Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For Your Face? Here’s What Science Says - Bridgetown Aesthetics (2023)

We’ve all heard the saying “put your best face forward,” but sometimes extra hair makes us feel as though our true beautiful best is being hidden.

Perhaps you’ve tried removing that disagreeable hair in other ways, or perhaps you are only now seeing changes on your face. Laser hair removal may be the solution.

You present yourself to the world face-first; be confident in that presentation.

This article will help you understand what science has to say about the safety of laser hair removal on your face.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe In General?

The laser used for hair removal is a medically-appropriate device that emits a concentrated beam of light.

Using laser hair removal technology is a safe way to get rid of unwanted hair. Most people find the procedure to be quick and easily tolerated.

Is laser hair removal good for skin?

It is important to understand how laser hair removal works in order to understand why it does not harm your skin.

Laser hair removal works on hair follicles because the energy from the laser is absorbed by the melanin in the hair.

  • Melanin is the pigment that gives hair and skin its color; one of its primary duties is to absorb light energy, which helps protect the skin from sun damage.

During a laser hair removal procedure, the melanin in the hair absorbs the laser energy into the hair follicle where it causes damage.

  • Hair follicles are tiny organs that grow within the second layer of skin; they regulate and grow hair. The human body has many different types of hair. These variations are determined by the follicle and its behavior.

When it is treated with the laser, the damage hinders the hair follicle’s ability to grow hair.

Damaging the hair follicle during laser hair removal does not usually have any side effects. On occasion, the epidermis around the follicle can become irritated and red for a couple of hours after a treatment.

  • The epidermis is the outer layer of your skin; its primary job is to protect your body from the environment, so it contains the melanin that keeps you protected from the sun’s rays.

Because the energy pulsed from the laser hair removal device is absorbed by melanin, the treatment sometimes varies for people with lighter hair and those with less contrast between their hair and skin pigmentation. Different laser types may be used for better results depending on your skin and hair color.

On occasion, treatments for people with low contrast – meaning hair and skin color which are similar – have resulted in temporary skin lightening. You can help avoid this by staying out of the sun before and after treatment and following the instructions for your procedure.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For Your Face? Here’s What Science Says - Bridgetown Aesthetics (1)

What Science Says About Laser Hair Removal Safety

Many studies have been done to analyze both the effectiveness of laser hair removal and its safety.

A massive study treated 948 patients with laser hair removal over an eight-year period from 1997-2005. Their hair loss was analyzed during treatment, and they were also given follow up evaluations that lasted until 2015.

The study found laser hair removal to be both effective and safe.

The final report published in October 2019 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine showed that only four of the patients reported minor long-term issues.

Can You Have Laser Hair Removal On Your Face?

Yes. A laser hair removal face professional will help you decide which troublesome locations are best treated with the laser.

The most common facial locations for laser hair removal are:

  • upper lip
  • chin
  • beard area
  • eyebrows
  • sideburns

How Is Laser Hair Removal Done On Face?

Laser hair removal on the face works in the same way it does on other parts of the body. In the office, the procedure will generally follow these steps:

  1. You will have a brief consultation to verify what treatment is appropriate, and which locations on your face are to be treated.
  2. Your face will be prepped for the procedure. This may involve using a facial pencil for marking, shaving the current hair, or putting gel on the treatment area.
  3. You will be given eye protection.
  4. The hand-held laser device will be used systematically across the treatment zone.
  5. Your face will be cleaned, and you will be given post-treatment instructions.

So, can you do laser hair removal on your face?

Yes, and the treatment time is very quick. Most sessions take 10-15 minutes, with the actual laser treatment lasting only 1-5 minutes.

How Effective Is Laser Hair Removal For Face?

Laser hair removal is an effective method of removing hair on any part of your body; the number of treatments is dependent on the area treated in addition to your skin and hair type.

According to that massive study that began in 2005, facial hair was treated to a nearly 80% removal in an average of five treatments.

But, how is laser hair removal effective on face? Especially interesting is comparing this effectiveness to other popular hair removal treatments like electrolysis and waxing.

Laser hair removal is more effective than electrolysis or waxing for facial hair.

A study published in 2001 in Dermatologic Surgery systematically compared three hair removal methods in thirty subjects. Hair removal from the face was one body area that the study chose to research using needle electrolysis, hot wax, and laser hair removal.

The results showed that laser hair removal yielded a significant amount of hair loss after only the first visit, as compared to electrolysis or waxing which showed no notable difference in growth.

How Much Does Laser Hair Removal For Face Cost?

