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How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal Do You Need?

By Viktoria
November 7, 2023
7 minutes
How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal, the minimally invasive procedure that kills the hair follicles and has the results lasts for years as mentioned in. However, the other side of the story is that it might take up to a year to reach those long-lasting results. This is because lasers work closely in association with the hair growth cycle.

Depending upon the percentage of hair in the active growth period at a given time, each session of laser shows about 20% of the results. Therefore, the treatment is divided into multiple sessions to allow the doctors to target each of the hair follicles.

Several other factors determine the effects of laser hair removal as well. So, let us find out how many sessions of laser hair removal you need in this article.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: Does Laser Remove Hair Permanently?

Unfortunately, laser hair removal is not a permanent procedure. Currently, electrolysis is the only hair removal treatment regarded as permanent. However, the plus point of the laser is that it is a commonly done procedure with results lasting for 2 to 10 years and hair growing back to be finer and thinner whenever it sprouts out.

Check how long does laser treatment lasts as well. Furthermore, below is an explanation of why the laser is not permanent and why you need multiple sessions.

How Often Should I Get Laser Hair Removal Follow-Ups?

The Working Principle of Laser Hair Removal

The concept behind laser hair removal is selective photo-thermolysis. It is a mechanism in which the laser gets absorbed into the pigment in the hair to go into the hair follicle where it is converted into destructive heat.

This heat either puts the follicle into a dormant state or annihilates it. Therefore, the ability of the hair follicle to produce hair is gone.

The Association of Laser Sessions with Hair Growth Cycle

Now you know that a laser needs pigment to reach the follicles, right? There are 3 phases of hair growth given as,

  • Anagen: In this phase, hair receives direct blood supply from the follicle containing a high amount of pigment, and lies in the papilla. In this phase, the laser can efficiently reach and destroy the follicle.
  • Catagen: In this phase, the active growth of the hair stops, it is removed from the papilla, and is pushed outwards. In this phase, it can be challenging for the laser to be effective.
  • Telogen: The hair goes into a dormant phase and stays here for several days until it falls out. In this phase, the laser is ineffective.

As only 20-80% of hair is in the anagen phase at any time, not all hair can be targeted in 1-2 sessions. Furthermore, it is difficult to recognize in which phase the maximum hair is at. So, you will need multiple sessions of laser hair removal.

Part 2: Factors Affecting the Number of Sessions

Hair Color and Type:

Even though the advanced laser can be used on any hair color, dark-haired people are still the most suitable candidates for laser and they need fewer sessions. Additionally, if your hair is thick and dense, you’d need more sessions to kill the strong hair follicle.

Skin Type:

The greater the contrast between the skin tone and hair color, the lesser number of sessions will be required. For example, fair tones respond better to the treatment. Additionally, skin sensitivity matters as doctors have to take extra care of such skin which can prolong the treatment sessions.

Treatment Area:

The response of treatment areas of the body to laser greatly affects the number of sessions required. For example, facial hair shows a quick response and requires fewer sessions while leg hair requires more sessions as the hair in this region is stubborn.

Hormonal Factors:

Hormonal status is a big factor affecting the initial sessions and longevity of laser hair removal. This is because hormones control the activity of the hair follicles.

So, if you have any hormonal disorder like PCOS or are taking hormonal contraceptives like OCPS, it is likely that you will need more sessions of laser.

Part 3: Typical Number of Sessions

The number of hair removal sessions for different parts of the body is variable as they are influenced by several factors. Patients have reported about 80-100% results after the completion of the recommended sessions. So, let us find out how many sessions are required for individual parts.

How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal for Brazilian Hair Removal?

For Brazilian hair removal, the recommended number of sessions is 6 to 9 to achieve optimal results. But remember that you will need 2 to 4 additional sessions for 100% hairlessness. Also, each session of laser hair removal for Brazilian takes 15-25 minutes.

How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal for Upper Lip?

Upper lip hair is fine and less coarse as compared to the hair on the body. So, you only need 4 to 8 sessions to notice a significant reduction in the upper lip hair. Each session takes only 5 minutes for the upper lips.

How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal for Armpits?

Armpit hair is dense and coarse. Also, it is greatly affected by hormones. Therefore, an average of 5 to 10 sessions is enough for laser hair removal on the armpits. Here, the treatment takes approximately 15 minutes.

