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Laser Hair Removal for Men’s Face

smiling man stroking his smooth face

Whether you have too much facial hair, too little facial hair, or you’re tired of the time and effort wasted with shaving and keeping your facial hair looking clean every day, you are probably a great candidate for laser hair removal.

Laser hair removal for men is an increasingly popular procedure, for both facial hair and body hair. Great for both a complete facial hair removal and a partial facial hair reduction, laser hair removal is safe, easy, and quick.

Here’s everything you need to know about laser hair removal for men and why you should consider it for your facial hair today.

Laser Hair Removal Explained

What is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a type of hair removal treatment that involves the use of medical-grade lasers, or intense beams of light. These intense beams of light are directed at the targeted skin area, where the light is absorbed by the pigmentation or color of the hair and then converted into heat. The heat burns the hair follicle (the hair bulb or root inside of the skin), destroying it and preventing future hair growth.

Learn more: The History of Laser Hair Removal: When and How It Was Invented

Laser hair removal is a quick and easy treatment that requires just a few minutes per session, with the length of each session depending on the area size being treated. While women generally have laser hair removal treatments on their face (upper lip area and cheeks), underarms, and bikini area, men tend to have laser hair removal treatments on their face, back, neck, chest, legs, and underarms.

How Does it Work?

Laser hair removal is simple – it’s based on the concept of intense beams of lights (or lasers) being used to burn hair follicles underneath the epidermis. But how does laser hair removal burn the hair follicle without burning the skin? This is due to the pigmentation or the color of the hair.

As the body hair has a different pigmentation from the skin (usually a darker pigmentation), the light tends to be absorbed by this darker pigmentation, thus protecting the skin from being burned while the hair follicles are destroyed.

When the hair follicles are destroyed, hair growth becomes stunted, leading to a significant reduction of hair growth in the treated area. This process is known as photo-thermolysis, in which the laser’s light energy is turned into heat by the hair pigment.

While hair follicles can grow back after they have been destroyed by laser hair removal, this will take some time, and the hair will usually be lighter and finer than before.

This is why laser hair removal is typically suggested only for patients with great pigment contrast between their body hair and their skin, however the latest advancements in laser technology now allow doctors to successfully treat patients with various skin and body hair types.

How Many Treatments Does It Take?

The most common laser hair removal treatment areas for men – face, chest, neck, and back – require around 6-8 sessions with about 2 months between each session for best results. While many patients would prefer to have their treatments done more frequently, this would result in less effective results due to the growth cycle of a person’s body hair.

The strands of hair on our face and body grow at their own cycles; while your hair will grow at consistent rates, only about 15-30% of your hair will be in the anagen growth stage at any time; this is the stage in which laser hair treatments can remove the follicle. This stage is when the hair follicle is vulnerable and can be destroyed; other stages such as the dormant or dying stages cannot result in the removal of the hair follicle.

This means that a patient has to wait about 8 weeks between each session to guarantee that enough of their hair follicles have transitioned to the anagen growth stage, allowing a new batch of hair follicles to be vulnerable to the laser hair removal treatment.

If the recommended number of treatments is performed at the ideal frequency, male patients can expect a 50% to 85% permanent reduction of hair growth in the treated area.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost for an average laser hair removal treatment according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is about $235 for every session. There are a few factors that determine the cost of a treatment, including:

  • The area to be treated (and its size)
  • The type of laser hair removal device
  • The expertise and experience of the doctor of procedure

More expensive laser hair removal treatments can cost up to $500 per session.

Learn more: Laser Hair Removal for the Face: Effective Solution to Get Rid of Excess Facial Hair

Benefits of Laser Hair Removal for Men

handsome guy touching his smooth face

Aesthetics – For many male clients of laser hair removal, the main purpose for removing or reducing their hair is just because they prefer the way it looks. Aesthetics is a perfectly fine reason for getting laser hair removal; the “hairless” look is increasingly popular these days, especially if a man doesn’t have the ideal body hair density. Some men have too much or too little facial and body hair, making the presence of hair undesirable for them or for their partner.

By treating your face, back, chest, underarm, and other common areas of concern, you can not necessarily remove your hair completely, but reduce the hair in the area, making it sparser, finer, and overall, cleaner. For many patients, body hair reduction can lead to greater confidence and a better appearance.

