Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

Cosmetic Dermatologist Serving Beverly Hills, Larchmont & surrounding areas of Los Angeles


If you find grooming unwanted body hair to be a major hassle, you're not alone. Shaving, plucking or waxing on a regular basis is a time-consuming and uncomfortable experience. It can also leave you with unwanted issues like razor bumps or breakouts on occasion. If you'd like to eliminate this hassle from your grooming routine, laser hair removal might be an excellent option for you.

Laser hair removal is by far the most long-lasting and effective method to eliminate unwanted body hair. While it's true that the vast majority of your hair won't grow back after laser hair removal treatments, it's not entirely accurate to say that this procedure results in a 100% permanent elimination of unwanted hair in the treatment region. You will most likely experience some hair regrowth over time, although this new hair will be lighter and finer than the original hairs that were treated by your laser hair removal procedure.

On average, laser hair removal patients can expect to experience a 70-90% permanent reduction in the hair that is present on treated areas. This is a much more effective outcome than can be achieved by shaving, waxing, plucking or just about any other hair removal method. Keep in mind that it will typically take about 4-6 laser hair removal sessions spread out over the course of a year to achieve these results.

Factors that Impact the Permanence of Laser Hair Removal Treatments

woman receiving laser hair removal - Los Angeles dermatologistThe percentage of permanent hair reduction experienced varies from patient to patient. Factors that impact the amount of hair that grows back include:

  • Skin tone
  • Hair color
  • Hair thickness
  • The area of the body being treated

In general, the individuals who experience the most effective results with laser hair removal have light skin and dark hair. This combination of skin tone and hair color allows the hair follicle to absorb more of the laser energy.

Why will Some Hair Grow Back after Laser Hair Removal?

Your hair goes through 3 different phases during the growth cycle:

  • Anagen (growth phase)
  • Catagen (shriveling phase)
  • Telogen (resting phase)

Laser hair removal works by destroying the hair follicles, and your hair needs to be in the anagen phase for this to occur. Approximately 75% of your hair is in the anagen phase at any given time. The remaining hair follicles which are in the other two phases of the growth cycle won't be impacted by your treatment. This is why it takes multiple laser hair removal sessions to achieve optimal results.

Your follow-up sessions will target the hair follicles that weren't in the anagen phase during prior treatments. Over time, your laser hair removal treatments will be able to effectively destroy the vast majority of hair follicles in the treated region. The regrowth you experience will be from those hair follicles that were never in the anagen cycle during your treatment sessions.

Contact our Los Angeles Cosmetic Dermatologist

Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald is a board certified dermatologist with more than 20 years of experience. She uses the latest and most advanced laser technology available in order to achieve the best possible results. You can receive individualized treatment recommendations by speaking with Dr. Fitzgerald in person.

Please contact Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald using the form on this page or call 323-464-8046 today to schedule your laser hair removal consultation. We serve patients in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Larchmont and the surrounding areas of California.