper equipment, insurance, warranty, safety measures such as protective eye gear, gloves, anesthesia, etc. Without having all the regulations in place, one cannot operate a laser hair removal clinic as it can prove dangerous to both the patient as well as the physician.

What Body Areas Can Be Treated With Laser Hair Removal?

Below is a list of body areas that can be treated by laser hair removal process –

Eyebrows – Women spend a considerable amount of time in threading their eyebrows every month. A lot of men also indulge in this grooming session. A 15-minute laser treatment can help you in achieving the perfect eyebrows once and for all.

Chin – Unwanted hair on the chin does not look appealing at all. A laser hair removal procedure can quickly help you in getting rid of it.

Upper Lip – A 10-minute session can leave you with a hair-free upper lip.

Read More: Upper Lip And Chin Hair Removal

Legs – Rather than shaving or waxing your legs, get a laser hair removal done to save your time and money. All you need is some patience as it takes almost an hour for both legs and about 4-6 sessions.

Back – A lot of men have a hairy back which causes embarrassment. Five to eight sessions, with each session lasting for an hour, can absolve this problem permanently for you.

Chest – Not every man loves to flaunt a hairy chest. Most of them look for ways to get rid of it, and if you are one of them then, four to eight sessions of laser hair removal can help you in removing all the unwanted chest hair.

Read More: Chest Hair Removal

Bikini Line – With women becoming more and more confident in flaunting their bodies, a hair-free bikini line has become a must. Laser hair removal is the best way to go about it and a half an hour process of four to eight sessions will leave you behind with a smooth and hair-free bikini area.

Read More: Bikini Line Hair Removal

Underarms – Unwanted hair on your underarms is a bane for both men and women. Leave all those embarrassing days behind with a 10-minute laser hair removal procedure.

Arms – Hairy arms are a cause for jokes aplenty. Get rid of all the jokes as well as unwanted hair by undergoing a couple of laser hair removal sessions.

Why Is Laser Hair Removal The Best Treatment?

With its varied list of benefits, it is no wonder why laser hair removal is the best treatment. There have been a huge number of success stories in the cosmetology industry which has led this treatment to its popularity. It is not only a one-time investment that can free up a lot of your time but also save you from unnecessarily spending money on waxing, shaving, threading, etc.

The laser hair removal results can be believed only when seen. Once you complete all your sessions, you will be delighted with your laser hair removal before and after images. It is advisable to have a thorough discussion with your dermatologist, weigh all the laser hair removal pros and cons, understand how many sessions would be required, etc., and only then take a positive decision.