Blog

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

laser hair removal for the face

Laser hair removal is the hot trend these days for semi-permanent hair removal solutions. With recent advancements in laser hair removal technology, the laser solution is growing increasingly accessible and convenient. But while laser hair removal has proven its effectiveness for leg hair, arm hair, and general body hair, some people ask if it provides similarly positive results for facial hair.

So does laser hair removal work on facial hair? Yes, the face can be safely treated with laser hair removal, despite the softer skin and the increased density of hair follicles in the face.

This article will discuss everything there is to know about laser hair removal on the face, from its advantages and disadvantages to its side effects and aftercare.

Facial Hair – Why It Matters

Facial hair can be a sensitive topic for some people. While body positivity helps to empower both men and women, it is also important to be comfortable in your own skin. For many people, this includes dealing with their facial hair.

For women, it’s usually a matter of removing the “peach fuzz” or light moustache on the upper lip; in other cases, the focus is directed on long facial hair on the cheeks, as well as the neck, chin, and sideburns.

Laser Hair Removal on the face… for men?

Yes, men are also increasingly opting for laser hair removal for their facial hair, but perhaps not for the exact same results as women. Some clinics and laser centers find that 1 out of every 5 facial hair patients are men, for several reasons:

  • Laser hair removal is an easy way to permanently say goodbye to ingrown hairs and shaving cuts.
  • Laser hair removal doesn’t necessarily have to be for full removal; instead, it can also be used for reduction, which many men choose to do. Men who are uncomfortable with the thickness or density of their beards can experience up to an 85% reduction if desired.
  • The process can help to shape your facial hair semi-permanently. Instead of touching up your own beard every week (shaving the neck, cheeks, and other areas where the beard generally shouldn’t grow), laser hair removal can keep those areas clean.
laser hair removal on the face for men

Facial Hair Removal Alternatives: Better Than Lasers?

For those searching for facial hair removal alternatives before choosing to undergo laser treatments, there are few options available, however none as efficient as laser hair removal.

These include:

  • Traditional hair removal techniques: Waxing, shaving, plucking, and other traditional hair removal methods. While these are inexpensive and can be done on your own or in any salon, results are temporary and the process can sometimes be painful.
  • Electrolysis: Electrolysis is the only other serious alternative for semi-permanent hair reduction or hair removal. This method involves higher levels of pain, significantly more treatment time, and higher costs.
Laser Hair RemovalElectrolysis
How It WorksHigh-energy beams of light are zapped into the skin, causing damage to the hair follicles, stunting future hair growth for up to several months or yearsElectricity is sent into the face’s hair follicles one at a time with the use of the electrolysis device (a thin metal rod); the electricity damages the hair follicle
Ideal PatientBest works on patients with fair skin and dark hair, but recent advancements in laser tech have opened up laser hair removal to all skin and hair typesApplicable to any patient, as it relies on electricity, not hair and skin pigmentation
Treatment PainLittle to no pain, with many patients describing it as a soft snap from a rubber bandMild levels of pain, with high levels of heat and pinching against the skin
Number of Sessions (Full-Face)Up to 10-12 sessions, or 6 hours of treatment within a yearUp to 400 hours of treatments within 4 years
Average CostDepending on the area of the face that is treated, cost can range from $50 to $300$1.40 / minute
ResultsWhile patients may experience some hair growth, results can be up to a 90% reduction in hair growth over several yearsEffective removal of targeted hair
Potential Side EffectsAcne, redness, itching, mild skin pigmentation alterationDry skin, swelling, skin redness

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal devices have been around since the early 90s, and are FDA-approved for various forms of treatment, including facial hair removal. If you’re interested to learn more about the history of laser hair removal, check out this post.

Understanding the Basics

The basics of laser hair removal for the face illustration

Does it work, and how? – Yes, laser hair removal works for various body parts, including the face. This process works by burning the hair follicles in the skin with high-intensity beams of light.

Is it permanent? – It’s better to think of it as a semi-permanent solution, depending on the patient. If given the right aftercare and performed with enough treatments, laser hair removal for the face can leave some patients without facial hair for years. In other cases, you might expect to see results lasting up to six months before needing another treatment.

Does it work on all hair types and colors? – Laser hair removal is best for coarse, thick hair. Since most facial hair is fine and thin, more treatments are needed for facial hair than for other parts of the body (10 – 12 treatments). It also works best for darker hair against fair skin, however recent advancements in laser technology have made it possible to treat all hair and skin colors with lasers.

Does it hurt? – There is a very low level of discomfort during the treatment, with some patients comparing the feeling to a rubber band snapping against the skin.

Are there side effects? – While there are some mild and temporary side effects, there are no serious side effects with laser hair removal if administered by a trusted and experienced provider. Temporary side effects include redness, itching, and mild skin pigmentation for those with darker skin.

Is it safe? – Yes, laser hair removal is absolutely safe. Just be sure that you can trust your chosen provider, as laser hair removal devices in the wrong hands can be potentially dangerous (with consequences of burned hair or skin).

How much does it cost? – This process can cost up to $300 per treatment, although the price will depend on your location, the experience of your provider, and the size of the treatment area.

Laser Hair Removal for the Face: The Treatment

laser hair removal preparation

Preparation

Choose the Right Provider – The first step towards ensuring you have a successful treatment is choosing the right provider. Some areas have strict regulations as to who can provide laser hair removal treatments, but other areas have little to no regulations at all, allowing anyone who has bought the equipment the chance to treat patients.

