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How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Take? What Can You Expect?

By Mariela
April 3, 2024
6 minutes
How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Take

Laser hair removal is one of the most frequently done cosmetic procedures for getting rid of unwanted body and facial hair. Although uncomfortable, laser hair removal is not as painful as that of other hair removal methods.

Additionally, its semi-long-lasting results make it a popular choice for removing objectionable body hair among women and as well as men. However, you need a couple of sessions before achieving the desired results.

Thus, the question here would be “How long does laser hair take?”. We plan on sharing the detailed answer in this article so that you can set realistic expectations. Also, read IPL vs. Salon Laser Hair Removal: Which is Better?

Without further ado, let us dive into it.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: Understanding Laser Hair Removal

Understanding Laser Hair Removal

Laser is a technology that works to eradicate the hair follicles. Hair follicles are the cells that give rise to the hair strand. The stronger a follicle is, the greater the hair growth and laser eliminates these follicles.

It does so by getting absorbed into the pigmented hair while leaving the pigment-less skin intact. Once the light rays from the laser go all the way to the hair roots, they are transformed into heat energy by the process of selective thermophotolysis. Then. this heat kills the hair follicle.

While many hair follicles are killed, some of them just undergo a dormant phase. In both cases, unwanted hair regrowth is greatly reduced and you can enjoy hairless silky smooth skin for a long time.

Also, check What to Do Before Laser Hair Removal, 7 Things You Won’t Miss. In addition, laser hair removal has several other benefits including

  • No skin damage: As the rays from the laser are only absorbed into the “pigmented” part of the body, the hair is targeted while the skin is not affected. Consequently, there is little to no long-lasting damage to the skin.
  • Suitable for the full body: From the face to the intimate regions, the laser works well for all body parts where unwanted hair grows.
  • No ingrown hair, folliculitis, or strawberry legs: Laser removes the hair follicles. Thus, it also removes the root cause of skin conditions like an ingrown hair, strawberry legs, and hair follicle infections.
  • Low-maintenance: While you need 6 to 12 sessions for semi-long-lasting results of laser initially, only 1 or 2 yearly maintenance sessions are needed afterward.
  • Precise treatment: The highly precise, coherent, and mono-spectrum light of laser you to customize your treatment accurately.

Part 2: Factors Affecting Treatment Duration

Laser hair removal takes a variable number of sessions on different body parts. And each session of the laser takes a specific time. Thus, here are the factors that affect the treatment duration.

Hair Type and Color:

Laser hair removal is more effective on dark hair. So, the darker the hair, the shorter the treatment duration. Moreover, laser hair removal treatment takes more time for people with coarse hair as the hair follicles are stronger.

Skin Type and Tone:

People with fair skin tones often have shorter treatments as the laser can target dark hair directly without interfering with the skin.

Size of Treatment Area:

The most obvious factor that affects the treatment duration of the laser is the size of the treatment area. So, the laser takes a few minutes on the face while upto an hour on the legs.

The Specific Laser Technology:

The most advanced laser technologies like Alexandrite and Diode are relatively faster as compared to the older lasers like Nd: Yag and Ruby.

The Expertise of your Laser Hair Removal Expert:

Lastly, an expert is expected to treat your skin faster and more effectively as compared to an amateur.

Part 3: How Long is a Laser Hair Removal Session?How Long is a Laser Hair Removal Session

Keeping all factors in mind, the average duration of a laser hair removal session can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. So, here is how long is laser hair removal session is on different parts of the body to give you an idea.


Laser hair removal on the face takes the least time which is only 15 minutes. However, it might extend to 30 minutes if you also include your shoulders and neck region.


The time taken for the laser hair removal treatment of the underarms is similar to that of the face. It means your both armpits can be treated in 15 to 20 minutes.


The legs are the largest area of the body and the hair on the legs is also coarse and thick. Therefore, the treatment session for full legs takes approximately an hour while the treatment of legs below the knees takes around 30 minutes.

Back and Chest:

The back and the chest in women take around 40 minutes while it can take longer in men.

Bikini Lines:

Depending upon the precision and pattern you want, laser hair removal on the bikini lines also takes 15 to 30 minutes.

Full body:

You need to be prepared to spend almost 2 hours at a laser hair removal clinic if you plan to have full-body laser hair removal in one go.

Also, give How Painful Is Laser Hair Removal? (& 5 Nearly painless Ways) a read to determine if you can take the pain lasting for a few minutes to 2 hours.

Part 4: How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Take to Be Long-lasting?

How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Take to Be Long-lasting

As laser hair removal is a multiple-step procedure, let us see how it relates to the hair growth cycle.

  • Anagen: Anagen, the active phase of the hair regrowth cycle, is the only phase where laser hair removal is effective. It is because the hair strand is attached to the follicle in this phase and it is also most pigmented.
  • Catagen: The hair strand detached from the follicle in this phase and stops growing. Laser is the least effective in this phase.
  • Telogen: Hair is resting in the telogen and it sheds at the end of the telogen. As hair is not growing or attached to the follicle, laser hair removal does not work on hair that is in telogen.

The optimal activity of laser hair removal in anagen while little to no activity in catagen and telogen phases is why you need multiple sessions of laser hair removal to get long-lasting results.

Let us take a few examples of how many sessions you need for semi-long-lasting results on different parts of the body.

Area of the Body Number of Sessions Time Needed
Face 3 to 6 4 to 8 months
Bikini Lines and Brazilian 6 to 12 7 to 14 months
Legs and Arms 6 to 12 7 to 14 months
Armpits 5 to 10 6 to 12 months
Upper Lips and Chin 4 to 10 6 to 12 months

Part 5: How Long to Wait Between Laser Hair Removal Sessions?

Laser hair removal sessions are spaced at an interval of 4 to 6 weeks depending upon the rate of hair regrowth. This rate in turn depends on the desired treatment area of the body and hair growth cycle in that area.

About 80% of the hair is in anaphase at one point. Your first laser hair removal session will remove most of these hair follicles. Some of these hair follicles are destroyed while others are only damaged to a certain extent.  So, you need to wait for the remaining hair to go into anaphase for the laser to act on it.

Also, missing any session will allow the partially destroyed hair follicles to regrow and produce hair. Furthermore, the interval of laser hair removal sessions on the face, bikini lines, legs, and armpits is almost the same.

Part 6: How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last

Laser hair removal is a long-lasting method of getting rid of unwanted body and facial hair. However, it is not a long-lasting hair removal method. Typically, it lasts anywhere between 2 to 10 years.

Some women have reported that they did not experience any hair regrowth on their faces for 10 years after the completion of laser hair removal treatment while others grew hair on their limbs or armpits within a few years.

This variation in the results is because of the individual factors. Most women need 1 to 2 yearly laser hair removal sessions to maintain their hairlessness after the initial treatment.

Also, the duration of the results of laser hair removal greatly depends upon genetics, hormones, aging, lifestyle, and the area of the body treated. For example, women with PCOS are likely to experience hair regrowth faster than others.

Similarly, any condition that changes the hormonal status like pregnancy and menopause is also associated with increased hair growth. Also, check What to Expect After Laser Hair Removal – A Dermatologist’s Guide.


While laser hair removal provides the desired results within a few sessions, it is a procedure that requires commitment. Each session of laser hair removal on different areas of the body is done after an interval of 4 to 6 weeks and it can take about a year for you to complete your treatment.

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