Are there any side effects of laser hair removal?

Are there any side effects of laser hair removal?

IPL and Laser hair removal is becoming increasingly popular as a more permanent method of hair removal. This method works by preventing the hair follicles from growing new hairs. There is a lot of information about IPL and laser hair removal and there are also many myths that surround the process, particularly surrounding the side effects of laser hair removal.

For the majority of people, laser hair removal is a safe way to get rid of hair where it’s not wanted either permanently or for long periods of time.

How does laser hair removal work?

Laser hair removal uses a laser beam to emit light and IPL produces multiple wavelengths through a crystal. This light is absorbed by the pigment in the hair and the energy from the light is converted into heat, which damages the follicles that produce hair. This damage to the hair follicle is what inhibits and delays any future hair growth.

As the light is specifically targeting the pigment in the hair follicle it does not damage the skin, which makes laser hair removal both highly accurate and comfortable.

Does laser hair removal hurt?

The process itself is usually not painful. Some clients experience a small amount of discomfort when the laser is applied to more sensitive areas but when compared to waxing, laser hair removal is less painful. It feels like a rubber band snapping on the skin.

What are the common side effects?

Side effects of laser hair removal and IPL are usually minor and temporary. These may include:

Redness after laser treatment

The process of the laser treatment involves damaging and disrupting the hair follicle. Some people find that their body reacts to this with redness in the treated area, similar in appearance to mild sunburn. The treated area will often look similar to skin which has recently been waxed or plucked. This mild redness is no cause for concern and will ease within a few hours of the treatment. Redness will usually respond well to ice packs or a cool bath.

Skin irritation or crusting after laser treatment

Some clients find that their skin tingles or is a little tender and slightly swollen after a treatment. Occasionally people experience a small amount of skin crusting after a laser treatment. It is important to care for the treated area after hair removal using our recommended products which contain moisturiser and healing ingredients.

Changes in skin colour after laser treatment

Some clients may notice a very slight change in their skin colour after a number of treatments. Light skin may get slightly darker, and darker skin can become slightly lighter. These colour changes generally fade over time and are usually not very noticeable.

Are there any risks with IPL and laser hair removal?

As with all hair removal methods, damaging the hair follicles can create an infection risk. The treated area should be cared for until it heals and any signs of infection should be reported to your dermal therapist for correct care and treatment.

It is important to check that your dermal therapist is experienced and trained in the use of the hair removal equipment. Both the therapist and the client receiving the treatment must use eye protection. This is incredibly important when using the laser on the face, close to the eyes.

Myths about laser hair removal

Myth No 1: Laser hair removal causes cancer

There is no foundation to the myth that laser hair removal causes cancer. The devices used for hair removal produce a very small amount of radiation (as light itself is a form of radiation), however, there is no evidence that this radiation is in any way harmful.

Myth No 2: Home laser kits are just as good as the one used by your dermal therapist

Home laser kits are very low powered and simple versions of the sophisticated equipment dermal therapists utilise. Experience has shown that results from these simple home kits are modest and are not comparable to the results our clients enjoy from our effective clinic IPL and laser machines.


IPL and Laser hair removal is found to be safe and effective for both men and women when performed correctly by a trained and experienced dermal therapist. It does take multiple treatments to get the best results and permanent removal of the hair cannot be guaranteed. Having said that, millions of people all over the world enjoy the benefits of laser hair removal. No more shaving underarms or waxing bikini lines not only saves you time, it’s one less thing to worry about in your day to day life.

If you’ve been thinking about laser hair removal, call us for a chat about your needs and we can suggest a plan to help you get rid of your unwanted hair this summer.

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