Why it's doneBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Laser hair removal is used to reduce unwanted hair. Common treatment locations include legs, underarms, upper lip, chin and bikini line. However, it's possible to treat unwanted hair in nearly any area — except the eyelid or surrounding area.
Hair color and skin type influence the success of laser hair removal. For example, laser hair removal is most effective for people who have light skin and dark hair because the laser beam targets the pigment (melanin) in the hair. However, advances in technology have made laser hair removal an option for people who have darker skin.
Laser hair removal isn't generally effective for white, gray, red or blond hair because the laser can't "see" the lighter hair. However, treatment options for lighter hair continue to be investigated.
Nov. 30, 2016
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Lasers and flashlamps in dermatology. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 10, 2015.
- Shenenberger DW. Removal of unwanted hair. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 10, 2015.
- Gan SD, et al. Laser hair removal: A review. Dermatologic Surgery. 2013;39:823.
- Haedersdal M, et al. Laser and intense pulsed light hair removal technologies: From professional to home use. British Journal of Dermatology. 2011;165:31.
- Laser hair removal. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/cosmetic-treatments/laser-hair-removal. Accessed March 10, 2015.
- Laser hair removal information. American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. https://www.asds.net/LaserHairRemovalInformation.aspx. Accessed March 14, 2015.
- Hession MT, et al. A review of hand-held, home-use cosmetic laser and light devices. Dermatologic Surgery. 2015;41:307.
- Golden, AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 7, 2015.