How to Get Permanent Hair Removal? Laser?

Is laser the best way to get permanent hair removel? Is there a better laser than others, technique, or other?

Doctor Answers 14

Laser hair removal is really "permanent reduction"

Effective laser hair "removal" is really just very effective reduction of hair growth, thickness, and density. Even the best treatment may require a touchup or maintenance treatment after a long while (maybe a year or longer). Electrolysis is true permanent removal, but also comes with its own cost, discomfort, time investment, and many repeat visits necessary.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Most hair can be reduced 80-90% after 4-6 sessions.

There is no laser equipment that is FDA approved for permanent hair removal. Rather, lasers for hair removal are approved for permanent hair reduction. When done appropriately by the trained laser expert using the correct laser device on the appropriate candidate, most hair can be reduced by 80-90% after a series of 4-6 sessions. The laser can only disable hairs that are in the active growth stage, and not in any other hair growth cycle. It may take more treatments on coarse hairs, darker skin, lighter hairs, or with presence of other medical issues such as polycycstic ovarian syndrome. Maintenance and touch up treatments are required and patients are very satisfied since it reduces the time spent with the alternatives such as plucking, shaving, waxing, and threading which can be both irritating and painful.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Laser Hair Removal is not permanent

Laser Hair Removal, technically, is not permanent.  The hair follicles that have been treated by laser can be completely destroyed such that hair does not ever grow back BUT, the true question is, can you create more hair follicles?  And yes, you can.  Therefore, in the future, after successfully completing laser hair removal, you can still grow hairs from NEW follicles that were not present during your laser hair treatments.  Hope that helps!


Moradi MD

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

Choose the Lightsheer laser for permanent results

Make sure that you choose a laser, not IPL hair removal device. You need to follow a treatment protocol and have the appointments done on time, every 6-8 weeks. You cannot wax or tweeze in between the treatments, you can only shave. Try to keep your skin as light as possible by avoiding tanning and using sun protection. The Lightsheer laser will be a safe choice because it works for all skin types and dark hair.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is designed for the permanent reduction of unwanted hair. Therefore, it is permanent but because hair in a single area grows at different rates the technology is only designed to target actively growing hair, you'll need more than one session to achieve desired results.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Laser Hair Removal is

Laser hair removal is a proven method to permanently decrease the amount, thickness and speed of hair growth. After 6 - 8 treatment depending on the area, most clients will see only a few sparse hair growth that  barely can be felt with your finger.  One can never  be 100% sure that you will not get any regrowth since hormones can play a part for some client with medical concerns. Generally speaking clients are extremely happy with their results.

David A. F. Ellis, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal is desgned for permanent laser hair reduction.  To be satisfied with the procedure, this understanding is key.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Laser hair removal vs. laser hair reduction

As some of the other posts describe, the laser only affects a limited number of follicles at any given session. Some follicles are not in a state to be destroyed at any given session, and some follicles, by virtue of the fact that no matter how good the laser operator is, will be missed by the pattern of application.

Also, some areas like the legs have fewer follicles in a vulnerable state than other areas, so more sesions may be necesary. It is best to think of laser hair removal as laser hair reduction. Each session wil reduce the hair, and at some point, with the diminishing returns of each session, treatments will end. Does that mean that every hair follicle is gone or that additional sessions will never be needed? No.

Douglas J. Mackenzie, MD
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Laser hair removal for permanent hair reduction

First, let's understand a little about what happens: during laser hair removal, the laser acts by destroying the follicle that grows hair. Laser light is attracted to the dark pigment in hair and zeros in on the follicle, which is why laser hair removal works well on black or brown hair and not very well at all on light, blonde or gray hair.

For good results, the follicle must be treated during the growth phase, which occurs every four to five weeks. Thus, in order to capture all of the follicles in the growth phase, a series of laser treatments should be spaced about a month to six weeks apart. In my experience, 4 to 10 treatments are necessary to achieve optimal hair removal.

That being said, we've had great results removing hair all over the body, from the legs to the back to the bikini line. Patients always want to know if the hair removal is permanent. Our expectation is that the results will last for years, but everyone is different and some people might require a touch-up.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

How to make sure the laser hair removal is permanent

For proper removal of hair you need to make sure that the laser chosen is well suited for the procedure. Diode and alexandrite lasers are the best options for most patients. We do find many day spas offering hair removal using a IPL or intense pulse light. This does not lead to permanent reduction but instead temporary loss. So make sure the right laser is being used.

William J. Hedden, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 316 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.