No More Ingrown Hairs – Some men are simply more prone to ingrown hairs. This can be because of the way their facial or body hair grows, or due to ineffective shaving habits. Some men also have a condition known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, or PFD, in which shaving is followed by the growth of red, dark, clustered bumps around the shaved area. These are multi-directional ingrown hairs that lead to facial and body scars once healed.

With laser hair removal, you can avoid the possibility of ingrown hairs altogether. By permanently removing your hair through laser hair removal, you can cut shaving out of your life completely. Say goodbye to those ingrown hairs!

It’s Great for Athletes – Athletes hugely benefit from laser hair removal and it’s no surprise why – having a hairless face and body can make you more competitive in various sports in a lot of ways. For example, bodybuilders typically go for the hairless look, as it allows them to better showcase their toned and defined body.

Cyclists also opt for laser hair removal in their lower bodies, as they need minimal hair in their legs and groins. Hair in these areas lead to irritation and chafing during the many hours of wearing and sweating in cycling kits during competition bike rides. Leg and groin hair also tend to get caught by compression tights and massages, leading to unnecessary pain during training and recovery.

Finally, swimmers are strongly encouraged to remove their facial and body hair to maximize their performance. If body hair is the difference between just one-tenth of a second, then it’s got to go.

Less Body Odor and Better Hygiene It’s no secret that body hair is one of the reasons why body odor exists (although it shouldn’t be confused as being the only reason). When the body heats up, it automatically cools down through sweat, and we tend to sweat in the underarm area.

The hair in the underarm retains this sweat, leading to bacteria growth that carries its own odor. This means that the hairier your underarm, the more natural body odor you produce. By removing the underarm hair, you can significantly improve your body odor.

There are other areas where hair is a major issue for odor and hygiene. While body hair doesn’t necessarily equate to less hygiene, it does mean more maintenance to keep yourself clean and odor-free. More hair in your back, chest, and butt can lead to greater sweat and irritation, especially during warmer months.

Avoid the Balding Look – It may surprise most readers to learn that a small percentage of male laser hair removal clients treat their head exclusively.

This is because of two reasons: 1) men who are balding would prefer to have their heads completely bald rather than sport the “sporadic balding” look; and 2) some hair plug operations lead to undesirable results, forcing men to find other options such as laser hair removal to hide it altogether.

Save Time and Energy – Finally, one of the most common reasons why men opt for laser hair removal is simply because it’s easy. It’s estimated that around 70% of men in the United States shave at least once a day to keep themselves looking clean and ready for work. The minutes you spend staring at the mirror and shaving around your face add up, and for a growing number of men, this is time they can easily save.

The other hair removal options such as waxing, threading, hair removal cream, and electrolysis all offer their own pros and cons, but laser hair removal takes the cake with simplicity and ease. After just a few sessions, you won’t have to worry about your undesired hair for a long time, if ever again.

Laser Hair Removal for Men Procedure

The doctor treats the face of a man with a modern laser epilator.

Before the Procedure: How to Prepare

A laser hair removal experience will begin with a consultation. This will allow your doctor or technician to discuss with you your expectations and goals with the treatment, such as how much hair you would like to have removed and where you would like to be treated.

While laser hair removal is a simple procedure with few preparations required prior to the treatment, there are a few things you should do (or not do) before every session:

  • Shave: It is highly recommended for a patient to shave the treated area the day before or on the day of the session. If you do not shave it, the technician or doctor will shave before applying the laser treatment. The purpose of shaving before the treatment is to make the laser treatment more effective – the less hair the laser has to burn, the likelier that it can effectively reach and destroy the bulb or root of the hair.
  • Avoid Sun Exposure: Prolonged sun exposure should be avoided for about 3-4 weeks before every session. This is because you want as much contrast between your skin and hair pigment as possible, and sun exposure can bleach or lighten your hair and tan your skin. There is also the risk of damaging your skin before the session, meaning you would have to reschedule to allow your skin time to heal.

During the Procedure: Laser Hair Removal Experience

The laser hair removal procedure itself is quite simple. The length of every session will depend on the size of the treated area. For men, the most common treatments are the face, chest, and back. The face can take about 10 to 15 minutes, the chest about 15 to 20 minutes, and the back about 30 minutes.

