Is hair supposed to be visible after session of laser hair removal?

I just got done with my third treatment of laser hair removal. But I still see hair on my upper lips after my session, is it supposed to be visible after my session or is it supposed to be completely gone? I understand that it takes time and many sessions for it to be permanently gone. But is it supposed to be visible after the session?

Doctor Answers 4

Laser hair removal only targets hair during its active growth stage.

The reason why the hair above your upper lip is still visible is because laser hair removal works in stages. Your hair doesn’t grow all at once, so each laser hair removal session is targeting hair that is in a stage of active growth. After a laser hair removal session, you may notice that your hair is finer, but you’ll require at least 4 to 6 treatments spaced a month apart before you no longer notice the hair.

Laser Hair Removal -- Takes a Series of Treatments

Laser hair removal works by targeting hair in different stages of growth. 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 191 reviews

Is hair supposed to be visible after session of laser hair removal?

Hello, thank you for your question.  The laser will usually burn the follicles if they are visible beyond the surface of the skin. That does not mean that if the follicle is not burned that it did not receive the correct energy to still damage and kill the follicle. The hair that is at rest will eventually get into the growth cycle and appear at the surface, this is why multiple treatments are necessary.
Good Luck!

Mark A. Blair, MD
Phoenix Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Visible hair after laser hair removal

Your provider should have explained to you that laser treatment to remove hair works only on the hair follicles at a certain stage in their growth cycle, so only those hairs in that stage will be affected by the laser.  That is why you should expect to need 4-6 treatments about a month apart to treat most of the hair in a given area.  Following each treatment you should see less and less hair, and the hair remaining should be finer because of damage to the hair follicle.

Suzan McGary, MD
Williamsport Thoracic Surgeon

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.