The truth is, laser hair removal with likely cost you less in the long term. Because the effects typically last longer than other removal methods like waxing or shaving, you will be saving money on repeated visits to the wax salon or expensive razors.

Prices vary per patient and depend on the size of the area you want to treat and how many treatments your particular skin and hair type will take.

Most people need 6-12 sessions for laser hair removal on face areas to be effective. Here are average costs nationwide for a single session on a few typical areas:

  • Neck $60 – $125
  • Upper Lip $30-$60
  • Chin $30-$80
  • Sideburns $30-$85

At Bridgetown Aesthetics we offer free consultations for you to get a personalized estimate of costs.

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For Your Face? Here’s What Science Says - Bridgetown Aesthetics (2)

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For The Face?

Yes, laser hair removal is safe for your face. Temporary side effects have been reported by a small number of patients.

Depending on your skin, you may experience mild redness or swelling for an hour or two after the session.

On very rare occasions patients experience temporary burning, scabbing, or skin tone change, but these are the exception and your laser professional will provide you with appropriate laser treatments and instructions designed to avoid any side effects with customization for your skin and hair type.

In the long term, though, is laser hair removal safe for the face? Yes. Scientific studies have found no enduring complications.

Scientific Article 1: Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy

A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy in 2010 focused on laser hair removal for the face and its long term effects on patient lives.

70 test subjects with facial hair issues were given the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire prior to receiving laser hair removal on their faces. Those results were then compared with a retake of the DLQI after the patients had three months of laser hair removal treatment on their facial hair.

The final results of the study showed a significant change toward a more positive quality of life and better DLQI scores after test subjects had laser hair removal on their faces.

The DLQI was originally created by scientists at Cardiff University, UK (formerly the University of Wales). It has become the most commonly used scientific instrument for measuring the quality of life for people with skin issues.

The questionnaire evaluates how a skin condition, like excess facial hair, affects a person’s life with questions about lifestyle, symptoms, relationships, work, and treatment.

Scientific Article 2: Lasers in Medical Science

A research paper published in Lasers in Medical Science evaluated the data from previously published studies and articles to evaluate how common side effects of laser hair removal truly were.

While the goal of the study was to find and evaluate the ill-effects of laser hair removal, the results found that the overall incidence of short-term problems was very low while permanent ramifications were very uncommon.

Scientific Article 3: Dermatologic Surgery

The medical condition known as Hirsutism is a disorder that affects women and causes excessive male-pattern hair growth in areas like the face, back, and chest.

Laser hair removal has been studied on women with hirsutism to see how effective the laser treatment is on their unique hair growth, and the results are astounding.

A study published in 2001 in Dermatologic Surgery evaluated the use of laser hair removal on a group of patients with hirsutism. Their hair loss was evaluated after the first, second, and third laser treatments. In addition, complications and problems were also analyzed at intervals.

Not only did the patients see a nearly 60% loss of hair growth after only 3 months of treatment, but there were no adverse issues reported.

Laser hair removal is safe and effective for women suffering from medically excessive facial hair growth, which means it is also safe for your hair removal needs.


How safe is laser hair removal on face? ›

Is Laser Hair Removal Safe For The Face? Yes, laser hair removal is safe for your face. Temporary side effects have been reported by a small number of patients. Depending on your skin, you may experience mild redness or swelling for an hour or two after the session.

Which laser hair removal is best for face? ›

Long Pulse laser (aka Nd:YAG)

This laser is great because it works on all skin types, even darker skin. It also has a larger spot size and fast removal rate.

What is the most serious hazard associated with laser hair removal? ›

The primary hazard associated with laser hair removal facilities stems from inadvertent exposure to laser emissions. Exposure to an individual may occur directly from the laser beam, or when the beam is reflected from a shiny surface such as a mirror, ring, glass picture frame, etc.

What are the disadvantages of laser treatment? ›

Side effects
  • Redness and irritation. Laser hair removal damages the follicles of the targeted hairs. ...
  • Crusting. Some people may experience skin crusting in the affected area. ...
  • Changes in skin color. Some people may notice minor color changes to the treated area of skin. ...
  • Eye injury. ...
  • Risk of skin infection.
5 Jun 2018

What are the disadvantages of laser treatment for face? ›

Potential risks of the procedure include:
  • Burns or other injuries from the laser's heat.
  • Scarring.
  • Changes in the skin's pigmentation, including areas of darker or lighter skin.
  • Reactivating herpes cold sores.
  • Bacterial infection.
26 Jul 2021

Is face laser harmful? ›

8. Myth: Lasers cause cancers. Truth: Lasers are actually used to remove skin and other cancers. Laser light does not contain wavelengths which trigger cancers.

