Myths Busted: A Doctor’s Take on Laser Hair Removal


When I established the Vancouver Laser & Skin Centre nearly 20 years ago, it was Canada’s first laser hair removal clinic. Patients from Surrey, Vancouver, Richmond, and surrounding areas were curious about the innovative procedure. Now, laser hair removal is among the most popular cosmetic procedures offered, resulting in long-term reduction of unwanted hair.

Unfortunately, myths continue to persist about the treatment itself and the lasers used to perform the procedure. There are quite a few misconceptions, but I’ll address the 4 most common myths:

Myth: Laser hair removal is painful.                                                                                                                

Most patients compare the sensation experienced during laser hair removal to a mild snap of a rubber band if treating a sensitive area. In many cases it feels like a warm pulse, but most will tell you that it’s far more comfortable than waxing. You also have the option of using a topical numbing cream to reduce sensitivity.

Myth: All lasers are the same.

Advanced technology has changed laser hair removal treatments from when I first started in 1996. The Lumenis® LightSheer® Duet™ is the gold standard in laser hair removal. The vacuum-assisted technology, customizable settings, and increased spot size mean improved comfort and faster treatment times.

MYTH: You can’t shave between treatments.

Permanent laser hair reduction requires multiple treatments. A single session doesn’t remove all hair in the area targeted, so most patients want to continue shaving between treatments, and that is fine. The treatments will still work by targeting hair beneath the skin. Waxing or tweezing hair isn’t recommended because you’re removing the target for the laser.

MYTH: Laser hair removal is permanent.

Laser hair removal is a bit of a misnomer; the FDA has approved it for permanent hair “reduction.” Hair growth is hormonal and may ultimately grow back, but it is often a significantly reduced amount, and results last years.

By separating myths from facts, patients can be confident when they get laser hair removal treatments or any other cosmetic procedure.

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