Guidelines for laser hair removal

J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2008 Mar;10(1):24-33. doi: 10.1080/14764170701817049.


Requests for removal of unwanted body hair are common in dermatologic and surgical practices. Technology continues to improve the achievement of a more permanent reduction through the use of lasers. Despite the increased use of lasers, to date, few guidelines exist in terms of how to approach laser hair removal. Specifically, one must understand the mechanism of hair growth and how lasers work to target the hair follicle. There is significant variation among practitioners in pre-and post-laser recommendations to patients as well as intervals between treatment sessions. We performed a thorough review of the literature in order to determine evidence for the ideal interval between treatment sessions and the ideal number of sessions. We also sought to establish, based on published reports, the recommendations for shaving, plucking, waxing or other hair removal methods prior to laser hair removal and the guidelines for sun exposure before and after laser treatments. Finally, we searched the literature to find out whether there are areas that should not be treated with laser hair removal. The evidence and recommendations in this article aim to help guide practitioners in their approach to laser hair removal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraindications
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Hair Removal / methods*
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Sunlight / adverse effects