Laser hair removal is not always permanent.
More Info: Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer to this question. Results can vary wildly, depending on many factors, including skin type, hair type, hair color, and the number of sessions undergone. Physicians also suspect there may be other factors at play, since two seemingly almost identical candidates can have radically different results.
Good Candidates Get Better Results
The ideal candidate for laser hair removal has light skin and dark coarse hair. Because the laser is targeted at the pigment in the hair follicle, the greater the difference between the pigment in the skin and the pigment in the follicle, the better the results. People with darker skin, or light skinned people with blonde, red, or gray hair, are often disappointed with their results. Very fine hair, such as peach fuzz, cannot be treated with laser hair removal. The pigment differential between the hair and the skin is so important that laser hair removal patients are warned not to tan or use sunless tanning products before their appointments.
It’s Not a One Shot Deal
Because hair has both active and dormant phases, and lasers only work on active follicles, permanent hair removal is very unlikely to occur after only one session of laser hair removal. Good candidates can see anywhere from a 20 to a 90 percent reduction in hair count after each session, with 80 to 90 percent seeing a permanent 80 percent reduction in hair count after four to seven sessions. The average patient will undergo six to eight treatments (although some patients may need as many as 12), with a month to six weeks in between each treatment. Patients can shave unwanted hair between sessions, as shaving doesn’t affect the hair follicle. Waxing, plucking, and electrolysis between treatments is not advised. Maintenance sessions may be necessary even after a patient has successfully undergone laser hair treatment. Doctors usually recommend maintenance sessions twice a year. Some patients, especially those with blonde or white hair, may never experience permanent hair loss.
Grossman, Dr. Melanie. “Does Hair Grow Back.” The Hair Removal Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2010. http://www.hairremovaljournal.org/does_hair.aspx.
“Laser hair removal: Results – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/laser-hair-removal/MY00134/DSECTION=results.