LHR: Is it Laser Hair Removal or Laser Hair Reduction?

Dr.Niteen Dhepe

Hair removal is one of the oldest elements of beauty treatments, and shaving was the earliest way to get rid of excess unwanted hair. Then were introduced salon treatments like waxing and threading. Some chemical creams that dissolve hair shaft are used as depilatory creams. All these give temporary relief from hair growth. Shaving leaves behind thick hair stubs that give a rough look while threading and waxing, and can induce follicular damage. Usage of depilatory creams can cause contact allergy.

So what’s the quick fix to this? The real revolution in hair removal came with the advent of lasers and light technology. The initial enthusiasm was to be believed that hair removal with laser and light is permanent; however, the first company who got a patent for IPL hair removal marketed it as a complete hair removal within three sessions, though they believed it to be one session. Soon their claims of getting hair removed in 3 sessions fizzled, hundreds of lawsuits were filed and eventually the company got bankrupt. Since this fiasco, the term ‘hair removal’ was replaced with ‘hair reduction’ and it’s no more permanent. It is now known as ‘long term hair reduction’.

What are the scientific facts here? First, Laser can treat thick and black hair shafts and NOT thin and pale hair. Second, there is no need of removal of fine less visible hair. Most of laser physicians now believe that the laser should be used only on thick hair and complete removal of all the hair shafts is not desired.