How long does laser hair removal on face last? ›

Regrowth on the face

On the face, laser hair removal isn't typically permanent but may be long-lasting. Some people report seeing no hair return after 10 years or more. Others experience regrowth sooner and rely on annual touchup treatments to keep unwanted hair at bay.

How can a woman remove facial hair permanently? ›

If a person wants to remove their facial hair permanently, they can try electrolysis. Electrolysis destroys the growth of the hair at the base of the hair follicle, which means the hair is unable to grow back.

Who is not a candidate for laser hair removal? ›

Blond, fine hairs cannot be targeted by the lasers and therefore, cannot be removed with this method. Waxing is a better choice for light colored hair. Individuals with darker skin tones or who tan easily, may have a harder time getting results from laser hair removal.

What are the 2 body parts most at risk from the dangers of lasers? ›

Laser beams may cause damage to eyes or skin. The risk of eye injury from laser light and heat is particularly of concern as eyes focus and intensify light entering them.

Does laser hair removal cause wrinkles? ›

KEEPS YOU WRINKLE-FREE. There is a persistent myth that lasers for hair removal promote ageing. However, the opposite is true.

Can laser hair removal affect heart? ›

Answer: Laser hair removal does not affect internal organs

Lasers create a beam of highly concentrated light that penetrates into the skin only where it delivers a controlled amount of therapeutic heat. This light energy is absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicles.

What are the dangers of laser? ›

These include both direct beam hazards such as tissue burns, eye damage, endotracheal tube fire, drape fire, and explosion of gases, or non-beam hazards (those that are secondary to the actual beam interaction) such as laser generated airborne contaminants (surgical plume), electrical damage, toxic dyes, and system ...

What does your face look like after laser treatment? ›

Immediately after treatment, your skin will be red and feel sensitive and sunburned. Redness, swelling, itching or stinging may last for a few days. Depending on the treatment, skin may even appear raw, ooze a yellow liquid and even blister.

Does laser affect immune system? ›

Takaduma⁵ reports that both visible and infrared light have been shown to act on immune system cells in a number of ways, activating the irradiated cells to a higher level of activity. Infrared laser therapy has been shown to increase both the phagocytic and chemotactic activity of human leukocytes in vitro.

How many laser sessions do you need for face? ›

As a general rule of thumb, the majority of patients need four to six sessions. Individuals rarely need more than eight. Most patients will see results after three to six visits.

Can lasers make skin worse? ›

Other side effects are rare; however, they can occur. These include lingering pain, burns, or blisters. Changes in your skin color and scarring are also possible. Getting treatment from a board-certified dermatologist who frequently uses lasers can help prevent these side effects.

Is laser cancerous? ›

Laser therapy does not use the same ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths as those found in sunlight (i.e. UVA and UVB), which are known to damage the DNA in cells and cause skin cancer. Non-ionising radiation is also different to ionising radiation (e.g. nuclear radiation, x-rays), which is also known to cause cancer.

Is laser skin treatment cancerous? ›

The mild radiation in laser surgery is different from the strong radiation, e.g. (x-rays and nuclear radiation) which are also known carcinogens, i.e. cancer-causing substances. Some of the key benefits are as follows: Removal of unwanted hair removal. Other cosmetic treatments such as removal of tattoos.

Does facial hair grow back after laser? ›

After your laser session, the growth of new hair will be less noticeable. However, even though laser treatments damage hair follicles, they're not destroyed completely. Over time, the treated follicles may recover from the initial damage and grow hair again.

How long does it take for facial hair to grow back after laser? ›

At least six cycles of treatment are required to expect a significant reduction in hair, with each session conducted after every four to six weeks. Even then, some hair may regrow and touch-up treatments every six to 12 months.

What happens after laser hair removal on face? ›

The heat from the laser either weakens or completely destroys the hair follicle. Immediately after, the skin may be red and swollen – clients can experience a 'sun-burn sensation' this is normal and will subside after a few hours.

What vitamins reduce facial hair? ›

Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E

Dietary supplements that contain vitamins B6 and E are also believed to help get rid of unwanted hair growth in the facial areas. For one, vitamin B6 is thought to help lower testosterone in women and inhibit prolactin hormone production.

How do celebs remove facial hair? ›

Waxing is a popular depilatory method where hair is removed from the roots for longer lasting results. Wax is applied to the skin and clings to the hairs. When wax is removed, the hairs are stuck to the wax, leaving your skin smooth.

