Laser Hair Removal FAQ – Your Questions Answered (2024)

During the warm summer months, many people find themselves worrying about showing off hairy areas like legs, backs, or underarms. Shaving, plucking, and waxing can be downright tedious or even lead to serious irritation for those with sensitive skin. For removing unwanted hair, laser hair removal can be a better option. At U.S. Dermatology Partners Four Points in Austin, TX, Dr. Roopal Bhatt provides safe, comfortable laser hair removal. Read this blog to get the answers to some of the questions we hear most often about laser hair removal.

What is Laser Hair Removal & Does it Work?

Lasers are used in a number of professions. They can tackle problems from creating perfect 20/20 vision to ensuring you hang your painting straight. According to Dr. Bhatt, “Dermatologists use lasers on a daily basis to remove lesions, improve the appearance of scars, and remove hair. Our state-of-the-art lasers can be used on patients of all skin types to remove hair from the face and body, offering long-lasting results with minimal irritation.”

Can Anyone Get Laser Hair Removal?

In the past, laser hair removal wasn’t possible for certain skin and hair types, but advances in laser technologies mean that laser hair removal treatment is now an option for more people than ever before. Because lasers rely on lights and pigmentation to be effective, the ideal candidate for laser hair removal will have light skin and dark hair. The contrast in coloring makes it easy for the laser to target and remove the hairs. Finer textured or lighter colored hair may be more difficult to remove, and laser hair removal for those with darker skin tones can also be a challenge. While studies have not been conducted to indicate the negative impact on health during pregnancy, it is not recommended that expectant mothers receive laser hair removal.

If you are in relatively good health, no matter your hair or skin type, we can provide effective laser hair removal options. You should schedule a consultation with Dr. Bhatt or another board-certified dermatologist to explore available hair removal treatments.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?

Laser hair removal is safe, comfortable, and effective for almost any patient. There are no long-term health risks associated with laser hair removal, but there may be some short term side effects you should be aware of. Your dermatologist will usually test one strip before beginning the full hair removal process. Testing a small part of the skin will indicate to us in advance if you are going to have an adverse response to laser hair removal. Common side effects include redness, irritation, and itching. In some cases, the skin may become drier or change in color (darker or lighter). Less common symptoms include infection, blisters, burns, and scarring.

How Long Does the Laser Hair Removal Process Take?

Laser hair removal treatment visits normally take from five to thirty minutes, depending on the area being treated. Body hair grows and rests in cycles, and laser hair removal only works when hair is actively growing, so we recommend you come to visit us once a month for treatments. Most people achieve the results they’re looking for in four to six sessions. During each session, actively growing hair will be removed, and we’ll repeat the treatments until all hairs have been addressed. Each session of laser hair removal requires you to prepare the treatment area, receive the treatment, and care for the skin as it heals.


Before your laser hair removal treatment, you should avoid tanning or using sunless tanners. You can shave your legs, but don’t pluck, wax, or bleach the area as this can impede the efficacy of laser treatment. In some cases, we may prescribe prescription medications to reduce the risk of infection or inflammation. Make sure you take these medications as directed. We will also instruct you to shave the area to be treated one to two days before your laser hair removal session to decrease the risk of irritation and inflammation that can occur when removing longer hairs.


Laser hair removal works by targeting the pigment (coloring) of hair inside of the follicle. When the laser light is absorbed into the hair, it destroys the center of the follicle that stimulates hair regrowth. This is only possible when the hair is actively growing. Body hair goes through cycles of growth and rest, so we’ll need to treat the area every few weeks as new hairs begin to grow.

After Care

You need to avoid sun exposure throughout your treatments. Apply at least an SPF 30 sunscreen to the targeted area of the skin throughout treatment. For the first week after treatment, do not take very hot showers or baths or spend time in hot tubs and saunas as this can cause irritation. Don’t shave for at least three days after your treatment, and avoid plucking, waxing, or bleaching hair until your treatments are completed. Use ice, cool cloths, or aloe vera to soothe inflamed skin. If the skin is not irritated, inflamed, or peeling, you can apply lotion or makeup as early as the day after treatment.

Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

Laser hair removal is long-lasting but not necessarily permanent. People typically do not see hair regrowth for months or years after completing their laser hair removal sessions. In most cases, we recommend scheduling regular touch up treatments to ensure you remain free of unwanted body hair.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Compare with Other Options?

There are many ways to remove unwanted hair, and each has its benefits. Shaving is simple and convenient, but you have to shave often to keep the area smooth. Plucking, waxing, and sugaring offer longer-lasting result than shaving, but they can be painful and irritate the skin. Results from these hair removal methods only last a few weeks. Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal solution that works by passing electricity through a needle into the hair follicle killing the root and preventing regrowth. Electrolysis can offer an effective, permanent hair removal solution. However, the treatments can be uncomfortable, and you’ll need to visit several times a week for electrolysis until treatment is completed. Additionally, electrolysis hair removal can be expensive.

Laser hair removal is comfortable and effective, offering long-lasting results. Performed under the observation of a board-certified dermatologist, laser hair removal is completely safe, and it may be a more affordable option than electrolysis or the cumulative cost of other hair removal methods.

How do I Get Started Working with U.S. Dermatology Partners?

