Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

Permanent means permanent. Not 1 year, 2 years, etc.

Doctor Answers 9

"Permanent" Laser Hair Removal

I feel that laser hair removal is overpromised as being "permanent" and that "you will never have to shave, wax, tweeze, etc." ever again - it's just not possible. Single hairs may be permanently removed if the follicle is destroyed. That single follicle will not regrow. However, the best you can expect from laser hair removal treatments is 70% of the hairs to be totally removed. The remaining hairs should be more fine, thin, and lighter in color. Additionally, over time, your body will develop new hair follicles, so new hair growth will occur. This is why it's recommended that after the initial 6 treatments, you undergo maintenance treatments every 4-6 months so that new hairs are targeted. So to answer your question briefly - yes, SINGLE hairs are permanently removed. 100% total removal of all hairs is impossible.

Laser hair removal can be permanent

Lasers create a beam of highly concentrated light that penetrates deep into the skin where it delivers a controlled amount of therapeutic heat. This light energy is absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicles. The laser pulses for a fraction of a second, just long enough to destroy numerous follicles at a time and leaves the surrounding skin unaffected. Permanent hair removal depends on hair color, skin color, and the strength of the laser treatment as tolerated by the patient. Up to 15-30% permanent hair loss may be observed with each treatment when optimal parameters are used.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Laser Hair Removal Permanent Reduction

Here at Biospa at Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, we use the Gentle Max Pro for hair removal. A highly concentrated beam of light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicles, which creates the destruction of numerous follicles at a time. Depending on hair color and skin type, With a single treatment 15-20% REDUCTION is seen.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Permanent Reduction

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.  

Is it permanent?

Laser hair removal is considered more permanent reduction than permanent removal. Laser hair removal is very effective for the treatment of dark hair and we can treat all skin types . You can expect about 70 % hair reduction once you complete a series of treatments (usually 6-8) .
Follow up visits are needed to treat regrowth and to maintain the results. Factors like heredity, hormone imbalances and reactions to medications can also determine the results, however, my patients are very pleased with their results

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Laser Hair Removal vs. Laser Hair Reduction

There is a big difference between claiming permanent hair reduction and permanent hair removal.  Permanent hair removal implies that there will be no regrowth, whereas with permanent hair reduction you may seem some regrowth of fine, thin hairs.  Patients should expect that after a full course (usually 6 treatments) they will need a single booster treatment roughly annually to maintain their results.  Certainly, the characteristics of your hair have a major impact on how effective the treatment is.  Generally, the darker and thicker the hair the more effective any kind of laser hair removal is.  Another variable is the pigment in your skin.  All of these issues should be discussed in detail during your initial consultation.

Paul L. Leong, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Re: Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

Laser hair removal results in a permanent reduction in the number of hairs. It can only address existing hairs. The laser cannot prevent new hair from growing. Hair growth cycles are different, depending on individual factors such as: heredity, hormone imbalances, resistance to insulin, pregnancy, thyroid issues, reactions to medications and aging. 

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Laser Hair Removal and Permanence

Usually if there is no regrowth after 1-2 years, this is considered a permanent result.  However, nothing is ever a complete guarantee.  If something changes hormonally or medically, this may alter the results of your laser hair removal.

Sheri G. Feldman, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Permanent results after laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is very effective for the treatment of dark hair.  The majority of my patients see permanent reduction in their hair when they complete a series of treatments.  I do not promise that all of the hair will be gone permanently.  Sometimes it is beneficial to do a touch up treatment once a year or so to reduce any stuborrn hair that is trying to come back.  Laser hair removal works well, but you should have realistic expectations regarding what it can or cannot do. 

Richard Ort, MD
Lone Tree Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 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.