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A 18-year-old member asked:

how does laser hair removal work? actually, what is it?

5 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Francisco Agullo
Plastic Surgery 20 years experience
Laser hair removal: The laser used in laser hair removal targets the pigment of the hair to destroy the hair follicle.
Dr. Darryl Blinski
Plastic Surgery 46 years experience
Be sure which laser devise is being used. Diodes seem to be a bit better.
Jan 17, 2012
Dr. Mike Bowman
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 19 years experience
Yes it works: But not overnight. The laser heats up and kills the hair follicles that are in the growing part of their life cycle. This is only about 20% of hairs at any given time, so it takes 4-5 treatments to get full removal. Also, the laser requires pigment, which means that blonde hairs don't respond much at all.
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
Plastic Surgery 19 years experience
Intense Light: Laser light to remove hair actually is very intense light that shines on hair and travels down the hair shaft to the follicle where the hair is produced. The energy literally burns the follicle and destroys it. The hair may grow back, but if it does, it is usually more fine and lighter in color.
Dr. Annette Occhialini
Plastic Surgery 36 years experience
Works on dark hair: The laser light is targeting the pigment in the hair to absorb the energy to treat the follicle. It works best an dark hair and may not be advisable for dark skinned individuals. Avoiding sun exposure is important to keep the skin as pale as possible. Laser will not work on grey or pale blond hair. Hair must be present to work (not long) so you have to stop waxing or plucking for time prior to tx.
Dr. Otto Placik
Plastic Surgery 34 years experience
Lasers target hair: Here's an analogy to help explain: when an opera singer hits the right note, the sound energy of the voice is absorbed by a glass causing it to shatter. Laser energy is similarly absorbed by target "chromophores" ( melanin) which tend to heat up and destroy the hair follicle stopping growth of the hair. This is why individuals with less melanin pigment (blonde hair) are not good candidates

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Similar questions

A 29-year-old member asked:

Does smokeless tobacco carry a high risk of mouth cancer?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Yes: Any use of tobacco increases the risk of cancer, at multiple sites in the body.
A 39-year-old member asked:

What could cause the left side of my jaw to lock up after catching a cold a few days ago?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Benda, jr
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 34 years experience
TMJ disorder: A locked jaw is usually due to a temporomandibular joint that is injured or displaced. This could happen when you are ill from clenching too much, or a wide yawn if you already have aproblem with the joint. Go see an ent. If severe a few days of a steroid will help, then you may need an occlusion splint made by a dentist.
A 37-year-old member asked:

What might a patch of painful red skin be due to?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Sparacino
Family Medicine 37 years experience
Inflammation: Inflammation of some type. If it doesn't heal, you should visit your doctor.
A 36-year-old member asked:

Can laser hair removal actually work?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Elliot Duboys
Plastic Surgery 44 years experience
Yes: No such thing as hair removal - rather hair reduction. Every treatment with an effect laser (i.e. Diode, or alexandrite) reduces the growing hair by 80%. Since hair growth is cyclical, you must go for treatments every 4-6 weeks. Other lasers are less effective. Do your research before actually going to a laser clinic!
Dr. Vicki Levine
Dermatology 41 years experience
the patients that have the best response have fair skin and course dark hair
Dec 25, 2013
A 33-year-old female asked:

Does laser hair removal actually work in reducing/killing hair growth & if so does the home remedy tria laser work just as well?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Zadeh
General Surgery 17 years experience
Laser Hair Removal: Yes, laser hair removal can be very effective in reducing unwanted hair. At home hair removal products do not really work well compared to the top of the line laser hair removal machines you find at physicians' offices.

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Last updated Oct 23, 2017

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