Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

before I spend hundreds on LHR, want to make sure it really works!  

Doctor Answers 12

Great results with Laser Hair Removal

Yes, laser hair removal does work. There are a few requirements to get the best results. The laser goes after melanin, so the darker the hair the better the result. Follow the treatment schedule that is provided to you for the areas that are being treated, it’s for a reason.

The laser is only able to disable the hair follicle when it’s in the anagen (growth) phase. Different body areas grow at different speeds. At least two weeks prior to your treatment, make sure you have no sun exposure to the area that’s being treated, we want you to be as close to your baseline color as possible (this allows us to keep the setting the same or go a little more aggressive at your next treatment).

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Laser Hair Removal Works

Yes, laser hair removal works on dark coarse hairs.  It does not work on silver or gray hairs and it's difficult to treat very very thin hairs such as the fuzzy baby hairs typically found on the sides of the face. 

Amir Moradi, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser hair reduction

Yes, laser hair removal works but there are some guidelines that patients must be aware of to optimize their treatments and ultimately the long term success.  First, contrary to popular belief a successful treatment course is not based on 100% removal of all hair for the remainder of ones life time.  Also not all hair colors can be treated will high efficacy. 

The most effective treatments occur when the hair is dark black or brown and the hair is in it's active growth state. Multiple treatments are required and are usually spaced anywhere from 3-6 weeks apart.  Each body part has a different growth rate so if you are treating several areas at the same time you many need to stagger appointments to capture that optimum growth state. 

Hair can only be treated if it is actively growing and somewhere close to the surface of the skin.  If the full shaft of the hair is removed prior to treatment there is no conduit for the laser light to reach the hair root.  Shaving or clipping is the best way to maintain active hair growth. 

As you age different hair follicles will mature and produce hair.  Hormonal changes will aggravate this somewhat.  If your hormones are volatile and change on a regular basis just be aware that you may need touch up treatments throughout your life time.

Finally not all lasers/light devices and facilities are created equally.  There is not a one size fits all method of treatment and a weekend seminar does not make a technician an expert.  Lasers come in all different wave lenghts.  Depending on your skin type and hair color one may be better for you than another. Lasers are very powerful and can cause damage. Be sure that your technician has experience and knows the capabilities of the laser that they are using.

Lee Robinson, MD - RETIRED
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Laser hair removal works

There are many places that I feel have given laser hair removal a bad name. Laser hair removal works if you go to a reputable place that purchases and knows how to use the correct lasers on each individual. Not all lasers are created equal. There are so many lasers available on the market to doctors right now, ranging in price from $10,000 all the way up to $200,000. There are also lasers that are "all-in-ones", meaning that this one laser performs skin rejuvenation, leg vein removal, and hair removal. Most of these lasers do not work as well as a laser that was made specifically to target one thing.

I have many lasers in my practice. I have a laser that is made specifically for skin types I-IV to target dark hair, a laser made for skin types IV-VI, (dark skin), and many other lasers to target other skin concerns.

Alan M. Gardner, MD
Atlanta Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Laser Hair Removal does work

Laser hair removal absolutely works when done correctly. The first important issue in regards to the effectiveness of laser hair removal relates to you the patient. The best candidates will have hair that has some color and coarseness to it. Very fine hair, red hair, blond hair and gray hair are red flags for laser hair removal because your hair needs some color and density for the procedure to work well.

If you have hair with some color and coarsness the next step is to make sure you are being treated with the right laser. Diode and Alexandrite lasers are recommended for lighter skin types and long pulsed Nd:Yg lasers for darker skin types. Make sure the practitioner you are considering has the right one for you. We do not recommend IPL because lasers are more specific to the target (hair) and less likely to produce an unintended side effect like burns or blisters. Finally, choose an exerienced practitioner.

If you have the right type of hair and the right laser is used by an experienced practitioner, you will have a good outcome for laser hair removal.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser Hair Removal: How does it work?

Laser hair removal works by a process known as selective photothermolysis, wherein a specific wavelength of light is directed towards the skin and hair. The light energy is selectively absorbed by the hair follicle over the skin and the hair follicle heats up and dies. The process is actually very simple.

Warning about laser hair removal: The treatments should be done under direct physician supervision and be careful you are actually getting a laser treatment vs. other alternative treatments that are referred to as 'laser hair removal' by aestheticians and nurses.

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

Laser Hair Removal Really Works!

Laser hair removal is amazing, effective, and permanent.  Laser hair removal is based on targeting the heat of the laser into the pigment of the hair follicle and permanently destroying the hair root.  By choosing the correct laser based on your skin type and color of your hair you should expect to have great results.  In my practice I use the best cutting edge technology to treat patients with light skin with the GenteLase and darker skin patients with the GentleYag.  Both are safe, efficient, and effective.  You can treat hair anywhere on your body including the axillae, face, arms, legs, and chest. Please consult an expert in laser hair removal for the best cosmetic results.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Laser Hair Removal Works

Laser hair removal works on almost every skin type, from very light-skinned people to dark skin. Some terminology to know: Light-skinned people will usually receive treatment from an Alexandrite or Diode laser, while darker-skinned people will receive treatment from an Nd: YAG laser. Blonde, grey, or light red hair is difficult to treat. 

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Laser is an effective treatment for hair removal

Yes, laser hair removal really works.  I can tell you personally, because I have had it and it is very effective.  Our machine, the Cynosure Elite, is the fastest and most effective laser that I have seen.  As with any machine, one treatment is not enough and you will require several treatments to maximize your results.  However, you should be pleasantly surprised about how quick and effective the treatments are.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Laser hair removals works: on the right hairs!

Laser hair removal definitely works, but it works best on dark hairs on a light background... and not at all on white or blonde or red hairs. The laser needs the dark hair as a target, and the lighter the surrounding skin is, the easier it is for the laser to treat without damaging the area around. So dark hair on dark skin, tricky. Light hair on any skin, get electrolysis instead.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 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.