One of the most considered efficient methods to get rid of unwanted hair is laser therapy, however, there are concerns about its permanent effect. Laser beam damages the follicles by thermal radiation forcing them to stop growing new hairs, this is done by putting follicles in a state of suspension which lasts for a time much longer than shaving or waxing. Nevertheless, the hairs will do grow back even though lighter and fewer than before. So, in short, the answer is no. Laser hair removal is not a permanent solution but with repeated maintenance sessions it could be.
How does laser hair removal work?
The laser beam heats up the follicles which are under the skin, so unlike waxing that only affects the surface of the skin, the laser beam penetrates deep and burns the root of unwanted hairs stopping them from growing back for a period of time. However, the follicles tend to heal after a while and hairs will grow back.
The laser is a very narrow beam of light, so it is expected to be more efficient on darker hair color on light skin tones. The melanin in the hair cells plays a major role in laser hair removal therapy, this is why regrown hair looks so pale in color and difficult to notice on light skin.
How many follow-up sessions are needed for laser hair removal to be permanent?
The number of maintenance sessions varies by individuals. Most people need between four to six therapy sessions separated by six weeks each for their desired result. This can take up to nine months for the hair to stop growing permanently. Each laser hair removal session reduces 10 to 25 percent of the hair in any area, but the numbers tend to improve by repeating the sessions reaching up to 90 percent reduction in hair in the treated area. To ensure the efficiency of the therapy, it is advised to have occasional sessions after the regular maintenance scheduled once or twice a year. There is no fixed timeline for laser treatment and it all depends on the skin color, the thickness of the hair in the area, and the sensitivity of your skin.
Is laser hair removal a safe method?
Overall, laser hair removal considered to be safe if supervised by a professional dermatologist. If you are pregnant or not sure about your condition, you should seek the advice of your doctor before attending the initial session. During the procedure some minor side effects are expected such as blistering or scarring depends on the sensitivity of your skin, however, they are hardly considered harmful and even rarely occur. Generally, there are no aftercare instructions for laser hair removal unless you have a pre-existing health condition. Bathing right after the therapy session is not advised unless permitted by the dermatologist in charge, but given 8 to 48 hours it is usually safe to bathe afterwards.
To sum it up, laser hair removal is not exactly permanent but compared to waxing and shaving it is one of the most efficient solutions to slow down the regrowth of unwanted hairs.