All Your Laser Hair Removal Questions, Answered

July 13, 2022
Jessica Harrington
By: Jessica Harrington | by L'Oréal
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Laser hair removal is just what it sounds like — it’s a professional hair removal method that uses lasers to destroy hair follicles with heat — but there are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the topic of laser hair removal. For example: How long does it last, or when is the best time of year to do it? If you’ve ever found yourself contemplating laser hair removal but were unsure whether or not it was right for you, we spoke to Christian Karavolas, laser hair removal expert and founder of New York City-based salon, Romeo and Juliette Laser Hair Removal, to answer all of your most pressing laser hair removal questions, ahead.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

“Laser hair removal is a monochromatic beam of light that bypasses the epidermis (the top layer of your skin) and disables the reproductive cycle of the hair within the follicle,” explains Karavolas. This is what makes laser so effective at removing hair long term.

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Does Laser Hair Removal Work on All Skin Tones and Hair Types?

“Laser works on most skin tones, as long as the right laser is used,” says Karavolas. There are different types of lasers and different settings that can be used depending on how light or dark your skin is.

However, the same cannot be said for hair type. “Laser does not work well on hair that has very little or no pigment, such as white, light red or light blonde hair,” says Karavolas. This is because the laser operates by picking up the pigment of hair, making brown or black hair best.


Who Is the Best Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

“The best candidate for laser hair removal is a person who has pigment in their hair,” says Karavolas. “In our facility, we are not concerned with skin complexion, as we have 13 lasers for all skin tones and complexions.”


What Areas of the Body Can You Laser?

“We can treat all areas,” says Karavolas. “However, one has to be quite methodical when treating males and bikini areas.”

When Is the Best Time to Get Laser Hair Removal?

“We can treat clients year-round, even when tanned,” says Karavolas. “However, if they are sun baked, we suggest that they wait approximately two weeks prior to getting treated.” Because lasers target pigment, freshly sun-tanned skin is not recommended. Additionally, you cannot get laser on sunburned skin.


What Are the Potential Side Effects of Laser Hair Removal?

While it’s common to experience slight irritation after a laser treatment, more severe reactions are rare. Per the Mayo Clinic, side effects of laser hair removal can include blistering, discoloration after treatment, swelling, redness, and scarring. Sunlight should be avoided during healing after the procedure.

“Side effects can be some scabbing or a first-degree burn that resolves within a short period of time,” says Karavolas. By going to a professional, experienced salon that specializes in laser hair removal, you lower these chances.


How Many Sessions Does It Take to Eliminate All Hair Growth?

“Usually six to eight sessions spaced six weeks apart will give permanent hair reduction,” says Karavolas. It’s important to note that the number of sessions required to see results depends on the individual. Your technician will be able to tell you about how many sessions you should expect. 


Can You Shave, Wax or Tweeze Between Laser Sessions?

It may come as a shock, but unlike waxing, you can remove hair between sessions — but only by shaving. Tweezing and waxing is prohibited because it removes the hair follicle, which needs to be present in order for the laser to work.


How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?

“Laser hair removal, if properly administered, can offer permanent hair reduction that can last a lifetime,” says Karavolas. However, there are some cases where touch-ups may be necessary later on due to regrowth. 

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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