Laser Hair Removal FAQs, Answered by a Top Dermatologist
Whether you’re new to laser hair removal, a seasoned vet, or just plain curious, we tapped a top dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Michael Kaminer, to answer some of the most common laser hair removal questions. From what laser hair removal is to how many sessions it really takes, check out the answers to the most popular laser hair removal FAQs, below!
How does laser hair removal work?
“Lasers are tuned to specific colors—and dark hair obviously has color,” Dr. Kaminer says. “The hair absorbs the laser energy, as do the pigment cells that form the hair. That heat builds up and engulfs the hair bulb, or the root of the hair. The heat kills the bulb.”
Does laser hair removal work on all skin tones and hair colors?
“Not exactly,” he says. “Dark skin is a challenge, but can be treated with dark hair [as long as] the doctor has a special type of laser that is tuned to dark skin called a long pulsed YAG laser.” He suggests that the skin tone and hair color combination best suited for laser hair removal is light skin with dark hair.
How many sessions of laser hair removal do I need to commit to?
Dr. Kaminer says that a minimum of five sessions will be required depending on the area covered. However, to receive the best results—especially on stubborn areas—he advises booking around 10 sessions. “Bikini and underarms respond the quickest, so sometimes you can get away with closer to five,” he explains.
Is laser hair removal safe for the skin?
“If done properly, yes,” Dr. Kaminer says. “If using the wrong laser, wrong laser setting, or if the patient has a tan, then all bets are off.”
What are some precautions I should take before, during, and after going through laser hair removal?
According to Dr. Kaminer, there are two main concerns to keep in mind. One, make sure that your doctor’s office has a lot of experience doing laser hair removal and uses up-to-date technology. Two, make sure you do not have a tan when you go.