Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

Dealing with excess face or body hair can be frustrating, embarrassing, and even painful. Understandably, most people pursuing laser hair removal, therefore, want their rogue follicles disabled forever. They want an end to struggling with ineffective, messy, expensive, and uncomfortable temporary hair removal solutions.

At the Grace Clinic, we often get asked whether or not laser hair removal is permanent, but this question doesn’t have a simple “yes” or “no” answer. How long laser hair removal lasts depends to some degree on each patient’s unique physiology, but there are some general guidelines you can refer to.

How Laser Hair Removal Works

Laser hair removal uses intense light to target the melanin (dark pigment) in hair follicles. Melanin absorbs the light, generating enough heat to damage the hair follicle without harming surrounding skin or causing discomfort. Once the hair follicle is damaged, it ceases to grow new hair. While it takes a few treatment sessions to achieve perfect results, this technique has been proven to eliminate unwanted hair.

Laser hair removal has several distinct advantages that make it an appealing alternative to electrolysis: First and foremost, it’s painless. Laser hair removal is also far more efficient than electrolysis; lasers can treat many follicles at once, whereas electrolysis uses a fine needle to target individual hair follicles. This means that laser hair removal can be used on large areas of the body, like the legs, arms, and back, without requiring either hours of time or thousands of dollars. Unless you want only a few stray facial hairs removed, laser hair removal is generally the only practical solution for unwanted hair.

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?

Most people experience some degree of permanent hair loss after having laser hair removal, but not everyone experiences total permanent hair loss. In many cases, at least some hair grows back two to five years after successful treatment. Noticeable hair regrowth is more likely to occur on patients who aren’t ideal candidates for laser hair removal: Because of the way this treatment works, people with fair hair or dark skin don’t always experience optimal hair loss.

Even on patients who are ideal candidates, experiencing some hair regrowth years after laser hair removal is fairly common. Still, this doesn’t mean you should pass up the opportunity to try this treatment: When hair does grow back, it tends to be much thinner and sparser in treated areas than it was before laser treatment. It may also be lighter in color, making it difficult to even notice. Many people, therefore, don’t feel the need to resume shaving or waxing after experiencing hair regrowth.

In the unlikely event that you do experience significant hair regrowth, there’s no need to panic—Laser hair removal is safe enough to be repeated multiple times over the years. After a few “touch up” treatments, your skin will be clear and smooth again.

For most patients, the benefits of laser hair removal far outweigh the possibility of eventual hair regrowth. This quick, painless, and affordable treatment can prevent years of aggravation and hassle brought on by shaving, waxing, or using hair removal creams. If you’re ready to free yourself from the burden of at-home treatments, contact Dr. Douglas Grace to arrange a laser hair removal consultation today.