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Does Laser Hair Removal Actually Work?

Shaving and waxing can be a tiring and monotonous task, which is why so many women let the hair on their legs grow out a bit during the colder months. We often wish that body hair would stop growing, which is what makes the idea of laser hair removal so appealing. But does it actually work, or is it just a waste of time and money?

The answer to this question is not really black and white, because laser hair removal has both pros and cons, some of which have been noted by Self. According to the publication, laser hair removal is semi-permanent and works by using a laser to target pigment cells within the hair follicle, resulting in minimized growth. And perhaps the biggest myth surrounding laser hair removal is that you’re going to enjoy a lifetime without body hair following the completion of the sessions, but that’s simply not the case.

Among the pros of this treatment is that hair growth is reduced, although not eliminated forever, and the publication notes that you can even stop shaving. It’s also safe to use on multiple areas of the body, from the face to bikini line, and despite what you may think, it’s actually not that painful (it’s reported as being less painful than waxing, although some areas are more sensitive than others).

The cons though, is that this process does not happen overnight, and multiple sessions are needed to remove the hair. It takes between three to eight weeks to see any results from the hair removal, and each session is costly, with Self noting that prices range from $200 to $400 per session.

According to Live About, technicians consider a 70 percent hair loss in the treated area to be a success, although not everyone has been happy with the results. The publication claims that for some women the sessions have been a waste of money and success is dependent on multiple factors including your skin and hair. Laser hair removal has a different effect depending on the contrast of the skin and hair color. What this means is that traditional lasers used in hair removal work best on people with a lighter skin tone and dark hair, and is less efficient for darker skin tones.

Other factors that impact success are the treatment area (legs are reported to be less effective than bikini line and armpits) and where the sessions take place. When making an appointment at a hair removal clinic, it’s important to do research beforehand about their services and find a reputable clinic with well-trained technicians.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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