This is a question that really needs to be clarified. The words permanent hair removal are used a lot but is that an accurate description of laser hair removal? Or is it just marketing hype?
The Only Permanent Form
Technically the only form of permanent hair removal, would be a treatment which completely stops the follicle from producing any hair.
Electrolysis can do this. However the problem with electrolysis is that it takes a while to complete a treatment and can be very painful.
Every follicle needs to be treated one by one. But the follicles are 100% destroyed forever. They should never regenerate if done properly.
But electrolysis isn’t really an ideal treatment. It’s not accessible because of the reasons stated above. But hair removal using lasers is much easier to do. Even though it’s not 100% permanent, it’s very close.
Permanent Reduction – Is it Really?
No laser hair removal devices have been approved for permanent hair removal, only permanent hair reduction. The human body is very good at repairing itself so some follicles may get repaired over time. This is why clinics and laser manufacturers can’t claim that their services or devices remove hair forever.
However most people who receive the treatment (around 90%) report permanent hair loss after several treatments. This means that on certain parts of their body they no longer need to shave or wax. This would be after several sessions, you won’t be able to get sufficient hair reduction after just 1-2 treatments. This is because your hair is in different stages of growth. Essentially there’s no way of treating all of your follicles in one session.
The hair reduction isn’t just about whether the body produces hair or not. It’s also about the darkness and thickness of the hair that does grow back. If a treatment causes your hairs to grow much finer and lighter than this will also be classified as permanent hair reduction.
The Definition of Permanent
Another factor to keep in mind is the definition of permanent. Think about it – the people who make the devices or offer the treatment have no way of knowing if a certain treatment will last 5+ years. They haven’t tested it for that long with the certain system & technique they use, so they have no real way of knowing. That’s without factoring in the fact that laser hair removal works differently on everyone too. So when you see the words permanent reduction, you should think hair reduction that will last years not forever.
The process isn’t meant to mean you never, ever have to shave again, rather you just won’t have to do it as much.
So How Long Will it Typically Last?
This may depend on how many treatments you get. Read the article on how laser hair removal works that we linked above. Then you’ll understand that if your hair is in the wrong stage of growth during treatment, it will just grow as normal a few months later. This is because the hair was in a stage which was immune to the treatment at the time you were getting the procedure.
But if we take it for granted that you’ve had sufficient treatments, you may need a top up session once a year.
This question is incredibly hard to answer though. Everyone is different!
So in conclusion laser hair removal will remove your hair, and stop most of it growing as fast and as thick, for a good amount of time. This will save you lots of time (and money) in the long run. But you can’t just have a few sessions and then forget about it. Talk to your nearest practitioner for the results you can expect. This consultation should be free.