There are a few risks associated with laser hair removal. The main risk is that it may not work--it works most successfully in people with darker hair. It can be used on people with lighter hair, but according to the Mayo Clinic, it is more successful in brown or black hair.Laser hair removal will not work at all with white, light brown, blond or light-red hair. The Mayo Clinic recommends going to a dermatologist, nurse or assistant to have the procedure performed and not to a salon or nonmedical clinic.
Side effects from the laser hair removal procedure are incomplete hair removal (caused by resistant hair), hyperpigmentation (darkening of the area), blistering or scarring, hypopigmentation (lightening of the area), crusting or scabbing, hair changes, changes in skin texture and hair changes.
Before getting laser hair removal, you will need to meet with the professional who is doing the hair removal to discuss your medical history and the risks and benefits of the procedure. At this time, the doctor or nurse will take photographs of the area to be treated. These photos are used for before-and-after assessment by the physician.
Procedure and Costs
During the procedure, the physician will use a hand-held laser instrument that will be pressed to the skin in order to aim the light at each hair follicle individually. A cooling agent or anesthetic will be applied to your skin before this, unless the laser being used has a cooling tip. Light beams pulsate from the laser, which destroys the hair follicle immediately, causing the hair to drop out. You may notice a singed-hair smell after the procedure is over, which is normal. You may also have crusting at the site of removal, to which you will want to apply moisturizer. The whole process takes a few minutes to an hour depending on what area is being worked on.