How Effective Is Laser Hair Removal?

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How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?....5

Laser hair removal is very effective and generally clears about 80 percent of the unwanted hairs. Determine if laser hair removal is for you with advice from a practicing dermatologist in this free video on hair treatments.

Part of the Video Series: Dermatology Treatments
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. Raphael Darvish with Skinpeccable Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Center, here in Los Angeles, California, and I'm here today to talk to you about how effective laser hair removal really is. At my office, we do a lot of laser hair removal. It is perhaps the most popular cosmetic treatment that we do here. We do around ten to fifteen treatments a day, ranging from a small area on the upper lip to legs or back and shoulders. Laser hair removal is generally done every four to eight weeks, between five to eight treatments. Generally, after seven treatments, a patient should anticipate around 80 percent clearance of the hair. So, the remaining 20 percent will be obviously less dense, and the hairs will be thinner in caliber and growing slower. The Food and Drug Administration has approved lasers for permanent hair reduction, not removal. Everyone talks about laser hair removal, but it actually has been FDA cleared as reduction, because does it ever really get to 100 percent? It's hard to say, but generally people range in the area of 80 to 90 to 95 percent cleared, with a few straggling hairs that occur after the, or that remain after the laser hair removal treatment series is over. There are some patients that don't respond to the laser. We'll do the laser treatment series and really end up with the equivalent amount of hair that they had at the beginning of the series. It's very rare. I don't see it often at all. There are also some patients, a very small subset, that actually grow additional hair when being shot with the laser. That generally is a result of using too low of energies with the laser, and occurs in mostly Middle Eastern skin types. Certain areas don't respond as well as others, so the facial, removing facial hair is more difficult than removing coarse body hair, like the underarms or the hair on the underarms, or the hair on the legs, and that's because the coarse hair of the underarms is a much better target for the laser than fine, lighter colored hair on the face. So, you know, with underarms and legs it's a real home run. Face sometimes, especially on a darker skinned individual, if the hair is very fine or is light, the end result is not as effective as it would be if they were doing the treatment on their underarms, legs or bikini line. I'm Dr. Raphael Darvish, and that's a brief overview of how effective laser hair removal really is. Thank you.


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