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Why Is Laser Hair Removal Not Working? Reasons and Solutions!

By Laura
November 28, 2023
7 minutes
Why Is Laser Hair Removal Not Working? Reasons and Solutio

Laser hair removal is a go-to procedure for those seeking a long-lasting solution to unwanted hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the outcome of a laser lasts for months to years [1]. With this in mind, everyone has similar expectations from laser hair removal.

However, individual variations can occur as everyone has different skin types, hair types, skin and hair color, and body conditions. This leads to the high efficiency of the method in some people while others do not see any results. 

Are you also wondering about Why is laser hair removal is not working for you? Let’s know the reason and solutions to this. 

Table of Contents:

Part 1: Signs Laser Hair Removal is Not Working 

Lack of Hair Reduction

Laser hair removal provides a long-term solution [2] to unwanted continuously growing hair on your body. The heat produced by laser on entering your body leads to damage of hair follicles and thus hair removal.

However, if you do not notice any results even after multiple sessions, this means laser hair removal might not be working for you. 

Hair Regrowth 

hair-growth-cycleLaser hair removal is most effective when hair is targeted in anagen phase. However, every hair follicle has its hair growth cycle thus all the hairs are not in the same phase at the same time. So, the laser requires multiple sessions to target all hair in the anagen phase.

With every session, you will notice a 10-20% reduction in hair. But, if you see significant regrowth in the treated area then this means the laser is not working for you. 

Patchy Results

While some of your hair is in anagen phase at a time, others might be in transition or resting phases simultaneously. Laser hair removal is more effective in the anagen phase so you might notice patchy areas during your sessions.

However, if there are uneven hair removal results or the hair reduction in certain treated areas is less than expected, it indicates the ineffectiveness of treatment for you. 

Part 2: Why Laser Hair Removal May Not Be Working

Why Laser Hair Removal May Not Be WorkingWhen you see any signs of laser hair removal not working, your mind will try to think of a reason. 

Short Treatment Time 

Each body area requires a set time for laser hair removal. Bigger areas take more time to treat while smaller areas can be treated more quickly. For instance, the face takes less than 30 minutes while the legs take up to an hour. 

If this proper time is not given during the treatment, and it is rushed the effectiveness of laser hair removal will be less. This is because the laser energy does not get absorbed in all areas equally resulting in uneven hair removal results. 

Hormonal Imbalance

The hair growth in both males and females is associated with the level of hormones in the body. One of the hormones responsible for this hair growth is testosterone. Males have a higher level so the number of hair in them is more as compared to females. 

In certain conditions like PCOS or menopause, the level of testosterone in females increases than the normal limit leading to excessive hair growth. Consequently, the laser shows poor effects in conditions like PCOS [3], menopause, Cushing’s disease, and other hormonal issues.

Incorrect Laser Hair Removal Practice 

Incorrect Laser Hair Removal PracticeLaser hair removal depends upon your practitioner to a great extent. If he is an experienced worker, the process will go smoothly but if there are any wrong practices, these can interfere with results.

For instance, different lasers are used for different hair and skin types. Nd: YAG laser works best for dark skin types and Diode is best for coarse hair. But if the practitioner has chosen the wrong laser, it is going to be ineffective, or harmful. 

Other wrong practices include:

  • Starting the treatment without ruling out any medical conditions or contraindicated medications
  • Doing the procedure at the wrong intensity for a particular area
  • Using a single-treatment approach for everyone

Improper Pre-Laser Preparation 

It cannot only be the practitioner’s fault but your negligence as well. So, if you are going for laser hair removal without proper preparation, the results will be variable. 

For example, removing hair before laser hair removal is appreciated but only by shaving. Moreover, going for laser hair removal with tanned skin, no exfoliation, and not complying with your hair removal plan can also be the reasons for minimal to no results. 

Part 3: What to Do If Laser Hair Removal is Not Working?

Now, let’s see how you can solve the matter. 

