Your Complete Guide to Laser Hair Removal

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If you have goals for longer-term hair removal/reduction and are sick of shaving and waxing, lasers might be able to solve your hairy woes. According to Miami dermatologist Dr. Janice Lima-Maribona, it’s the best and most precise way to get rid of unwanted hair. “It’s also the best option for people who experience breakouts from every other method.”

Lasers can leave more permanent results than other hair-removing alternatives. Hair removal lasers are great for the under arms (armpits), legs, arms, groin, back, chest and face. “The darker the hair, the better the result,” says Las Vegas dermatologist Dr. Alison Tam, MD. Lighter skin tones tend to have fewer reactions, but lasers can be used to treat all skin types. “Also, they make life much easier for women that have to shave every day and find it time consuming or cumbersome,” she says. 

However, lasers are not for every skin type and it can be uncomfortable—most people compare it to a rubber band snap on the skin. 

At-home laser hair removal systems rely on an 810nm diode laser, which only gives one wavelength, as well as IPL light, which doesn’t target all the way down to the bulb of the hair follicle. While you can perform laser hair removal yourself and in the privacy of your own home with at-home lasers, in order for the treatment to be effective, it’s imperative that you follow the instructions explicitly. The treatment may also be somewhat uncomfortable. 

In-office laser hair removal systems can use technologies that give more than one wavelength, which not only treats a wider range of skin types or hair colors, but also penetrates deeper into hair follicles for longer-lasting results. The treated areas won’t regrow hair but annual touch-ups may be required to keep you completely hair-free. There are a few downsides: In-office appointments can be costly, the results aren’t immediate and the treatment can be somewhat painful or uncomfortable.

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