Laser hair removal is a procedure to remove unwanted body hair. People may want the treatment on their underarms, back, or bikini area. It’s not permanent, but the results last longer than shaving or waxing. Most people need about six treatments.
Laser hair removal is non-invasive, which means it doesn’t require any cuts in your skin. The heat from a laser destroys cells that have a lot of pigment (color). Since dark hair has a lot of pigment, it absorbs the most heat. Hair transfers heat to the hair follicles and destroys them, so hair can’t grow.
A hair follicle has to be in its anagen, or growth stage for the procedure to work. Follicles are in different stages at different times, so most people need multiple laser treatments.
Laser hair removal involves several steps. Your healthcare provider:
- Cleans the area.
- Gives you protective glasses or goggles to wear during the procedure. Your healthcare also wears protective eyewear.
- Treat your skin with a laser. It might feel like a series of stings. Some people describe it as a rubber band snapping against their skin.
Your procedure might take a few minutes or up to an hour. It depends on the size of the area that is being treated. You might smell smoke and burning hair. This is normal and is the hair burning away from the laser’s heat.