Rarely do cosmetic procedures yield dramatic results with a single treatment, which is why multiple treatments are usually needed and recommended in order to yield noticeable and lasting results. Laser hair removal definitely belongs to this type of treatments. While laser hair removal can certainly be credited with leaving the skin smooth and hair free for months or even years to come, it’s not a magical solution that can get rid of all hairs in one treatment.
While results always vary, the first laser hair removal session is only part of a bigger picture with multiple sessions with the exact number depending on the amount and type of hair. After the first treatment, hair will still be in place. However, hair that is damaged by the laser and is only waiting for the skin to push it out. So what will happen in the days and weeks following the first laser hair removal treatment? Hair will begin to shed, or fall out. If this process does not take place, which would be very rare, the practitioner who performed the treatment should be contacted. But in almost all cases hairs will start to fall out about one week to ten days after first treatment. In a few cases, it can take up to two weeks for hairs to shed. A gentle scrub can help the process along, but only after the first signs that hairs are already falling out on their own. During this stage, hairs should never be waxed or plucked by tweezer. But shaving is usually allowed.
After the hairs have fallen out from the first laser hair removal treatment, the client will typically enjoy completely smooth and hair free skin for a couple of weeks, until new hairs start to grow in. The hair growth cycle, with its three different stages of life, is the main reason why all hairs cannot be targeted in the first session. Once hairs start to grow back, the client should schedule another session.
Prospective laser hair removal clients cannot expect to be hair free after one session, as there is no hair removal method that can eliminate hairs for good in a single treatment. Even electrolysis, which is recognized as permanent by the FDA, requires many sessions (however, because of its time consuming nature and impracticability for areas other than the face, it has deceased in popularity over the years).
While the first laser hair removal session will certainly lead to a few weeks of smooth skin, hair will grow back. The average laser hair removal client will require about six treatments, sometimes less and sometimes more, all depending on the density of the hair, the skill and experience of the practitioner as well as progress and other factors. Committing to this process and making sure to have some patience will likely lead the best results.