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Can Estheticians Do Laser Hair Removal? 

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Training, Safety, and Regulations for Estheticians

Are you tired of constantly shaving, waxing or plucking unwanted hair? Dreaming of silky smooth skin without the razor burn or ingrown hairs? Laser hair removal may be the solution you’ve been looking for. But can estheticians legally perform this highly popular cosmetic treatment?

Regulations vary by state, but properly trained estheticians can provide safe, effective laser hair removal in many areas across the country. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about getting laser hair removal from an esthetician.

What is Laser Hair Removal?

laser hair removal treatment

Laser hair removal is a medical cosmetic procedure that uses an intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser light source to target and destroy hair follicles.

During the procedure, the laser or IPL light is applied to the skin where unwanted hair grows. The light’s energy is absorbed by the melanin pigment in the hair, which heats and destroys the hair follicle. Multiple treatments are usually required to achieve the desired results, with intervals of 4-6 weeks between treatments.

The first treatment often causes the most discomfort compared to subsequent treatments. Most procedures take 30-60 minutes. Common treatment areas include the face, underarms, bikini line, legs and back.

Laser hair removal can provide long-lasting or permanent reduction in hair growth, though not all hair is destroyed with each treatment. Results vary depending on hair color, skin type and number of treatments received. Potential side effects may include temporary redness, swelling or discomfort at the treatment site.

Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

Precision Targeting

Laser hair removal precisely targets dark, coarse hairs while leaving surrounding skin undamaged. The laser energy is selectively absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicles. This allows for treatment of unwanted hair without risk to the surrounding skin.

Permanent Hair Reduction

Laser hair removal provides long-term reduction of unwanted hair. It works by damaging the hair follicle to prevent future growth. Multiple treatments are typically needed to achieve up to 90% permanent hair reduction. Touch-up sessions may be required periodically.

Prevents Ingrown Hairs

Laser hair removal destroys hair follicles at the root and prevents regrowth. This helps prevent ingrown hairs that result from shaving or waxing. It also reduces bumps, irritation, and itching caused by ingrown hairs.

May Improve Acne

Hormonal acne along the jawline, neck, and face can be triggered by hair follicles. Laser hair removal can help improve acne breakouts by removing the hair follicles that contribute to flare ups.

No Dark Shaving Marks

Shaving often leaves behind dark marks along the bikini line and other areas. Laser removal prevents these cosmetically unappealing marks by eliminating the need to shave unwanted hair.

Long-Lasting Results

While not completely permanent, laser hair removal provides long-lasting smooth skin. It saves time compared to the ongoing use of shaving, waxing, plucking, or depilatory creams to remove unwanted hair.

Smoother Skin Texture

Waxing and shaving can leave behind stubbles over time. Laser removal smooths the skin by preventing regrowth of coarse hairs. The result is silkier smooth skin.

Safe and Effective

When performed properly by a trained professional, laser hair removal is safe for most skin types. It does not cut or scrape the skin like shaving. Nor does it cause the pain and skin irritation that can occur with waxing. It is an effective way to remove unwanted hair with minimal side effects.

Enjoy Silky Smooth Skin Today! Start Reaping the Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

Can Estheticians Legally Provide Laser Hair Removal?

The ability of estheticians to perform laser hair removal varies by state. In some states, such as California, estheticians can provide laser hair removal on areas like the legs, arms, underarms, bikini area, and face with physician oversight.

However, in other states, such as New York, regulations prohibit estheticians from performing any service with a laser, light source, or other device that can alter human tissue. The state of Georgia has stricter laws in place, and only estheticians or master cosmetologists are eligible to earn certification as either an assistant or senior laser practitioner, both of which require mandatory hours of training in laser hair removal.

In Texas, an esthetician license does not authorize laser hair removal.

In Florida, only electrologists can perform laser hair removal according to current regulation.

In Massachusetts, cosmetologists and estheticians can use intense pulsed light for hair removal with authorization from the Board.

In New Jersey, laser hair removal can only be performed by a physician licensed by the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners.

The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners does not allow anyone besides a medical doctor to perform this procedure. This prevents estheticians, laser technicians or other non-physicians from performing laser hair removal.

Should I Choose an Esthetician or Physician for Laser Hair Removal?

When considering laser hair removal, it’s important to choose a qualified professional. Both estheticians and licensed physicians can perform laser hair removal, but there are some differences to consider.

Education/TrainingComplete esthetics training program and pass the exam for esthetician certification. May pursue additional training for specific laser procedures they are allowed to perform in their state, such as laser hair removal and skin rejuvenation. Training focuses on skin care, hair removal, and allowed laser treatments.Complete 4 years of medical school after college, then 3-4 years of residency training specifically in dermatology. Extensive medical education covers diagnosis, treatment, and management of a wide range of medical conditions related to skin, hair, and nails.
Laser TreatmentsIn most states, cannot legally perform laser hair removal or other laser treatments due to lack of medical license. In some states, they are allowed to perform certain limited laser procedures under esthetician license, such as laser skin rejuvenation and laser hair removal only for certain areas.Can perform a full range of laser treatments and procedures on any area of the body. Extensive knowledge, training, and experience with medical laser technology and procedures.
Knowledge/ExperienceKnowledge focused on skin care, hair removal, and allowed laser treatments they can legally perform in their state. Limited to esthetics experience.Broad medical knowledge covers dermatology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology related to skin, hair, and nails. Extensive clinical experience diagnosing and treating a wide range of dermatologic conditions and performing dermatologic procedures and surgeries. Highly skilled in using lasers.
RegulationCertified by state to practice esthetics. Scope of allowed laser procedures varies by state licensure laws. Not medically licensed.Licensed physicians with medical degrees and specialized residency training in dermatology. In some states laser hair removal is restricted to licensed physicians.