Should a woman remove her facial hair? ›

While its purpose is to thermally protect the body by insulation and cooling through perspiration, it is okay to remove facial vellus hair. With our modern way of living — with air conditioners, heating systems, scarfs, etc. — means we no longer have to keep peach fuzz facial hair around.

Why you should not do laser hair removal? ›

Rarely, laser hair removal can cause blistering, crusting, scarring or other changes in skin texture. Other rare side effects include graying of treated hair or excessive hair growth around treated areas, particularly on darker skin.

Did Kim Kardashian have laser hair removal? ›

There are two treatments that Kim Kardashian (the most famous Kardashian of the bunch) has admitted to getting: Botox and laser hair removal. That's right.

What hair Cannot be lasered? ›

Because lasers are attracted to pigment, they work best on hair that's brunette or darker. “Laser currently does not work on hair that has no pigment, i.e. light blonde, light red, and white hair,” Christian says. And it's also ideal if your hair is coarse.

Can facial laser damage eyes? ›

Lasers are effective modalities for facial cosmetic treatments, but can cause injury to the eye when used periorbitally or on the eyelids. Several safety measures can prevent laser ocular injury.

Which body organ is most susceptible to laser injury? ›

The retina, cornea, and lens are the areas most commonly damaged.
  • Retina: Laser light in the visible to near-infrared spectrum can cause damage to the retina. ...
  • Cornea and lens: Laser light in the ultraviolet or far-infrared spectrum can cause damage to the cornea or the lens.
27 Oct 2020

What happens if a laser hits your eye? ›

Laser irradiation of the eye may cause damage to the cornea, lens, or retina, depending on the wavelength of the light and the energy absorption characteristics of the ocular tissues. Most of the radiation is absorbed in the lens of the eye. The effects are delayed and do not occur for many years (e.g.; cataracts).

Can you be too old for laser hair removal? ›

It's never too late to get rid of unwanted hair; don't think that just because you are an older adult, you're too old to have laser treatment. It's a great time to start feeling more comfortable in your skin.

At what age laser hair removal is best? ›

As laser hair removal uses non-ionizing energy, there is no risk of skin cancer with this treatment. However, we advise that any patient that comes for laser hair removal has been through puberty and if female, has begun her menstrual cycle. Therefore, the age of 18 is recommend to commence treatment.

Is laser good for anti aging? ›

Deeper within the skin the laser pulses have also encouraged the dermis to speed up the collagen production which helps to plump the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the surface. Patients can expect to achieve rejuvenated and revitalised skin with a dramatic improvement in wrinkles and fine lines.

Does laser hair removal affect organs? ›

Laser Hair Removal Doesn't Damage Reproductive Organs

Women have asked if having laser hair removal on the bikini area can damage reproductive organs. Again, the answer is no.

Can you get HPV from laser hair removal? ›

Therefore, long term occupational exposure to laser plumes may lead to HPV infection and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas. There is significant morbidity associated with these lesions and their treatment.

Can laser hair removal cause clots? ›

Answer: Blood clots and laser treatments are fine

There is nothing in the medical literature regarding blood clots and surface laser treatments (like hair removal).

Do and don'ts after face laser? ›

After treatment, your skin might be extra sensitive, like it feels after a sunburn. You may be tempted to scratch or rub the area, but don't do it — that just makes the irritation worse. And don't use any other hair removal treatments, like shaving, tweezing, or waxing, while the area is healing.

How do I prepare my face for laser? ›

A: The best ways to prepare for your treatments are to avoid sun exposure for 7 days before your treatment, which means wearing sunscreen, and avoiding the sun as best as you can; avoid any physical activity that increases body temperature for at least 2 hours before your appointments; and if you are on any ...

What does laser on face feel like? ›

Carbon dioxide lasers and erbium lasers are often used for skin resurfacing. The laser is passed over the skin several times. The pulses from the laser may sting or burn slightly. You may feel a snapping feeling against your skin.

What medications interfere with laser hair removal? ›

Certain medications like blood thinners or topical medications like Retinol should be avoid leading up to laser hair removal. Blood thinners will have adverse side effects and Retinol will cause your skin to become even more sensitive to the lasers, causing the treatment process to be extremely painful and irritating.

What medications affect hair laser? ›

In the vast majority of cases, Laser Hair Removal will not be affected by medication. Most common medications – such as cold and flu medications, antibiotics and mood regulators – do not evoke negative side effects from Laser Hair Removal.

Can you get radiation from a laser? ›

Some lasers emit radiation in the form of light. Others emit radiation that is invisible to the eye, such as ultraviolet or infrared radiation. In general, laser radiation is not in itself harmful, and behaves much like ordinary light in its interaction with the body.

