Most people know that laser hair removal is considered the gold standard of hair removal and don’t think twice about having it on their legs, underarms, and bikini line. But laser hair removal on the face might seem a little more daunting.
If you have unwanted facial hair above your upper lip, on your chin, or female sideburns and cheeks, there are various ways to remove it. Most are temporary and need to be done frequently — precious time you could use to boost your wellness with a hot bubble bath or even just a cuppa!
Before continuing, let’s answer the question of whether you should use laser hair removal on the face. Facial laser hair removal is just as safe as anywhere else on the body. However, if laser machines are used by inadequately trained practitioners — or home laser hair removal machines are not used correctly — you can end up with burns and long-term scarring. This is why it is essential to ensure you only have laser hair removal on the face or body at a licensed clinic with aesthetic practitioners qualified and trained to the best industry standards.
How does laser hair removal on the face work?
Laser hair removal on the face works the same way as anywhere else on the body. A laser beam is aimed at the hair and destroys the hair follicle, slowing down hair growth and making the hair finer and softer. After multiple treatments — on average eight to twelve for facial hair removal — the hair will not grow back.
However, although laser hair removal is often referred to as permanent, an annual top-up treatment may be required. Significant advancements in laser technology also make it safe for use on all skin types. Celebrities with darker skin who are fans of laser hair removal include Cardi B and Kim Kardashian.
Kim has even admitted in an interview in US Weekly to having laser hair removal on her forehead! “If you look at pictures of me from three years ago, I had a full two inches of baby hair along my forehead,” Kim said. “I had it lasered off, and now it doesn’t come back.”
Preparing for facial laser hair removal
A reputable clinic should provide clients with clear instructions about how to prepare for facial hair removal. Here are the guidelines we provide for our clients:
- Avoid sun exposure or using a sunbed for at least two weeks before treatment — or in the weeks between treatments.
- Don’t use or have any professional chemical peels or treatments — such as microneedling or dermabrasion — in the month before or between laser hair removal treatments.
- Ideally, do not wear makeup to your appointment when having laser hair removal on the face.
- Avoid exercising before your treatment, as an elevated body temperature may make it more uncomfortable.
- Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or herbal supplements the day before or on the day of your laser hair removal. If you take blood thinning medication, you must consult your doctor about stopping this medication.
- Reschedule if you have a cold sore, skin infection, or open cut on your face.
When you arrive at the clinic, your face will be gently cleaned to reduce the risk of infection. The aesthetic practitioner will then apply a cooling gel to the area of your face to be targeted. Before the laser is activated, you will need to put on protective goggles and may be asked to tie back your hair.
During your treatment, you should be asked if you are comfortable, and you should be able to pause the treatment at any time. The sensation is normally described as uncomfortable but not painful.
Because facial hair removal only involves small areas of skin, it is normally complete within 15 to 20 minutes. Your skin may look slightly swollen and red and feel hot and tingle afterwards; this will normally reduce within a couple of hours. It is advisable not to apply makeup for 12 hours or until your skin no longer appears red or feels hot.
What are the risks of laser hair removal on the face?
In the hands of a qualified and well-trained laser practitioner, minimal risks are associated with laser hair removal on the face or body. Research indicates that long-term adverse effects and scarring from laser hair removal are extremely rare.
Temporary side effects that generally resolve within 24 hours include:
- Slight swelling
- Tingling sensation
- Temporary change in skin colour; this can be lighter or darker.
More serious risks that can occur in rare cases include:
- Skin infection
- Permanent change in skin colour; this can be lighter or darker
- Blister and Burns
How to find a reputable laser hair removal clinic in the UK
It is often tempting to find the closest or least expensive laser hair removal treatment if you don’t know what to look for when selecting a clinic. Maybe you will get lucky, but by asking the questions below, you can increase the potential of finding the best clinic in a location that works for you.
Q. Do you provide a free consultation and what does this include?
All reputable clinics should be willing to provide a free consultation. You should never feel rushed or under pressure to commit to any treatment.
Q. Do you perform a patch test and is there any charge?
Laser hair removal treatment should only be carried out after a patch test.
Q. What skin types do you treat?
Modern lasers can treat almost all skin types. However, you should always check with the clinic to determine what skin types they can treat.
Q. What qualifications do your laser hair removal practitioners hold?
The NVQ/VTCT Level 4 Laser Hair Removal and IPL Skin Rejuvenation is widely considered the most comprehensive course, providing training to the highest possible industry standards.
How much does laser facial hair removal cost?
Various factors will impact the cost of laser hair removal on the face. In general, most clinics offer a discount for a package of multiple treatments. Typically at an aesthetic clinic in London, facial laser hair removal will start at around £50 to £60 per facial area.
You will have a free consultation before laser hair removal at our aesthetic clinics in London or Essex. During your consultation, we will explain the process, answer any queries you may have, and assess your suitability for laser hair removal. The next step is a free patch test at the clinic of your choice. All of our aesthetic laser practitioners hold the NVQ/VTCT Level 4 Laser Hair Removal and IPL Skin Rejuvenation and follow strict safety and hygiene protocols. Our prices for laser hair removal on the face start at £42 per treatment for a single area. Our pricing page has a full list.
Shumaila’s aesthetic clinics in London and Essex provide laser hair removal treatments suitable for almost all skin types. Book your FREE consultation today to learn more about our laser hair removal for the face and body.