Bowes Dermatology Frequently Asked Questions: Laser Hair Removal

by Riverchase Dermatology
June 18, 2016

When it comes to Laser Hair Removal, patients commonly have MANY questions before getting started.  If you are considering Laser Hair Removal look no further than our Laser Hair Removal FAQs!

Laser Hair Removal is a very popular means to permanently reduce hair in areas such as the face, under arms, bikini, arms and legs.  Not only will hair in the treatment area improve, patients also notice considerably smoother skin and less stubborn in-grown hairs.

Here’s our top list of FAQs to guide you and help you make the most of your Laser Hair Removal treatments.

How many sessions will I need?

An average treatment for permanent hair reduction will take anywhere from 5 to 10 sessions.  With Laser Hair Removal treatments hair will become thinner, and will begin to come in less and less.  Sessions are spaced anywhere from monthly to every two months, depending on the area of the body treated.

Is the type of laser used very important to results?

Yes.  There are many different options for hair removal with lasers.  Your skin type is one of the main determining factors for which laser is best for you.  Not all lasers are the same, and at Bowes Dermatology we pride ourselves in having the best and safest technology for our patients.  We have multiple hair removal platforms available to suit all patient needs.

Can I tan before Laser Hair Removal?

No!  It is very important to NOT be exposed to the sun in the weeks prior to AND after laser sessions.  Having tan skin before or after your treatment can greatly increase your chances of changing the pigment of your skin, resulting in unwanted hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) or hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin) which could be permanent.

Should I shave before the session?

Yes.  Shaving the surface hair in the treatment area does not negatively affect the treatment, as the laser targets the follicle under the skin.  Having surface hair present can make the heat felt during the session greater which could result in a more painful session.  It is highly recommended to remove thick or coarse hairs by shaving the day before your session.  Facial hair trimmers work especially well for areas of the face or body that patients may prefer not to use a razor on.

Is waxing okay to do before Laser Hair Removal? 

No.  Waxing or tweezing will remove the follicle of the hair which is what the laser targets.  Waxing or tweezing is therefore NOT recommended for best results.

Does the laser treat white or gray hairs?

Typically, white, gray or red hairs will not respond to laser hair removal.  This is because there is likely no melanin (or pigment) present in these hairs.  A test spot can always be performed to test if your hair may respond to laser treatment.

Should I stop any medications before my treatment?

Retinol or Retinoic Acid should be stopped 7 days prior to the procedure.  There are some antibiotics that may also make the skin sensitive to laser treatments like laser hair removal.   Always let your provider know of any medications that you are taking prior to your laser treatment.

Will Laser Hair Removal hurt?

Like other hair removal techniques, there is some discomfort associated with Laser Hair Removal, however this is minimal.  Our lasers utilize cooling mechanisms for patient comfort.  We are also happy to provide patients with numbing cream prior to their treatment for sensitive areas.


If you have interest in learning more about Laser Hair Removal at Bowes Dermatology please call us at (305) 856-6555.