The choice between an esthetician and a licensed physician for laser hair removal depends on the specific regulations in your state, the experience and qualifications of the professional, and the complexity of the treatment you require. 

It’s important to research the regulations in your state and consider the expertise of the professional before making a decision.

Choose Your Laser Hair Removal Provider Wisely – Get in Touch with the Experts

Safety Precautions That Estheticians Take

Laser hair removal technicians and estheticians take several safety precautions:

  1. They undergo training in laser safety procedures through licensing programs or courses. This ensures they understand how to properly operate laser or IPL devices and prevent health hazards.
  2. Protective eyewear is worn by both the technician and client to avoid damage to the eyes from the laser.
  3. Certain areas of the body like the face are treated with more caution to prevent risks like burns or changes in skin pigmentation. The technician will carefully monitor the client.
  4. Estheticians will ask questions about medical conditions and pregnancy to ensure safety. Pregnancy is usually considered a contraindication for laser hair removal due to lack of studies on safety. 

Experts recommend consulting a licensed professional for laser hair removal rather than non-experts due to safety risks.

Cost of Laser Hair Removal 

The average cost of laser hair removal performed by an esthetician ranges from $200-$400 per treatment session, depending on the size of the area being treated and the experience of the esthetician. Some key factors that influence the cost include:

Number of sessions neededMost people require 6-8 sessions on average for full results, with touch-up sessions needed every few months.
Area being treatedSmall areas like the upper lip cost less, while full face or full body treatments are more expensive.
Experience of the estheticianMore experienced estheticians tend to charge higher rates but the treatments may be faster.
LocationCosts tend to be higher in major metro areas versus smaller cities or towns.
Type of laser usedAdvanced laser technologies are more expensive but may produce results faster.

Preparing for Laser Hair Removal

  1. Shave the area to be treated 24-48 hours before the procedure to remove hair above the skin. This prevents surface skin damage from lasers.
  2. Avoid waxing, tweezing, or using depilatories on the area for 2 weeks before and between treatments as these can damage hair follicles targeted by the laser.
  3. Limit sun exposure on the area as sun can make laser treatment less effective. Apply sunscreen daily before going outdoors.
  4. Clean and moisturize the skin before each treatment.
  5. Inform the laser technician about your medical history so they can ensure it’s safe for you.
  6. Do not bleach or tan the hair in the treatment area as this can affect results.

What is the Aftercare for Laser Hair Removal?

Proper aftercare is essential for avoiding side effects like redness and irritation and ensuring the best results from your laser hair removal treatments. Follow these tips:

  1. Avoid sun exposure, saunas, and hot baths for several days after treatment to prevent burns and irritation.
  2. Cleanse the treated area gently. Avoid makeup, lotion, moisturizer, or deodorant for the first 24 hours.
  3. Space recurring treatments no sooner than 4 to 6 weeks apart to allow hair follicles to regrow in the treatment area.
  4. Do not pluck or wax any hair on the treated area as this can damage healing skin.
  5. Avoid exposing the treated skin to UV light from sunlight or tanning beds for at least 2 weeks after treatment.
  6. Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser and cool compresses to ease any swelling. Apply moisturizer after 24-48 hours.
  7. Avoid topical sunless tanning products for 7 days to prevent skin irritation. The skin will be more sensitive to chemicals after laser treatment.

Experience Safe, Customized Laser Hair Removal

laser hair removal treatment

At Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness, our team of estheticians and licensed physicians provide clients with the safest, most effective customized aesthetic procedures, utilizing the latest advances in non-invasive cosmetic treatments and technologies. 

Within our peaceful, luxurious environment, you can choose from a wide array of services and products to enhance the appearance of your skin.

Schedule a consultation with us today to discuss your laser hair removal options. We’ll help you determine the best treatment plan for your skin type, hair color, and goals. 


Is Laser Hair Removal Effective for Dark Skin?

Lasers using longer wavelengths like ND:YAG are safest for darker skin. Ask about experience treating diverse tones and see before/after photos. Take care to prevent burns. Results vary; multiple treatments are often needed.

Can Numbing Cream Be Used?

Numbing cream provides 30-60 minutes of pain relief before laser hair removal. It’s an option estheticians can offer, including for darker skin. Not always necessary but available upon request.

How Long Does It Take to See Results From Laser Hair Removal?

Initial hair shedding occurs 1-3 weeks after the first laser session. Most need 2-6 treatments 4 weeks apart for results. Final results evident around 4 weeks after the last session.

Is Laser Hair Removal Better Than Waxing?

Laser reduces hair growth long-term over 5-7 sessions. Waxing removes hair above skin and requires ongoing treatments. Laser works by targeting follicles for more permanent reduction, especially for light skin/dark hair.

Is Laser Hair Removal Suitable for Sensitive Skin?

Laser targets melanin in follicles, not skin, allowing it to be used on most skin types. Longer wavelengths are safer for darker skin. Numbing gel can reduce discomfort. Settings should be adjusted based on skin tone and sensitivity.

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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