How Effective Is Laser Hair Removal & How Long Do The Effects Last?

Laser hair removal has become one of the most common cosmetic procedures in India. This rise in popularity has resulted in a rather competitive market, which means that laser hair removal is no longer as expensive and elitist as it used to be just a few decades ago. Laser hair removal is a simple and effective way to achieve lasting results, which means that you will land up saving both your time and money in the long run.

During laser hair removal sessions, a laser is aimed directly at the hair follicle, which surrounds the hair root. The heat from the laser burns the hair follicle and destroys the hair root. Since hair grows out of the hair root, destroying the root prevents further hair growth.

This also means that you will not suffer from hair-removal problems such as ingrown hair, which are common with waxing, shaving, and other depilatory methods. The effects of laser hair removal treatments will vary from one person to the next as there are several factors that influence the effectiveness of laser hair removal.

How Effective Is Laser Hair Removal?

“People who undergo laser hair removal experience 60-95% removal with after 4-6 sessions spread out over 6 months”

Laser hair removal is not a one-time treatment method and most people require 4-6 treatments to effectively treat an area. This is because the laser only affects hair that is actively growing which is why people need to return every 4 to 6 weeks so that hair that has come out of the dormant phase (telogen) into the actively growing phase (anagen) can be targeted. Studies show that people who undergo laser hair removal experience 60-95% hair removal with multiple sessions spread out over 6 months.

Factors That Determine Laser Hair Removal Effectiveness

“Skin tone and hair color are among the main factors that influence the effectiveness of laser hair treatments”

There are several factors that influence the effectiveness of laser hair removal – right from your skin tone and hair color to the area that is going to be treated and even the clinic you choose. Here’s how each of these factors will influence the outcome of your laser hair removal treatment.

Skin Tone And Hair Color

“People with Asian skin tones who undergo 3 treatment sessions are likely to experience a 55% hair reduction”

Laser hair removal is such an effective hair removal treatment because the laser targets melanin – which is the dark pigment that gives your skin and hair its color. When the contrast between skin and hair color is high, it is easier for the laser to target only the hair follicles and not the skin, which improves treatment outcomes. This is why laser hair removal treatments are most effective for people who have dark hair, but a fair skin tone. However, there are now new types of lasers that are meant specifically for people with darker skin tones.

Studies on the efficacy of laser hair removal for Asian skin tones showed that candidates who underwent 3 treatment sessions over 9 months experienced a 55% hair reduction, while those who had only 2 treatments within the same time-frame, had 44% hair reduction. Those who were treated only once, experienced just 32% hair reduction. These results clearly show that multiple sessions increase the effectiveness of laser hair removal treatments.

The Area To Be Treated

Laser hair removal for facial hair requires repeat sessions after 4 weeks while the treatments for body hair need to be repeated at 6 to 8 week intervals”

The hair growth on your body differs from area to area, which is why the hair on your back is completely different from the hair on your face. If the area to be treated has lighter hair, your laser hair removal treatment may not be as effective and you would require several sessions to achieve the desired results. For instance, laser hair removal for facial hair requires repeat sessions after 4 weeks, while the treatments for body hair need to be repeated at 6 to 8 week intervals.

The Clinic You Choose

“Good clinics have state-of-the-art equipment so laser hair removal treatments at these places is likely to be more effective”.

When deciding on a clinic, don’t make your decision based solely on the cost of laser hair removal treatment, but instead focus on the facilities and treatments that they offer. Choosing the right clinic is of the utmost importance as well-established hair removal clinics have a wider range of laser machines and are more likely to have newer models that offer superior results. Find out if a clinic owns their equipment or rents it, since in-house machines are well cared for and would therefore, be more effective.

How Long Do The Effects of Laser Hair Removal Last?

“Approximately 30% of hair follicles are damaged but not destroyed by the hair removal laser and will continue to produce hair – although this hair will be fine and very light in color”

The effects of laser hair removal are permanent, but this does not mean that the treated areas will be completely free of all hair growth. This is because a hair follicle may be damaged but not destroyed during the treatment, which means that it can still produce hair, although this hair will be much thinner and lighter in color. Since lasers are approximately 70% effective, it means that you will still experience 30% hair growth in the treated areas. This is why laser hair treatment is technically a hair ‘reduction’ method and not a hair ‘removal’ method.

Can New Hair Grow In An Area That Has Already Been Treated? 

“Changes in hormonal levels can trigger hair growth in areas that are prone to hormone-induced hair growth”  

Additionally, the human body develops new hair follicles from time to time. New hair follicles give rise to new hair, which means that even if your laser hair removal treatment is successful, you may experience new hair growth in the coming years. Dermatologists generally recommend 1-2 maintenance treatments per year to get rid of any unwanted stray hairs. Some areas such as the chin and neck are prone to hormone-induced hair growth and so laser hair treatments for these areas require “top up” sessions. Changes in hormonal levels can also trigger hair growth in treated areas.

Our Advice

Laser hair removal is a very effective method, but it is important to have realistic expectations. You can also ask your dermatologist for laser hair removal before and after pics, from his past clients so that you know what to expect. Be prepared to be amazed!

Recommended Reads:

Laser Treatments For Facial Hair Removal: Safety & Before After Care

Laser Hair Removal Costs

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