Laser Hair Removal: What to Expect

For centuries, people have tweezed, waxed, and shaved unwelcome hair in search of smoother skin. Still, though these solutions may be successful in the short term, they can irritate sensitive skin, and they also allow the hair to grow back. Today, we have laser hair removal – a technologically advanced technique that provides a long-term remedy for unwanted body hair.

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal has become one of the most sought-after procedures we offer at Dermatology Medical Group of San Francisco. The device directs brief, highly targeted pulses of light into hair follicles. The pigment in the follicles absorbs this light, which causes damage that slows future hair growth – all while leaving the surrounding skin untouched.

Since this procedure targets the melanin in hair follicles, it’s only effective for hair that has pigment darker than the surrounding skin. That means people with dark, coarse hair are the best candidates. Though laser hair removal is safe for almost anywhere on the body, the most common areas where people request treatment include their back, chest, face, legs, underarms, upper lip, and bikini line.

Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

Lasers offer several advantages that make them a go-to option for removing undesirable hair.


  • Accurate: Lasers can precisely target hairs, destroying them at their root while leaving the surrounding skin untouched.
  • Fast and effective: Though each pulse of the laser takes less than one second, it can target many hair follicles at the same time. Treatments are quick, safe, and less painless than waxing, plucking, or electrolysis. Another pro of laser hair removal is that it’s possible to treat large areas. If you are used to the arduous process of waxing or shaving to remove your naturally coarse, dark hair, laser hair removal can save you time.
  • Long-lasting improvements: Any hair that returns after your treatment regimen will grow back finer, sparser, and less noticeable.

What to Look Forward to With Laser Hair Removal

Though laser hair removal is a brief, in-office cosmetic procedure, you’ll still need to do a little bit of preparation in the two weeks leading up to your first session. For one, we ask you to avoid other hair removal treatments, such as plucking and waxing. That’s because these techniques remove the entire root, which is what the laser targets and destroys. For best results, you’ll want to have a little bit of stubble in your desired treatment area.

Since sun exposure makes laser hair removal treatment less effective, you will also need to stay out of the sun as much as possible before each appointment. Having tanned or sunburned skin can cause risks and complications with this procedure.

Because hair grows in cycles, most laser hair removal patients need a series of sessions to achieve their desired appearance. At your consultation, we will provide an estimate of how many sessions you’ll need. You may also wish to schedule occasional touch-up treatments after completing your initial round of appointments.

Recovering from laser hair removal is straightforward. You can return to work or any other activities immediately afterward. Your skin may swell or become slightly irritated, but these side effects are usually minor and temporary. We’ll provide you with aftercare instructions for keeping the treated area clean and moisturized.

We’re Here for Your Needs

At Dermatology Medical Group of San Francisco, our board-certified dermatologists uphold the same patient-first philosophy that has allowed us to serve the greater Bay Area since 1903. To learn more about laser hair removal or any of the other cosmetic or medical services we offer, schedule your appointment today.