Is IPL or laser better for face? ›

IPL can treat a wider range of skin conditions than lasers. IPL handpieces have a larger surface area than most lasers, making it more efficient to treat a broader area of skin. IPL treatments tend to be less expensive than laser treatments. IPL recovery is typically faster than laser treatments.

Which type of laser hair removal is the best? ›

The Alexandrite laser is the most popular system for laser hair removal. It is also the fastest laser system available. For example, the Alexandrite laser can cover a large treatment area, such as the back in as little as 30 minutes. The downside of the fast laser repetition is pain.

Which brand is best for facial hair removal? ›

Top 10 Painless Hair Removal Products:
  • Bronson Professional Eyebrow & Face Razor - Pack of 3. ...
  • Favon Bi-Feather King Hair Remover. ...
  • Carmesi Electric Facial Trimmer. ...
  • Carmesi Facial Razor. ...
  • Good Vibes Rose Hair Removal Cream. ...
  • Mamaearth Ubtan Nourishing Hair Removal Cream Kit. ...
  • Nature's Essence Soft Touch Hair Removal Cream.

Is IPL or laser better for facial hair removal? ›

IPL produces a broad bandwith of light wavelengths, whereas laser produces a single band of light. Laser is more specific to a given target than IPL, and therefore is more effective than IPL and has fewer side effects and complications. Different lasers can be used for different skin types in laser hair removal.

What are aesthetic lasers? ›

Aesthetic lasers work by using light and heat to stimulate the growth of new collagen in the skin. As we age, our bodies start to lose the ability to produce collagen naturally.

Does laser make skin better? ›

By stimulating collagen formation deep in the dermis/epidermis, lasers can be a useful tool to improve the appearance of deep set wrinkles, fine lines, enlarged pores, and severe acne scars.

What's the difference between IPL and laser hair removal? ›

The key difference between laser and IPL is the type of light used. IPL is a broadband pulsed light source, whereas laser is a monochromatic coherent light source. Both methods target the melanin in the hair follicle and deliver permanent results.

Do celebs use laser hair removal? ›

For people who want to remove unwanted hair, laser hair removal is an extremely popular procedure, with millions of satisfied customers who swear by it. And yes, many of these customers are celebrities.

How many sessions of laser hair removal does it take to see a difference? ›

This treatment uses a laser to target the hair follicles and destroy them, preventing new hair from growing in their place. This treatment is generally safe and effective, but it can take several sessions to achieve the desired results. Most people need between four and six sessions to achieve their desired results.

Which is better hair removal cream or laser? ›

Other methods, such as laser hair removal treatment, are safer and better than using depilatory creams.

What is the best hair removal for women's face? ›

Top Women's Facial Hair Removers That You Shouldn't Miss!
  • 1 Finishing Touch Painless Hair Remover – Best Overall.
  • 2 Panasonic Facial Hair Trimmer – Premium Quality.
  • 3 VG VOGREST Facial Hair Trimmer – Best for Shower Use.
  • 4 Kitsch Pro Dermaplaning Set – Best Value for Money.
  • 5 Braun Silk Facial Hair Trimmer – Most Renowned.
28 Sept 2022

What is the safest facial hair removal? ›

Lasering is an FDA-approved method of permanent hair reduction that is safe to use on the face, as well as the body. 2 With laser hair removal, hair that returns over time will be thinner and lighter than before and eventually might not return at all.

What is the best hair removal for ladies face? ›

If you're bothered by the hair that grows on your face, follow these tips:
  1. Shaving. Shaving is one of the fastest and easiest ways to remove hair and continue your day. ...
  2. Tweezing. ...
  3. Epilation. ...
  4. At-home waxing. ...
  5. At-home laser hair removal. ...
  6. Depilatory creams. ...
  7. Threading. ...
  8. Topical prescriptions.

Which is better for facial hair removal electrolysis or laser? ›

Laser therapy and electrolysis both produce longer-lasting effects compared to shaving. But electrolysis seems to work the best. The results are more permanent. Electrolysis also carries fewer risks and side effects, and you don't need the maintenance treatments required for laser hair removal.

Does laser hair removal work on hormonal facial hair? ›

Laser hair removal is currently the most effective method for removing dark hair from different areas of the face and body. However, laser hair removal is unsuccessful for women who have hormonal imbalances. These individuals will only feel transient effects until the underlying problem is addressed.

Does laser hair removal damage blood vessels? ›

These veins are best avoided during laser hair removal treatment. Intense pulses of light and energy are used during laser treatment. As varicose veins protrude out of the skin and are raised if they are subjected to large amounts of heat this could cause damage to the vein.

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