Is Laser Hair Removal Safe?

by Carole Ellis ; Updated September 28, 2017

Laser hair removal is becoming one of the most popular cosmetic procedures on the market. It is relatively quick and generally nearly painless, though it can cause some pretty serious irritation on the day of the procedure. However, many people balk at getting this done because they fear that it is not completely safe. Be sure that you understand all the ramifications of laser hair removal before you undergo the procedure in order to make sure that you get safe and beautiful results.


Laser hair removal involves inserting a small laser into each hair follicle and basically burning the hair follicle beyond repair. As a result of this self-induced damage, the area containing the "zapped" hair follicles will be permanently hairless. It is easy to see why this type of procedure might make some people nervous, but when it is conducted properly you do not even puncture the skin because the laser is actually inserted into the existing hole where the hair follicle is located.


Although laser hair removal should not involve any invasive action, it often does simply because hair follicles are very small and sometimes technicians--even good ones--do not manage to stay entirely within the follicle. The more often this happens, the greater your risk of infection. However, even if you do end up with some puncture wounds, they are not going to be any worse than multiple pin pricks and you can usually keep them clean and sterile while they heal with little trouble.

Time Frame

Laser hair removal usually takes more than one treatment. Generally it requires 2 to 6 treatments over a period of two to six weeks, depending on your skin type. Do not allow yourself to become less vigilant as the treatments progress without incident. Each time you neglect the aftercare of your skin, you jeopardize the health of your skin and your hair follicles by exposing them to potential infections. Particularly the day of and the day after the treatments, make sure that you keep your skin clean and moisturized with recommended cleaning and hydrating products.


Laser hair removal does have some unpleasant, temporary side effects that accompany your efforts to achieve the pleasant, permanent result of less hair. You will feel some stinging and some people report serious pain. Your skin will also turn pink and it may feel sunburned for a day or two. However, a topical anaesthetic will usually solve this problem, and it should fade as the hours pass. Unless the feeling persists for more than 72 hours, you do not have a problem, and the reports of this are very few and far between.


When you are considering laser hair removal, be sure to consult a dermatologist. They can help you prepare for the procedure and recommend any precautionary steps that are specific to your skin. This will help you get the best results possible from your laser hair removal. Particularly if you have sensitive skin, you may need to use a slightly different after-process treatment than most people to help prevent inflammation and infection.


Many people believe that all laser hair removal treatments are the same. However, in reality the laser will be custom set to be tolerable for your skin and your hair follicles while getting the most results possible out of every single treatment. In addition, you technician or a physician can prescribe additional treatments to make you more receptive to the procedure and to limit the necessary exposure to the laser. With proper supervision, laser hair removal is totally safe and there is an extremely low risk of complications.