How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Last?

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Hair Laser Removal

If you are considering laser hair removal you are probably wondering how long it lasts.

Laser hair removal is often advertised as permanent hair removal, but is that really true? This post will explain how laser hair removal works and how long you can expect it to last. 

How laser hair removal works

Laser hair removal is the most popular type of hair removal for a good reason. It is widely considered the most effective way to rid your face and body of unwanted hair. Most professional clinics choose to provide laser hair removal over intense pulse light (IPL) hair removal because it is faster and longer lasting. Let’s look at how it works and the associated side effects and complications. 

The science of laser hair removal

Laser hair removal uses a laser that discharges light energy that delivers heat to the hair follicle. This process permanently damages the follicles and prevents hair from growing again. Because hair has different stages of growth, the laser can not destroy all of the hair follicles at the same time. For this reason, you will need multiple laser hair treatment sessions to achieve long-term hair removal. 

Laser hair removal side effects and complications

Numerous studies have shown that laser hair removal is safe with a low occurrence of complications when performed correctly. It is also one of the safest forms of hair removal for the face and body. 

With the majority of side effects being minor and only lasting between 24 and 48 hours, laser hair removal is a dependable way to remove hair long-term without any far-reaching complications. However, some complications may occur, like skin burns. The most severe issues typically happen when the laser is incorrectly used or unsuitable for the skin type. 

Although complications associated with laser hair removal are rare, it is essential to check that your laser practitioner is appropriately trained and qualified. You should also ask what type of laser machine is used (more about this below). Laser hair removal treatment performed with advanced laser machines and care will significantly reduce the possibility of skin burns and other complications. 

The most common temporary side effects of hair removal include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Irritation

Rare complications of laser hair removal include:

  • Change to skin colour
  • Skin burns
  • Infections
  • Scarring

How permanent is laser hair removal?

Now let’s answer the question of how long laser hair removal lasts. Fundamentally this will depend on three things:

  1. The skill of your laser practitioner — this is extremely important. Not only will you reduce the chance of complications, but by choosing a well-trained and qualified practitioner, you will get a better result and longer-term hair removal. It is vital that all areas of the skin are treated with the laser, and it is surprisingly easy to miss sections of skin, which will result in uneven hair removal.
  2. The laser machine — not all laser machines are equal. Advanced laser machines use multiple laser wavelengths, making them safe for darker skin tones and more effective at targeting hair follicles. Home “laser hair removal” machines are Intense Pulse Light (IPL) machines not lasers . As they are less expensive to manufacture, they cost on average between £100 and £400, compared to professional laser hair removal machines with multiple wavelengths that cost £1000+.
  3. How many sessions you have — to get long-term hair removal you will generally need between eight to twelve sessions, approximately one month apart. This ensures all hair follicles are targeted during the different stages of hair growth. 

Research has shown that laser hair removal is the most effective method of hair removal. However, calling it permanent hair removal is inaccurate as top-up sessions are generally needed every 12 months. 

Our top three tips for choosing a laser hair removal clinic

  1. Check what qualification the practitioner has — the qualification that is considered the most recognised is the NVQ/VTCT Level 4 Laser Hair Removal and IPL Skin Rejuvenation.
  2. Ask for the name of the laser machine used — the most advanced machines will combine Diode 808nm, Alexandrite 755nm, and Neodymium 1064 nm lasers. One of the most advanced laser machines in the aesthetic industry is the Soprano ICE Platinum. 
  3. Ask if they provide a free consultation and patch test — in your consultation, ask how many laser hair removal treatments the practitioner has performed (more important than how long they have done laser hair removal), what types of complications their clients have experienced following laser hair removal, and why the laser machine they use is suitable for your skin and hair type.


  • Laser hair removal is almost permanent. 
  • Most people only need a top-up treatment every 12 months to maintain smooth, hair-free skin.
  • The training and experience of your laser practitioner are critical for the best results and to reduce the potential of complications.
  • Advanced laser machines combine Diode 808nm, Alexandrite 755nm, and Neodymium 1064 nm lasers.

At Shumaila’s, all our aesthetic laser practitioners hold the NVQ/VTCT Level 4 Laser Hair Removal and IPL Skin Rejuvenation qualification. We use the Soprano ICE laser machine and have successfully treated hundreds of clients. You can book a free consultation before laser hair removal at any of our aesthetic clinics in London or Essex. 

We recommend writing a list of questions to ask during your consultation. Once we have assessed that you are suitable for laser hair removal, we provide a free patch test. Our prices for laser hair removal are some of the most reasonable in London and Essex (especially if you book a course of treatments), and our pricing page has a complete list of all price options.

Shumaila’s aesthetic clinics in London and Essex provide laser hair removal treatments safe for almost all skin types. Book your FREE consultation today to find out if you are suitable for laser hair removal for the face and body. 

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