What is permanent hair removal?

Permanent hair removal is pretty much like it sounds. Whereas temporary hair removal such as plucking, trimming and using depilatories remove hairs leaving the hair bulb or root intact, permanent hair removal destroys the hair bulb, so the hair can't regrow. 

Lasers and electrolysis are permanent. Lasers blast the root of the hair under the skin, while electrolysis zaps the root of the hair with a tiny jolt of electricity; both destroy the hair root, preventing hair regrowth.  

Unfortunately though, even permanent hair removal is not always permanent. Sometimes stubborn hairs grow back even when these techniques are used. 

Both lasers and electrolysis hurt a little bit, and lasers can only target pigmented hairs so grey or blonde hairs cannot be removed this way. 

Dr. Doris Day, MD

Permanent hair removal means that at the end of two years you'll have less hair not no hair. The gold standard laser for hair removal is the Diode Laser. My favorite one is the Light Sheer Duet since it covers a very large treatment area, no need for gel, and can treat a whole back or entire legs in 15 minutes with minimal discomfort, no pain. 

Lasers work best on lighter skin and darker hair, they do not work on blonde hair at all, the skin should not have a tan. Prior to your treatment shave the hair so it is present but short. You should not pluck or wax since that removes the follicle and will make the treatment ineffective.

For most people 6-8 treatments are necessary, best done at 1 month intervals. It is important to try to do these in sequence to avoid the need for extra treatments. 

Laser hair removal is a good way to achieve hair removal. At the end of the treatment course, you should have little or no hair. Whether or not you are a good candidate depends on multiple factors: you skin and hair color, how thick the hair is, and the exact type of hair. In general terms, laser hair removal works best for patients with dark hair and light skin. Thicker hair (terminal hair) is a better target than very fine hair. Electrolysis works better for fine, light hair.

Laser hair removal requires several treatments to use light energy to target the hair follicles in the dermis and generate heat. This heat destroys the hair follicles so the hair growth is inhibited. Many patients can obtain 80% reduction of hair growth but it is not absolute and there are no guarantees. 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Permanent hair removal is a tricky term, because it isn't always permanent. It's the long term reduction or removal of hair from your body. The results can last anywhere from months to years.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.