Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

Over the past decade, laser hair removal has become one of the most popular beauty treatments around. Claiming to stop your hair growth, you can get it done almost anywhere on your body, and as it becomes more and more common, it also appears to become more and more affordable. But is laser hair removal really permanent?


First, it's important to understand how laser hair removal works. "The laser light is directed at and gets absorbed by the pigment in the hair itself, which sits in the hair follicle," Dr. Robyn Gmyrek, a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City, explained to HuffPost. "When the laser light gets absorbed, it creates heat. If enough heat is generated down the hair follicle, it will destroy the hair growth center in the follicle. If the hair growth center is destroyed, you should not create a new hair," she continued. 

According to Gmyrek, you usually need to go under the laser about six times to completely destroy hair growth in your chosen area.

Laser hair removal results vary from person to person

However, results do vary from person to person, making some people better candidates for the treatment than others. While it's believed to work wonders for those with dark skin, or fair skin and dark hair, those with fair hair usually struggle to see results. "This is because there is not enough pigment to absorb the laser light in the hair," Gmyrek explained. "If not enough laser light is absorbed, then the heat generated is too little to destroy the follicle and treatment will be unsuccessful."


Ultimately, laser hair removal is not always permanent. "It is unlikely to permanently remove every single hair follicle because hair growth occurs in multiple phases and can be influenced by hormones or medications," Dr. Wright Jones, plastic surgeon and founder of Muse Plastic Surgery, told HuffPost. "Multiple treatments may lead to long term hair reduction but patients should not expect permanent hair removal." 

In other words, there really is no guarantee you're hair won't grow back.