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How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?


Laser hair removal is a popular, expensive, hair removal technique that has worked for thousands of people since its development in the mid 1970s. While this technique has evolved considerably since its conception, the process is much the same.

A Brief Overview of How Laser Hair Removal Works

There are several versions of the treatment available on the market, but they all essentially work the same way: the laser beam used on the unwanted hair destroys the actual hair bulb, that little whitish clear thing on the end of a complete strand of hair. This often takes several treatments, as the laser must be weak enough to use on your skin without causing permanent damage to anything but the unwanted hair. This treatment can be used on any area of the body where unwanted hair is present.

After the Treatments

After each hair removal treatment, the patient can expect the treated area to be swollen or red, and sometimes a bit crusty with dry skin. The doctor can prescribe a topical cream or unscented moisturizer to alleviate this discomfort. Because the treated skin is already affected as if it were sunburned, avoid exposure to the sun or UV rays in any form until the redness dissipates.

Growing Hair after Treatments

After completing a treatment, patients may notice what appears to be hair growing. While this may seem counterintuitive, it’s actually just the hair falling out. Don’t wax, bleach, or pluck these hairs between treatments, or the treatments won’t work as the hair bulbs will be absent and will grow out again once they return. Shave them if they are bothersome. Do these things and your laser hair removal treatments will likely be successful.



Syneron Technologies, Ltd. Technology Evolution. 2009.

Wheatley, Michael J. Cosmetic Procedures and Hair Removal. 19 Septmeber, 2009.

Chang, Louise. 05 January, 2010.

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