Will a Delayed Session of Laser Hair Removal Affect Final Result?

I went for 4 treatments of laser hair removal and was supposed to go for my 5th treatment after 6 weeks. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, it's been about 16 weeks and I'm now going for my 5th treatment.

Will this "hurt" the overall results in the end? I assume it shouldn't as the hair that has already been removed is still gone, correct? Will it just make the whole process longer?

Doctor Answers 3

Will Changing the Spacing of My Laser Hair Removal Treatments Affect Results?

We encourage our patients to try to remain on schedule for their laser hair removal treatments (every 6-8 weeks on average, but depends on body part) because we have experienced that it leads to better results.

The reason for this is that we are trying to treat the hair that will return after the treatment at a time when it is in the growth phase. At any one time, approximately 30% - 40% of your hair will be in a resting phase, meaning there is no hair in the follicle. By treating you on a defined schedule, we avoid the randomness of the hair growth cycle and treat you at a time when most of the hair should have returned after your previous treatment.

While it's not the end of the world if you are off schedule, you will receive the best results when sticking to the period defined by your practitioner.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Timing of visits for Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal should be performed in intervals of 6 to 8 weeks to coincide with normal growth cycles of hair. If you delay treatment, it may not affect long term results, but you may need additional treatments to acheive the same results as the hair follicles will regain their strength and density.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

It should not greatly affect your overall results

Thanks for your question.

While it would have been more ideal to go for your laser hair removal sessions on schedule, you should be able to go now and still acheive excellent results. Hairs are in different stages of growth and shedding, and the purpose of multiple sessions of laser hair removal is to target these growing hairs. You are correct in saying that the hairs already "destroyed" will stay that way.

You may go through the last two sessions and still miss some growing hairs - it won't be because the laser didn't work, but rather because the hairs are not in the growing stage at that time to be targeted by the laser.

Good luck!

Don Mehrabi, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.