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What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a noninvasive technique that uses a low-energy laser beam to disrupt the growing cycle of hair follicles. It is used to remove unwanted hair on your face or body. Treatments can keep you smooth longer than razors, tweezers or waxing.

Laser treatments use a laser to destroy the follicle. The result is eventually permanent after years of repeated treatments. Laser hair removal only works on dark brown or black hair. White or blond hair will not respond to the laser. Red hair may have limited response to the laser treatment.

Laser hair removal takes from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the areas to be treated. Because hair grows in cycles, you'll need multiple sessions, usually four to six. Then you will most likely need a maintenance treatment two to three times a year. The cost varies depending on the area being treated. Laser hair removal is best performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Possible complications include pain, scarring and pigmentation changes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow manufacturers to claim permanent hair removal. Results can be long term once the majority of hair follicles have been destroyed.

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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.