Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

The effects of laser hair removal – a popular option for removing hair on the body and face – are long-lasting but aren’t necessarily permanent. Most people have a significant reduction in unwanted hair that lasts anywhere from a few months to a year or more. When hair does grow back, it is often thinner and less coarse than it was before treatment.

Even though it might not be permanent, laser hair removal is still a safe and effective treatment that can boost self-confidence. It can also reduce the need for at-home or salon treatments for unwanted hair. No more shaving cuts, painful waxing, plucking, or ingrown hairs!

When you work with an experienced laser hair removal professional, you can achieve your desired results and prolong them for as long as possible.

Laser Hair Removal Procedure: The Basics

Laser hair removal involves a scientific process called selective photothermolysis, which uses a laser to heat cells that contain certain pigment colors. Hair cells, which are highly pigmented, absorb the heat from the laser, while the nearby skin cells are unaffected.

During a treatment, the technician uses a wand to apply the laser to the targeted area. When the laser touches the hair, the pigment absorbs the heat and transfers into the follicle. The heat damages the follicle, so it can’t immediately grow new hair.

Follicles can regenerate over time and start producing hair again. When that happens, the hair tends to be thinner and finer than it was before. You can get additional laser treatments to remove hair that comes back.

This process is only effective at certain points in the hair growth cycle, which comprises three stages:

  • Anagen Stage: This is the growth stage when hair gets continually longer. It can last for five years for hair on the head. Body hair has a shorter anagen stage.
  • Catagen Phase: This is a transition phase. The follicle starts to shrink, and hair growth stops. This phase lasts a few weeks.
  • Telogen Phase: This is the resting phase. Hairs no longer grow but remain in place attached to the follicle. Eventually, the hair completely detaches from the follicle and falls out. This stage lasts several months.

Laser hair removal only works on hairs in the anagen phase of active growth. For most people, about 10% to 15% of hairs on the head are in the telogen phase at any given time. You’ll need multiple treatments to affect the hairs resting during previous treatments.

Hair Reduction vs. Hair Removal: What’s the Difference?

It’s better to think of laser hair removal as a hair reduction process rather than a total hair removal option. A treatment like electrolysis can offer more significant hair removal that lasts longer than traditional laser hair treatment.

However, many people love how laser hair removal diminishes the need for shaving or waxing and see a significant improvement in hair growth after just one or a few sessions. During an initial treatment, you can expect to see a 10% to 25% reduction of hair in the treated area. The overall reduction will increase with each successive treatment.

However, the nature of hair growth means that it’s possible to miss the growth stage for some hairs, leaving them unaffected by laser treatment. That’s why you may notice stray hairs growing even after a series of successful laser hair removal. You can always go back for more treatments to target those hairs.

Leaving some hair unaffected is helpful for people who don’t want complete hair removal. Laser treatments can thin areas of heavy hair growth, such as beard hair or the nape of the neck, without removing all the hair.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?

Laser hair removal is generally safe. Most people only experience mild side effects such as redness, swelling, or bruising. You can use cold compresses and over-the-counter pain medication to manage these symptoms as you heal.

In rare cases, people experience more serious side effects, such as:

  • Blisters
  • Burns
  • Darkening of skin (hyperpigmentation)
  • Lightening of skin (hypopigmentation)
  • Infection
  • Scarring

Getting laser treatments from an untrained or inexperienced provider can increase your risk of injury from the process. You can minimize the risk of unwanted effects by visiting a trained professional like Laser by Monica for laser hair removal.

Permanent Laser Hair Removal NYC: Laser by Monica

If you’re searching for permanent hair removal in NYC, Laser by Monica has you covered. Laser By Monica offers concierge services to clients in New York City, Manhattan, Murray Hill, and surrounding areas. Our technicians are NYS-certified laser hair removal specialists who offer a personalized approach to fit your needs.

Check out what one client had to say about their experience: “Monica not only uses the best laser I’ve ever experienced on my body, but she also complements it with a technique that is both gentle and highly customized. The outcome for me has been a dramatic reduction in body hair with a remarkably low level of pain.”

Ready to get started? Contact Laser by Monica for Laser Hair Removal Services in NYC to begin your self-care journey today.

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