Is Laser Hair Removal Effective if You Have Really Thin Hair?

I am considering getting laser hair removal on my hands and feet. But the hair in that area is really thin. Will I get any results?

Doctor Answers 5

Laser hair removal for thin versus thick hair

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Laser hair removal is a specific laser targeting hair using the concept of "photothermolysis" - essentially a wavelength of light specific and targeted to the hair with no collateral damage. Laser hair removal works best when there is a great contrast between skin colour and hair colour - e.g. black hair on white skin responds the best and fastest. That said, we now have lasers that work also on darker skin types where there is less contrast, but it may take more treatments. Especially if you have a darker skin type, ensure your treatment is being performed at a dermatology office to ensure there is minimal risk of burns or other problems.The thickness of the hair doesn't play much of a role in treatment response.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Laser Hair Removal for Thin Hair

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There are a wide variety of medical lasers and light systems available to remove unwanted hair. However, most are not effective for all skin types and hair colors. I would recommend the Elos laser hair removal system, which is designed for permanent hair reduction by combining both optical and radiofrequency energy to deliver satisfying, longer lasting results with less discomfort than previous laser systems. All skin and all hair colors including gray and blonde hair are effectively treated. Faces, backs, arms, legs, faces, and bikini lines can be treated including those individuals with darkly pigmented skin. Treatments are administered every 4 weeks and generally 3 to 5 treatments are sufficient. Best of luck! 

How does thin hair respond to Laser Hair Removal?

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Lasers remove hair by a process of "photothermolysis" where a specific wavelength of light targets the pigment in the root of the hair.  As long as the hair is black, brown or dark blond it will usually work, the darker the hair the better.  Thin or thick is of no consequence.

Stephen Mandy, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon

Thin, light-colored hair does not respond well to IPL or laser hair removal.

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The most suitable hair for light-based, permanent hair removal is dark, thick, coarse, and fast-growing. Based on your description of thin hair, your hands and feet may get a suboptimal response.

Dr. Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Yes the laser should work

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as long as your hair is not blonde, grey or white

a good laser hair removal machine should work for you.

you will need several sessions, of course.


david berman md

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.