1. Am I a candidate for laser hair removal? The absolute requirement is that one's hair must be darker than the surrounding skin. Additionally very darkly pigmented people absorb too much laser energy in their skin and are not ideal candidates. Patients with very light hair are not candidates.
2. What is the influence of hair color on laser hair removal? Dark hair absorbs more laser energy and is easier to treat. Coarse dark hair responds the best to laser treatment. Light hair is more difficult to treat. Blonde or red hair is very difficult to treat. Blonde or red hair usually contains pheomelanin, which absorbs laser energy less avidly than the eumelanin pigment which is present in black or brown hair.
3. Does laser hair removal require multiple treatments? Although one laser session can produce long-term hair removal, as a rule, multiple treatment sessions are necessary to obtain optimal results. This is in large part due to the fact that laser hair removal is most effective for hair that is in the active phase of growth. Since hair grows in cycles, not all of the hairs are in active phase at any given time. Therefore, multiple treatment sessions are required and results may vary. The number of treatments varies from person to person and from one anatomical site to the other.
4. What areas can be treated? Any area where there is excess hair can be treated (except areas around the eyes). The most common areas requested are the face, upper lip, chin, neck, sideburns, peri-areolar, underarms, back, chest, abdomen, bikini line, lower back, legs and arms.
5. How permanent is laser hair removal? Waxing,
shaving, and plucking all produce hair removal which is temporary. Several of
the newer lasers have clearly documented that there is permanent hair reduction
after each treatment. The FDA has approved several lasers for permanent hair
reduction, and more results with additional lasers are pending. The results
tend to be additive, i.e. more treatments lead to greater degrees of permanent
hair reduction. For any given patient results cannot be precisely
Results can vary, even with the best lasers.
6. Is there a guarantee? It is impossible to predict the exact result a patient will achieve with laser hair removal, especially with regard to how many sessions a given individual will require. Many of the hair removal clinics which guaranteed results have gone out of business. Like most reputable medical practices, the most established laser hair removal practices do not guarantee results.