How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal is a great way to permanently get rid of unwanted hair so that you never have to worry about shaving or waxing again. However, just the word 'laser' might induce some anxiety and leave you wondering how the process works and whether or not it's really safe. The good news is, it's completely safe. Here's a longer answer on how the laser hair removal process works.

Meeting the Criteria

The first thing you should know is that your dermatologist or consultant will need to verify that you meet certain criteria before letting you go through with laser hair removal.

Typically, what you need is to have hair that's darker than your skin tone. This is because the laser will target melanin, which is produced in both skin and hair. For that reason, people with lighter hair may not necessarily be a good candidate for this procedure.

Going Through the Process

Assuming that you qualify, laser hair removal is a fairly simple process. You'll come into an office and settle into a chair while your dermatologist gets ready. They'll use a numbing solution on the area where your hair will be removed to ensure that you're comfortable. Then, they'll get to work.

They'll use a small handheld tool that pulses a laser faster than the eye can see into the hair follicle. When it does so, it essentially kills the hair follicle, stunting the growth of new hair. This will be repeated all over the area that you want hair removed.

Keep in mind that you'll likely need to come in for multiple treatments. This isn't because the process is ineffective, but because of the natural growth cycle of your hair. When a dead hair falls out, it takes a while to be replaced by a new one. Since the laser follows the hair to the follicle, any hair follicle that doesn't currently have a hair protruding from it won't be treated. This is why you need to come back in again after a week or so to have the process repeated on hairs that weren't there and thus haven't been treated.


Once your treatments are over, you should start to see the benefits immediately. Hair will start to grow in more finely after just the first treatment, and with multiple treatments, it will eventually stop growing in at all. Any remaining hairs that do grow in will do so at an extremely slow rate, ensuring that you have the smooth skin you're looking for.