How Safe Is Laser Hair Removal?

questionThe short answer is yes. It is safe under the right conditions. Although as with everything there can be some risk involved. Whether the treatment is safe or not mostly comes down to who is performing the procedure, rather than the technology itself being safe.

This advice applies to treatment from a clinic, and treatment using your own home device.

Lasers – Sounds Dangerous!

Yes the word laser does sound like it involves quite a bit of danger. But the devices are designed to target your hair, not your skin. So if everything is working properly, and you have light skin, you’ll just feel a tiny bit of pain as the heat from the laser damages your follicle. And that’s a good thing. That’s how the devices work.

The Main Problem

The only real problems can come from having too much treatment on the same area. This may cause blistering which can lead to infection if not properly treated.

If you have dark skin there could be some problems. There may be a risk of burns. This is because the device targets dark pigments which are in dark skin as well as hair. However the treatment is possible for those with dark or tanned skin under certain conditions, it just needs a skilled practitioner.

Who’s Providing the Treatment?


The respectability of the clinic is paramount. As we said above, if you’ve got the right skin type then treatment should be straightforward and safe. Even if your skin is darker, and you’ve got an experienced practitioner you’re still going to be safe. However there have been some bad stories about serious injuries sustained from laser hair removal. These have come from clinics who have minimal experience in providing the treatment.

Providing the treatment to a high, and safe standard isn’t easy. These devices aren’t the same as the home systems which have built-in safety features. They are potentially dangerous in the wrong hands.

So look for the following things when choosing a good clinic:

  • Do your research online – have a look at some reviews, maybe check out the reviews on Google Places. Just go to the link and type in “laser hair removal” and your location. You can see what others think of the salon. See something bad? Then stay away!
  • Have a talk with the practitioner at the clinic. You’re not obligated to get a treatment there, just ask them a few questions. Ask how many treatments they’ve performed, and what their qualifications are.
  • You don’t even need to go in. You can learn a lot from how professional a place looks from the outside. Does it look modern, clean and well presented? Then the service hopefully should be as good. If it looks dirty and unprofessional then find somewhere else.

The Safety of Home Laser Devices

Some home devices are fully approved by theFDA who set out a strict set of guidelines. So if you want to make sure you’re completely safe look out for devices which are approved. Just because a device isn’t approved doesn’t mean it’s dangerous (approval could be pending) but it does need further research. They’re no way near as powerful as the professional devices, yet still provide good results.

These systems won’t work on skin which is too dark. So if you’re an unsuitable candidate, it just won’t work because of the in built safety features. Also some devices will actually tell you when you’ve treated a certain area enough. It will beep when you need to move to another part of your body. All system have differing features, but as a bare minimum they usually have a sensor which detects if your skin is suitable.

Reducing Risks After Treatment

Your skin will need some extra protection and care after your treatment. Your skin will be extra sensitive sensitive to the sun so it’s important to wear a SPF sun screen of at least 30 as it’s extra susceptible to sun damage. Additionally it’s important to avoid the sun, or use a high SPF sun screen, before the treatment. This is because the treatment works better on light skin.

You’ll also find your skin may be painful, itchy, hot and red. Numbing cream or aloe vera gel work very well to relieve some of these symptoms during the initial weeks. This will hopefully mean there will be less temptation to excessively itch which can cause broken skin and lead to infection. It will also get your skin looking to its hairless best much sooner.

If you need a quick solution and don’t have access to any creams, try an ice pack.

Want some more information on the dangers? This article will help out. We also look at taking laser hair removal while you’re pregnant on this part of the site.