Is my laser hair removal going to work?

I just had laser hair removal with a diode light sheer machine, but I'm a little worried. I didn't smell any burnt hair and she did my legs, bikini and underarms in less than an hour. Is it even going to work? She did it all so quickly I feel as though she's definitely not done it right. And then at the end of the appointment she said my next appointment would be in two and a half months! Is that too long between treatments? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Doctor Answers 4

Laser hair removal takes multiple treatment sessions in order to work.

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Hello, and thanks for your question. Do keep in mind that because the lasers used in laser hair removal target only the hair that’s currently in its active growth phase, the process will require multiple treatment sessions in order to see results. That said, however, these sessions are typically spaced about 4 to 6 weeks apart, so being asked to wait much longer than that may raise some red flags. Be sure to work with only a trained and experienced professional, and don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion if you’re concerned about your results. Good luck!

Laser hair removal

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Two and a half months is a long time. The longest we suggest is 8 weeks. There are several different ways to tell if the treatment was a success. 1) smell of burnt hair 2) there is a red ring around each follicle 3) notice of  hair reduction after each treatment. If you notice that there wasn't reduction in the areas, follow up with your provider.

Robert G. Aycock, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Laser Hair Removal -- Takes a series of treatments

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I typically have patients do every 4 weeks for the first 3 times and then every 4-6 weeks for 3 times after. It takes a series of treatments for improvement in hair reduction. I suggest you see an expert. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Laser hair removal does work

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First, you have to have patience. It takes at least 4 to 6 results to see a significant improvement. The diode laser is a good laser and in clinical studies had an efficacy to the alexandrite laser. There are several variables that can determine your results

first what is your skin type. Lighter colored skin with darker hair tends to do better. Any colored skin with thick dark hair also tends to do well. Medium to darker skin with fine hair does not do as well. 

Second what is the experience of the provider in terms of number of treatments as well as your specific skin type. If the setting is low you may not see much improvement and if the setting is too high , then there is a risk of pigment changes and burns. It is important for the consumer to ascertain this from the provider

duration between treatments is based on the area. Hair on the face tends to grow faster and treatments are typically done 1 month apart while on the legs the duration can be from 6 to 8 weeks. 10 weeks does seem a bit long. 

I would discuss cuss this with your provider and also relay your expectations

all the best

Dr Soni

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

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.