Communicate with the Provider

Communicate with the ProviderThe very first thing you can do to solve the matter is to communicate with your provider. This includes a detailed consultation with the clinic before the session and then discussing the outcomes and expectations during your sessions.

A consultation before your actual appointment can help the practitioner understand your skin and hair better and then do his work accordingly. Moreover, discussing the problems during your sessions will help him know if any alterations are required in the plan.

Adjusting Treatment Parameters

The settings at which laser hair removal is performed depend upon your skin and hair type. These settings vary from person to person. So, if laser hair removal is not working for you in certain settings, you can discuss this with your practitioner.

With a mutual discussion, the practitioner can consider modifying the laser settings according to your requirements and expectations. 

Considering Alternating Hair Removal Methods

Ulike Hair Removal ReviewsAnother option is changing the hair removal method. It is right that waxing, epilation, tweezing, etc. cannot give results as good as laser hair removal but something is always better than nothing.

Furthermore, if you are looking for a method that is as long-lasting as laser hair removal then you can try either IPL or electrolysis.  IPL works similarly to laser hair removal and it can be more convenient and cost effective than laser with Ulike Sapphire Air 3. It is safe to use at home and shows significant results [4]. With 1 million flashes, it can work for years. 

Electrolysis, on the other hand, shows long-lasting results. Although the procedure is a bit painful, every skin type and hair color can benefit from this method. 

Seeking A Second Opinion

There are times when you are following all the steps in your treatment plan thoroughly but still cannot get anywhere with the results. Talking to your specialist is helpful but you can also consider taking a second opinion. Most people avoid doing it because it can be confusing.

However, consulting another professional can help you understand things from a different perspective. Also, there are chances that another specialist might understand your skin and its requirements better. 

Addressing Underlying Medical Conditions

Lastly, it is essential to understand that laser hair removal or any other methods only go according to your expectations when your body is healthy and fit for a procedure.

Due to medical conditions like disorders of the pituitary gland, hormonal imbalance, and tumors in ovaries, the results will not be as productive as you expect. So, seek medical advice to address your hormonal issues and other medical disorders.

Working on your body’s condition will help improve the results of laser hair removal. 

Part 4: Patience and Realistic Expectations 

Everything aside, those who are thinking of trying the laser hair removal treatment or have started their journey should be patient and have realistic expectations. As mentioned earlier, laser hair removal is not a one-sitting procedure. It needs multiple sessions to target all the hair in its growth phase, which can take a while. 

There is a hair reduction but the hair growth does not completely stop in just one session. Therefore, do not panic if you see any regrowth as long as it is not worse than before, and wait patiently till your last session. 

In addition, know that the procedure is long-term but not long-lasting. So, have realistic expectations regarding the results. This mindset helps you go through the procedure without any disappointments. 


If you notice any hair regrowth, patchy or uneven hair growth, and lack of hair reduction after undergoing laser hair removal, it means the method is not working for you. This is possibly due to wrong hair removal practice, hormonal imbalance, or incomplete pre-hair removal preparation from your side.

To fix this, communicate with your provider first and discuss your observations and expectations regarding the results. You can also consult another professional or consider treating your medical conditions that might be interfering with the results. 


[1] Laser Hair Removal: FAQs: American Academy of Dermatology 

[2] Gan SD, Graber EM. Laser hair removal: a review. Dermatol Surg. 2013 Jun;39(6):823-38. doi: 10.1111/dsu.12116. Epub 2013 Jan 17. PMID: 23332016. 

[3] McGill DJ, Hutchison C, McKenzie E, McSherry E, Mackay IR. Laser hair removal in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2007;60(4):426-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2006.11.006. Epub 2007 Jan 16. PMID: 17349600. 

[4] El Bedewi, Ahmed F. “Hair removal with intense pulsed light.” Lasers in medical science vol. 19,1 (2004): 48-51. doi:10.1007/s10103-004-0298-6 

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