If you’re interested in moving forward with laser hair removal, U.S. Dermatology Partners has you covered. If you live in Austin or one of the surrounding communities, don’t hesitate to give Dr. Bhatt at U.S. Dermatology Partners Four Points a call. They offer laser hair removal for all skin types in their Austin office. If you’re not near to Austin, we have locations throughout Texas and the U.S. to accommodate your dermatology needs. We have a simple, online form that gives our local dermatology team members the information they need to help you. After you fill out the online form, one of our team members will be in touch to answer your questions, discuss your treatment options, and schedule an appointment for you.

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Laser Hair Removal FAQ – Your Questions Answered (2024)


What no one tells you about laser hair removal? ›

It does not eliminate hair, it REDUCES hair

A common misconception is that laser hair removal is a permanent solution, but the reality is that its a semi-permanent solution. You can expect up to a 90% reduction in hair growth and thickness, to the point where you won't need to shave as much.

What do you wish you knew before laser hair removal? ›

Shave But Do Not Wax Before your Appointment

It is recommended you shave 24 hours - 48 hours before your appointment to ensure optimal results. You cannot wax since waxing removes the hair follicle, therefore, the laser will have nothing to target to achieve permanent hair removal results.

What are the don'ts of laser hair removal? ›

Here's what to avoid:
  • Avoid exposing skin to UV light (sunlight or sunbeds) or self-tan for at least 2 weeks after treatment. ...
  • Avoid heat treatments such as spas, steam rooms and saunas for 7 days.
  • Avoid excessive scrubbing or applying pressure to the skin for 4-5 days.

What happens if I stop laser hair removal after 4 sessions? ›

If you stop laser hair removal too early, you'll likely be left with something around the percentage that is there now. Once the particular follicle is dead it won't regrow, but new ones can be triggered by hormonal changes.

Do people ever regret laser hair removal? ›

But, as with any treatment that ends with more or less permanent results, not everyone is pleased with their decision. While some feel freedom after banishing all the hair on their bodies for good, others express deep regret — especially given how the conversation around body hair has shifted in recent years.

Can I shave 2 hours before laser hair removal? ›

You should shave within 24 hours of your scheduled laser appointment.

Can you listen to music during laser hair removal? ›

Bring Something To Cover Up And Distract You

You may also consider bringing a magazine or book to read or even just closing your eyes and listening to music. These temporary distractions can force you to focus on something other than the laser hair removal treatment and you'll be done before you know it.

What happens if I don't shave before laser? ›

Potential Risks of Skipping the Shave

Reduce efficacy: Hair above the skin absorbs laser energy, diverting it from the follicles, leading to diminished results. Cause skin irritation: Unshaved hair can lead to post-laser redness, inflammation, and swelling.

Should I laser my pubic hair? ›

' Yes, it is safe to laser the pubic area for most patients. It should be noted that this is one of the more sensitive areas when it comes to laser hair removal, but it is quick and effective. Many patients also believe it is overall less painful than waxing.

What makes you a bad candidate for laser hair removal? ›

Also, the laser focuses in on the darker pigments in your hair. This means if you have fair skin and fair hair, or dark skin and dark hair, the laser may struggle to differentiate between skin and hair, and you could suffer from damage to the surrounding area or experience poor results.

Why can't you pluck during laser hair removal? ›

In order for the laser to be effective, hair has to be present. If you have removed hair by plucking, threading, waxing or epilating, the laser will simply not work. Without hair to absorb the laser light, there is nothing to be affected by the treatment so resist the urge to pluck!

Is it OK to shave during laser hair removal? ›

FAQ about shaving when you're having laser hair removal

While you can shave between sessions, don't shave right after one. You need to shave 24-48 hours before the treatment–– your clinic will have given you advice about this (or read our blog on preparing for a session here).

How many years is laser hair removal good for? ›

You can expect a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after the first treatment. To remove the hair, most patients need 2 to 6 laser treatments. After finishing the treatments, most patients do not see any hair on the treated skin for several months or even years. When the hair regrows, there tends to be less of it.

How many laser sessions until hair falls out? ›

Laser hair removal usually requires two to six treatments. The interval between treatments will vary depending on the location. On areas where hair grows quickly, such as the upper lip, the treatment might be repeated in four to eight weeks.

How long until hairs fall out after laser? ›

Hairs begin to fall out in 5-14 days and may continue to do so for weeks. Hairs may be more rapidly removed by rubbing, scrubbing, or plucking (with no discomfort after 5 days) if one desires to speed up this part of the process. It is not necessary to do so.

What is the success rate of laser hair removal? ›

You can expect a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after the first treatment. To remove the hair, most patients need 2 to 6 laser treatments. After finishing the treatments, most patients do not see any hair on the treated skin for several months or even years.

Are laser hair removal worth it? ›

If you're not happy with shaving, tweezing, or waxing to remove unwanted hair, laser hair removal may be an option worth considering. Laser hair removal is one of the most commonly done cosmetic procedures in the U.S. It beams highly concentrated light into hair follicles.

Why do I look hairier after laser hair removal? ›

The appearance of increased hair growth after laser hair removal can be concerning, but it's important to understand that this is a normal part of the treatment process. Hair shedding, hair growth cycles, and misconceptions about hair growth can all contribute to the perception of increased hairiness.

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