First commercialized in the second half of the 1990s, laser hair removal has become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments available. By using a strong pulse of laser light, the technology temporarily destroys hair follicles, preventing new hair growth. While laser hair removal may not removal all hair permanently, it is seen as a safe and effective long-term treatment to reduce hair volume and growth.

  • The History Of Laser Hair Removal

    While the first working laser was invented in 1960 by Theodore Harold Maiman, an electrical engineer and physicist, the first laser developed for hair removal was not publicly available until the late 1990s. 

    Dr. Rox Anderson (CoolSculpting), a MIT graduate and Harvard Medical School professor who garnered over 60 patents and published over 200 scientific papers, is widely regarded as the medical professional responsible for bringing the technology to market.  

  • Are The Results Of Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

    Often marketed as a permanent solution, laser hair removal actually does not result in permanent hair loss. While your hair follicles will enter a stage of extended dormancy after treatment, they may very well  come back to life. If they do, you can expect the new hair to be thinner and lighter than before.  

    The goal is to reduce the number of hair follicles in a given area, not completely remove them.

  • Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

    Pain is a subjective measure; however, our mystery shoppers, partners, and experts typically say there is mild discomfort associated with treatment. Many people describe a pain similar to “plucking” a hair, while some think of the procedure as relaxing and don’t feel a thing. Ice and/or a topical analgesic can be administered prior to treatment to minimize pain or discomfort during the procedure.

    If you are concerned about pain associated with the treatment, we recommend you talk to your provider.

  • How Long Does The Treatment Take? How Many Sessions Will I Need?

    This is a question we get all of the time. The time required for a successful treatment depends entirely on the area being treated. Small areas, such as your lips, may take as little as ten to fifteen minutes. Larger areas, such as your legs or back may take a few hours to complete. Often two to six sessions spaced a few weeks apart are required to achieve the desired outcome. 

    Some providers and patients suggest maintenance treatments, which are scheduled annually and may be unnecessary after a few years.

  • Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?

    The vast majority of patients and providers deem laser hair removal a safe and effective hair reduction procedure. Most people tolerate the process well and have no long-term side effects or undesirable results. Some dermatologists may suggest testing the treatment on a smaller area before committing to a full-scale treatment, just to ensure no side effects. 

    As always, talk to your licensed health care provider to ensure that the treatment is right for you.

  • How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?

    Costs associated with laser hair removal with depend on the areas of the body treated. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average procedure costs $285 dollars

    Generally speaking, your arms, bikini line, and chest are the least expensive to have treated, while your back, lower legs, face, and neck are the most expensive.

    If you are electing to have laser hair removal on your back or face, you can expect the costs to range from $600 to $900 dollars.

  • What Side Effects Could Occur From Laser Hair Removal?

    The most common side effects of laser hair removal are: 

    • redness and irritation, 
    • crusting, 
    • changes in skin color, 
    • eye injuries, and 
    • a slightly increased risk of skin infection. 

    Redness and irritation should go away on their own rather quickly. Any swelling can be reduced by applying ice to the affected area. 

    Both crusting and changes in skin color are minor side effects that fade away over time and should not cause any long-term negative effects or concern. 

    Since the procedure utilizes an incredibly high powered laser, it is essential that both you and your clinician adequately protect your eyes during the treatment. 

    As with any treatment involving hair follicles, the risk of skin infection is slightly elevated. 

    The best advice we’ve heard is to treat the area as an open wound while it heals, keeping it clean and dry to reduce infection. Incredibly rare, but serious, side effects may include burns, blisters, and scars.