Woman getting laser hair removal performed on her leg.

When it comes to shaving, the cost of new razors and shaving cream quickly adds up. Wouldn’t it be nice to ditch the razors and cream altogether? 

Now you can, thanks to laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is a common cosmetic service that permanently reduces hair from specific areas of your body. This allows you to spend less time in the bathroom, save money, and stop having to schedule extra time into your week to shave or wax. 

If you’ve been considering laser hair removal, one of your biggest questions is likely how many sessions you will need to achieve your desired results. Usually, it takes between 2–6 sessions to complete laser hair removal depending on the area being treated.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is an effective, simple, and virtually painless way to achieve the smooth skin you desire. The process uses a technique called selective photothermolysis. The heat from the laser destroys cells with a lot of pigment (color).

Dark hair absorbs the most heat due to its high pigment content. Hair transfers heat to the hair follicles, destroying them and preventing hair growth.

The American Academy of Dermatology has approved laser hair removal for use in the following areas:

  • Back
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Bikini area
  • Face (excluding the area around the eyes)
  • Legs

Although laser hair removal can effectively delay hair growth for extended periods, it rarely results in permanent hair removal, instead, it results in permanent hair reduction. For initial hair removal, multiple laser hair removal treatments are needed, and maintenance treatments may be required as well.

Laser hair removal works best on people with light skin and dark hair, but it can be used on people of all skin types.

The main point to remember is that laser therapy targets hair follicles. This is why, when compared to other treatment options such as tweezing and waxing, the results of laser hair removal last longer.

Laser Hair Removal Sessions

Laser hair removal treatment is best delivered in a series of sessions. Because each person is unique, it is difficult to predict how many sessions will be required without an initial consultation. In most cases, 2–6 sessions are required to effectively remove the hair.

This is because our hair goes through different stages of growth. The bodily location where you want the hair removed is also taken into account. Our team will assess your specific situation and provide you with an estimated timeline.

How Long Does a Session Take?

There are several steps involved in a laser hair removal session. This includes:

  • Your medical professional will clean the area.
  • Then they will provide you with safety glasses or goggles to wear during the procedure. Your healthcare provider will also be wearing protective eyewear.
  • Numbing gel is often applied to assist with comfort during the procedure.
  • The laser is used to treat your skin. Some people compare the feeling to a rubber band snapping against their skin.
  • You might notice the smell of smoke and burning hair during your treatment. This is normal and is caused by the hair burning away from the heat of the laser.

Your procedure could last from a few minutes to an hour—appointment length is determined by the size of the area to be treated. Larger areas, such as the back, thighs, and legs, will take longer but can generally still be completed in under an hour. Smaller areas like the upper lip generally take only a few minutes. 

A comparison to show difference in facial hair on the chin before and after a laser hair removal procedure.

After Your Laser Hair Removal Session

Many people notice their hair thinning immediately after the treatment, but everyone is different, and the results will depend on how your body reacts to the laser and the type of hair you have.

Some hairs will fall out immediately, while others may take longer to shed. Between appointments, you will have smooth, hair-free skin, and re-growth may be lighter, finer, and more scattered.

Following laser hair removal, your skin may become a little bit red or swollen. You can apply a cold compress to the affected area. Additional aftercare includes:

  • Trying to stay out of the sun
  • Avoiding waxing or picking at your skin for a few days
  • Avoiding using any scented products or retinol creams on your skin
  • Keeping your skin clean, and using baby powder to keep it cool and dry

Considering Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a straightforward procedure for removing unwanted hair from specific areas of your body. The treatment plans are tailored to your specific needs and will help you in achieving long-term results.

If you’re thinking about getting laser hair removal and have any questions, please contact our team at AMARA Aesthetic Surgery and Dermatology.