How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal for Legs?

6 to 12 sessions of laser hair removal are mandatory to kill 90 to 100% of hair follicles on the legs. The laser treatment on the legs can be time-consuming as it takes 30 to 60 minutes for 1 session.

How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal for Bikini?

The number of laser hair removal sessions on bikini lines is similar to that of the Brazilian. Thus, 6 to 12 sessions can do a good job with each session taking 15 minutes.

How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal for Face?

Laser hair removal on the face generally takes fewer sessions and you can get the desired results in 3 to 6 treatments with every treatment taking 10 to 20 minutes.

How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal for Chin?

Chin hair is stubborn. Therefore, an average of 10 treatments are needed to remove the hair on the chin. However, as the area is small, each session takes only 5 minutes.

How Many Sessions of Laser Hair Removal for Full Body?

The number of laser hair removal sessions to achieve hairlessness on the whole body is highly variable. So, here is the table to compare several sessions required for different parts of the body.

Body areas Session needed
Brazilian 6-12
Upper lip 4-8
Armpits 5-10
Legs 6-12
Bikini 6-12
Face 3-6
Chin 6-10

The Spacing Between Adjacent Sessions?

The duration of the hair growth cycle in different areas of the body is variable as well. Therefore, you would need to schedule the treatments 4 to 6 weeks apart on the areas where hair grows faster like the face, and 6 to 8 weeks apart on which the hair growth cycle is slow like the body.

Considering the spacing between the individual sessions and the total number of treatments, the completion of laser hair removal usually takes 1 to 1.5 years in total.

Role of Individual Factors

The rule of thumb does not apply to laser hair removal. Additionally, each individual responds uniquely to the treatment. Therefore, one cannot say how many sessions will you need to achieve the desired results.

The sessions mentioned here are average but not accurate. So, always remember that you might need fewer or more sessions for the best results.

Part 4: What Happens After One Laser Hair Removal Session?

Are you curious about what to expect after a single session of laser? Here is your answer.

Post-Treatment Care for Laser Hair Removal

Immediate Effect on Hair

You might see no effect immediately after your laser session as you have already shaved and there is no hair to see. However, in the span of a few days, you will notice that the hair is shedding out of the follicles, its regrowth is slower, and the hair that grows back is finer.

A single session reduces the hair by 5-10% which is barely noticeable. So, you will have to be patient for a few more sessions to observe significant results.

After Effects on Skin

In addition to the Effects on the hair, you should be mentally prepared for its after-effects on the skin. These include,

  • Skin redness that might be diffused or in the form of specks
  • A slight discomfort feeling which could be painful or felt just as tingling
  • Skin irritation and itching that goes away on its own

Ways to Reduce Side Effects and Improve Results

You can face the side effects of laser hair removal treatment for 1 day to 1 week and hair from killed hair follicles keeps falling for a month as well.

Therefore, you should follow the instructions given by your technician and post-care protocol to help the skin heal, and the hair shed, and prepare yourself for the next session. The post-care tips of laser are mentioned in detail in What to do after laser hair removal.

Part 5: Can I Shave Between Laser Hair Removal Sessions?

Should You Shave with or Against the Grain

Yes, of course, you can shave in between the laser hair removal sessions. It is just that you should have hair on the skin as you go for the first consultation so that the doctor can determine your hair growth and devise a plan accordingly.

After that, you are requested to shave the treatment area every time you go for the sessions. Plus, you can shave whenever you notice the hair regrowth.

Additionally, shaving is the preferred method of hair removal when you are getting treated by laser. It is because methods like waxing, threading, and depilatory creams either affect the hair follicle or sensitize the skin. Also, give When can I shave after laser hair removal? a read.

Conclusion

In this article, we talked about the average number of treatments required for laser hair removal based on the consumers’ experience. However, laser hair removal treatment is programmed according to individual requirements, and the sessions are scheduled accordingly.

Therefore, it is important to discuss with your doctor the requirements and results of the treatment. The doctor can give you an idea about it but cannot say a thing for sure. So, it is in your best interest to set realistic expectations and believe the technician when it comes to the treatment.

Viktoria
Viktoria
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