The procedure begins with the technician or doctor drawing a grid around the treated areas, allowing them to treat the area precisely. If the patient did not shave the area prior to the procedure, the technician will proceed to shave it. Next, a cream will be applied to the treated area to minimize the pain, inflammation, and redness. Patients should experience something like a mild sunburn after the procedure.

As the laser is applied, the patient will be asked to lie still during the procedure. The patient should experience a slight pinching sensation on the treated skin with every zap. After a series of zaps in the treated area, the session is complete.

After the Procedure: Aftercare and Side Effects

As laser hair removal is a relatively simple procedure, there are few aftercare requirements that a patient must follow. Here is what you need to know and follow after every laser hair removal session:

  • Avoid Working Out and Other Excessive Heat: To stay safe after your treatment, make sure to avoid working out for up to 48 hours after every session. Excessive heat can lead to discomfort and increased swelling in the treated area. This also includes avoiding hot tubs, sauna, and prolonged sun exposure.
  • Contact Your Doctor If Anything Goes Wrong: If you observe any unusual skin reaction after the treatment, contact the clinic or doctor to have it checked.
  • Avoid Tanning Between Sessions: While we recommend at least 3-4 weeks of no tanning before every session, you should theoretically have a few weeks between each session to tan up a bit. However, to be safe and to maximize the results of your laser hair removal, we recommend avoiding tanning entirely during your laser hair removal scheduled sessions. For those with particularly sensitive skin, make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever you go out.

Side Effects: Common laser hair removal treatment side effects include:

  • Pigment darkening or lightening: Patients may experience subtle lightening or darkening of their skin after the treatment, but this should be temporary and will fade away in a few days.
  • Irritated skin: Immediately after a laser hair removal session, patients can expect to experience swelling, redness, and general discomfort on their treated skin, however this should last only a few hours and can be treated with ice.

In rare cases, laser hair removal has been known to lead to blistering, scarring, and skin texture changes. To ensure that you experience no negative side effects, make sure to only work with trusted laser clinics and doctors.

Learn more: 8 Reasons Why Laser Hair Treatment May Not Be Working For You

Laser Hair Removal for Men’s Face: Frequently Asked Questions

Does laser hair removal make you hairless?

One common concern for men considering laser hair removal is that laser hair removal will make the treated area completely hairless. For many men, a hair reduction is preferred over a complete hair removal, as some men deal with too much facial hair but do not want to remove it entirely. One common area is the neck, where men generally desire partial removal of the neck hair.

Good news: laser hair removal is perfect for hair reduction. There’s a reason why most laser hair treatments require 6-8 sessions; this is to ensure that all the hair follicles are burned off. For men who are only looking for a reduction of hair in an area, they can simply opt for fewer treatments until they are happy with their level of hair. And if you feel that too much hair has been removed, remember that it will always grow back eventually.

Is laser hair removal just for women?

Many men believe that laser hair removal is just for women, simply because it has historically been marketed and advertised towards women in the past. However, laser hair removal is just as effective on and beneficial for men as it is on women (and in certain ways, even more so).

The truth is that the laser hair removal market has opened up in recent years, and with the increasing popularity in male grooming or “manscaping”, there is less stigma around taking care of yourself as a man. In fact, some laser hair removal clinics report having anywhere from 40-50% male clientele.

Does it hurt?

As men generally have coarser hair than women – especially when dealing with body hair – and also have lower pain tolerance for certain areas, some men may feel a bit of a sting during laser hair removal treatment. This pain can feel like a rubber band flicking against the skin. However, the level of pain during your laser hair removal session will depend on the expertise of your doctor and the machine they use, if it fits your skin type.

This is why it is important to choose trusted laser hair removal clinics. The more experience your doctor has and the more options for laser hair removal devices available, the better they will be able to personalize your treatment and minimize the pain.

Is it permanent?

It is better to think of laser hair removal as a permanent reduction of hair rather than a permanent removal of hair. This is because there is nothing preventing the destroyed hair follicles to eventually grow back after some time, however, the hair that does grow back will be lighter, finer, and less dense than before.

Maintenance treatments can always be applied afterward to maintain the look of permanent removal.

Get Your Laser Hair Removal at Ethos Spa

At Ethos Spa, Skin and Laser Center, we’ve treated countless men with bushy beards and unwanted facial hair with our laser hair removal devices specifically designed for the coarse, darker hair of male facial hair.

Watch this testimonial from one of our satisfied male patients:

Contact us for more information or to book your free consultation today!