How Much Time Is Allowed To Lapse Between Each Hair Laser Treatment?

I had 3 treatments so far each spaced 8-9 weeks apart. I will need to travel in summer for 3-4 months or more. Will it affect my treatment progress if i wait that long until my 4th session?

Doctor Answers 7

"How long should you wait between Laser Hair Removal treatments?"

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Fundamentally, laser energy works to destroy hairs that are actively growing (in anagen growth phase).  The growth phases vary for different regions of the body.  Usually, I recommend treating the face every 4 to 5 weeks because hair growth phases cycle in and out more rapidly.  For the underarms and bikini area, I usually recommend every 6 to 7 weeks, because growth cycles are slower. For best results, I also recommend that you try to have consecutive treatments at the same interval each time for at least 6 to 8 treatments, depending on the color of hair, area to be treated, coarseness and overall hair growth density.  I also place patients on a "maintenance" program, especially if unwanted hair is hormonally related.

Windell Davis Boutte, MD, Medical Director, Premiere Dermatology and Surgery, Lilburn, GA

Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 226 reviews

Allow enough time between laser hair removal treatments for adequate hair re-growth

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You need to space your treatments to allow enough time for ample re-growth.  If you have no hair, you are not effectively treating the area, since the laser needs the pigment in the hair to treat the follicle.  It sounds like your current treatments are spaced fairly adequately - you can even drag it out longer between visits as your treatments progress.  More importantly, since you said you were traveling during the summer, check with your provider since sun exposure and color on skin will affect how most lasers will respond to your skin. You might need to wait for future treatment if you get too much sun exposure and pigment in your skin changes.   

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 229 reviews

The Exact Time Between Laser Hair Removal Treatments is not Exact

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We recommend waiting at least four weeks between Laser Hair Removal treatments. This is because the laser is only effective when the hair follicle is in its active growth phase. Repeat sessions will be necessary to treat those follicles when they re-enter the growth phase. Therefore, waiting longer between treatments will not ultimately affect your outcome. Optimal long-term benefits depend on the area you wish to have treated, the hair density, and your hair’s growth cycle.  Darker hair responds best to the laser, while lighter hair is less responsive. . Long-term hair removal depends on hair color, skin color, and the strength of the laser treatment as tolerated by the patient. Approximately 15-30% long-term hair loss may be observed with each treatment when optimal parameters are used.


Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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How Much Time Is Allowed To Lapse Between Each Hair Laser Treatment?

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The time between each treatment is chosen arbitrary. Since laser or IPL works on actively growing hair follicle, the next treatment is for the new growth whenever that happens.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Wait Time not a Problem

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You will not jeopardize the results of your treatments by waiting longer between appointments.  You should continue to shave between treatments and resume them when you get back.

Lisa Benest, MD
Burbank Dermatologist

How Much Time Is Allowed To Lapse Between Each Hair Laser Treatment?

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Thank you for your question. You do not mention what area of the body you are having treated. However, the hair growth phase of each person is different. This also changes for each area of the body. Facial hair typically grows more quickly and you would want to return every 4-6 weeks. While, body hair takes more time to grow and you would return every 6-8 weeks. Laser hair removal treatment is done in series of 6-9 sessions. Remember sun exposure and a tan will affect how the laser will respond to your skin. You will need to wait on treatment if your skin is tanned

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

Laser hair removal sessions can vary with different intervals between sessions

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Many people are not able to commit to an every four or six week interval in between laser hair removal treatments.  Trying to match the treatment with the growing phase of the hair cycle is possibly more academic than clinically required to obtain a satisfactory result in reduction of hair growth. If you have had several sessions and can not return for a few months, you can continue on your return.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 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.