How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last | Stacie Isler, PA-C

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By Stacie Isler, PA-C |

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?

What You Can Expect Out Of Your Next Laser Treatments

Laser hair removal (more appropriately called “laser hair reduction”) is a cosmetic treatment that permanently reduces the number of follicles in a specific region of the body. Our providers use bright flashes of filtered light to target the melanin that’s in the hair follicle and destroy it over time. Treatments are performed in a series and each treatment session can take anywhere between 5 minutes for small areas and up to 30 minutes for larger areas. 

So, how long does laser hair removal last? The average person can expect to see great results for 3 to 5 years after the completion of their treatment cycle. This depends on the total number of cycles, the laser used, the skill of the provider and the patient’s dedication to upkeep. 

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last

As hair inevitably grows back over time, it is not uncommon to need a touch-up after those 3 to 5 years. However, you most likely will not have to undergo the entire cycle of treatments again. 

Where You Target Matters! 

Hair grows back faster on the face (including the chin, upper lip, unibrow region, sideburns and the neck) when compared to the results you get from body hair removal – armpits, bikini line, back, chest, arms and legs. You can target almost any area on the body except for the eyelids or where there is a tattoo present. 

How You Can Maximize & Preserve Your Laser Hair Removal Results

  • UV Protection: It is best to avoid prolonged, direct sunlight for up to a month after your treatment. After this period, we highly recommend using a powerful SPF or covering to further protect your skin from damage. 
  • Pre-Treatment Shaving: Before your appointment, it is best practice to shave the desired area. This saves time and gives our providers a better view of the follicle they’re looking to eliminate. 
  • Cold Compression: Some swelling is completely normal after this procedure. To help curb this common side effect, we recommend using either an ice pack or a damp cloth on the area for several minutes a few times throughout the day after your session.
  • Treatment-Specific Creams: A provider may recommend a post-treatment steroid cream to minimize any pain. OTC anti-inflammatory medications and acetaminophen can also be used to help with discomfort. 
  • Hormones: Some patients have also found that balancing their hormones can actually reduce hair growth! 

What To Avoid After Your Treatment

Leg Laser Hair Removal
  • The Sun: UV radiation is not your friend when it comes to maximizing results and reducing risks of negative effects. This is why we heavily recommend having this treatment performed in the fall and winter months. We also recommend really piling on the SPF after your treatments to add another layer of protection. 
  • Tattoos: You can get a tattoo after laser hair removal, but you should wait at least a month after your last treatment. You cannot have laser hair removal performed on a tattoo. 
  • Makeup, Deodorant & Lotion: Your skin is going to feel a bit tender after your treatment, so you will want to avoid using these products for at least 24 hours after to ensure minimal irritation and a faster healing process.
  • Post-Treatment Shaving: While the laser has done its job, you may still feel the desire to shave the area. We recommend avoiding the razor for at least 24 hours after your treatment and to never shave an area that is red, swollen or painful.
  • Body Scrubs: You’re allowed to clean things up a bit but you want to avoid using exfoliating products until your skin completely heals. 

How Many Laser Hair Removal Treatments Do You Usually Need?

Only 33% of our hair is actively growing (known as the anagen phase) while the remaining follicles remain at rest (known as the telogen phase). At each session, our BBL laser is only able to target the hair that is in the growth phase which makes multiple sessions necessary. Most patients see their desired results within 4 to 8 visits (an average of 6), allowing 4 to 6 weeks in between each treatment. 

The amount of necessary sessions heavily relies on how dark the hair is, how dense the hair is and the skill of the provider.  


Stacie Isler Author Bio

About The Author

Stacie Isler, PA-C, is the Patient Care Director at Donaldson Plastic Surgery. She specializes in a full host of cosmetic laser treatments including HALO skin resurfacing, diVaTyte and laser hair removal. Her extensive industry experience and thorough training make her one of Ohio’s top specialists and she looks to further assist individuals everywhere through online education. 

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