Does doing laser treatments more frequently and not spacing for 4 weeks between subsequent sessions cause any harm?

Doctor Answers 5

Why spacing for laser hair removal at 4 weeks

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Hair after being treated with a laser typically takes 1-3 weeks to shed.  From there hair must be ready to grow to be effectively treated with laser.  Hair must be in the anagen phase of growth which is the beginning phase of hair growth.  In the anagen phase the hair is thickest and the laser can effectively target the papilla and prevent new growth.  For this reason, patients are most effectively treated 4 weeks for faster growing areas like underarms or bikini and 8 weeks for backs.  

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 172 reviews

Frequency of Laser Hair Removal

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The reason of spacing laser hair removal treatment is to treat the maximum hair follicles at its growth cycle. An area with a faster growth (like bikini area) can be treat every 4 weeks. An area with longer growth cycle (like the legs) can be treated every 6-8 weeks. Getting treated any sooner than this will not cause harm, but is not necessary.

Hardik Soni, MD (not currently practicing)
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician

Laser hair removal closer than every 4 weeks

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This will not cause any harm. The growth cycles are different for all the areas of the body. I do every 2 weeks in the bikini and underarm areas and think that it gets rid of hair faster than waiting 4 weeks. The back and chest area is much slower and every 2 months or longer is rec'd.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

How frequent for laser hair removal treatments?

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Hello, thank you for your question.  The purpose of spacing out the treatments is so that you can treat at a time when a maximum number of follicles are in the growth cycle.  Places like the face, underarms and bikini have a much faster growth cycle than places like the trunk, arms and legs.  For the areas with a faster growth cycle, those areas can be treated once every 4 weeks, it is best to space treatments on the trunk, arms and legs at 8 week intervals.  Treating any more often than this will not cause harm, but it is unnecessary, and not optimal timing to target the largest amount of follicles in the growth cycle.

Good Luck!

Mark A. Blair, MD
Phoenix Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Frequency of Laser Hair Removal

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More frequent laser treatments (provided we are talking about repeat treatments to the same area) will not necessarily be harmful, however they will certainly be a waste of money. The reason for the spacing, 4 weeks minimum and longer for treatments on areas such as back and legs is because hair removal is a process - first the hairs must shed, which does not happen immediately following treatment (typically 1-3 weeks) and then it needs to begin re-growing which could take as much as 1-2 months. Any treatment before hair has begun regrowing will not help you towards your goal of being hair free. Try to be patient and wait the proper amount of time before going back for more.

Dennis Gross, MD
New York Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.