Do your research. Look at reviews, talk with former patients if possible, and talk to the provider themselves, to see if they have the experience and professionalism to prove their worth. If you end up getting your laser hair removal done by someone untrained, you might end up with skin burns, scars, or worse.

Consultation – Before signing up for any laser hair removal treatment, you should expect a consultation with your chosen laser hair removal provider. During the consultation, your laser hair removal specialist will assess your hair and skin, help you understand the laser hair removal process in terms of preparation, treatment, and aftercare, and help you shape your expectations.

Shave – Shaving is essential. A day before your laser hair removal session, be sure to shave the part of your face that will be treated. The patient must shave so that the laser can burn their hair at its root, at the hair follicle, rather than wasting its energy on the hair strand.

And remember: don’t wax or pluck your hair, as this will remove the hair from the hair follicle, making it impossible to treat.

Manage Expectations – It’s important to remember that laser hair removal doesn’t work perfectly for everyone. While you may have ideal results – up to a 90% reduction in hair growth, with no need to shave for years after your treatments – you may also end up on the less successful end of the spectrum.

Either way, you are guaranteed to have some level of reduction to your facial hair growth.

During Treatment

The laser hair removal is simple and painless, especially when dealing with the face. While patients might be asked to strip naked for full-body laser hair removal sessions, facial hair treatment requires no stripping.

The patient is asked to lie on a raised table. The first step is to section off the face into grids, so the laser hair technician can divide the treatment properly. The area to be treated is then shaved again (even if the patient has already shaved) before the laser is applied.

A gel is applied to the face, which will act as the buffer between the skin and the laser device. Depending on the type of device used by the laser hair specialist, there will be no burning or heat sensation at all, as some devices now use “ice cube tips” to counteract the heat.

The treatment itself will feel like a massage, with the device rubbing back and forth over the face as the laser beams energy into the hair follicles. Treatments for the upper lip can take just a few minutes, while a full facial treatment can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

Aftercare and Next Sessions

Laser hair removal aftercare

Side Effects

The full list of possible side effects from laser hair removal for facial hair includes:

  • Facial redness
  • Eye injury
  • Treatment area blistering
  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Pigmentation issues
  • Minor pain

Many of these side effects can only occur if the laser hair removal provider is inexperienced, using bad practices, or is equipped with older laser technology. For the safest experience, it is essential to choose a provider you can trust.

Aftercare

  • Do not apply too much product or makeup to your face; keep it minimal. You can wear light makeup after the treatment to lessen the facial redness, however if you see crusting or blistering on your face, do not apply any make up, or you might end up with an allergic reaction
  • Use SPF50+ sunblock whenever you have to go outside
  • Use lukewarm water only when washing your face or showering. No, you shouldn’t wash your face immediately after the laser hair removal treatment. Try to avoid washing it for up to a day, or at most 6-8 hours
  • Avoid touching the area too much; it will feel sensitive and there might be some redness. Definitely don’t scratch your face; if you must, apply an ointment or cream to help the swelling

In preparation for your next sessions, make sure to:

  • Avoid tanning
  • Don’t start taking any new medications; inform your provider if you do
  • Exfoliate your face a week after every treatment
  • If hair regrows between your treatments, do not wax or pluck; just shave
  • Do not postpone your next treatments, as it is essential that they are done on schedule. If you do not attend your treatments on time, you might end up missing the vulnerable growth stage of your hair follicles.

Why Is Laser Hair Removal Not Working On My Face?

hair removal on the face not working

If you have undergone laser hair removal but aren’t experiencing significant or even minimal results, there might be a few reasons behind this. Laser hair removal might not be working on your face because:

You or your provider rushed the treatments: Laser hair removal cannot be rushed. The other hair follicles must be given enough time to enter the vulnerable growth stage between sessions. Rushed treatments often lead to patchiness because of entire areas that were missed.

The lasers weren’t medical grade: It is best to search for a laser hair removal provider who uses medical grade lasers, as these are the ideal lasers for penetrating deep into the hair follicle.

You didn’t have enough treatment sessions: The face requires more treatments than other parts of the body, up to 10-12 treatments. If you have fewer than 10 treatments for the face, your results might not be great.

Inexperienced providers: Inexperienced providers is the most common reason for failed laser hair removal experiences for facial hair. Find a provider who removes hair with laser technology daily, with proven results and expertise.

Hair color: If your provider is using the wrong kind of laser for your hair color, there will be difficulty in penetrating the hair follicle.

You: For some patients, laser hair removal just doesn’t work. This could be due to a number of factors, including genetics, hereditary, or hormonal issues. Discuss with your doctor the possibilities if you believe this to be the case.

Read more: 8 Reasons Why Laser Hair Treatment May Not Be Working for You.

FAQ: Everything Else About Laser Hair Removal for Facial Hair

Will my hair grow thicker from shaving before I undergo laser hair removal treatments?

No. Hair growing thicker due to shaving is a myth.

What does a full face laser hair removal include?

A full face laser hair removal treatment can include the jawline, forehead, sideburns, cheeks, between the eyebrows, nose, and upper lip. Patients can customize this package to avoid certain areas if they so wish.

Does laser hair removal help acne?

There are cases where laser hair removal has been shown to help with acne. Acne can sometimes be caused by traditional hair removal methods, such as waxing or shaving. This occurs when bacteria infects the opening in the skin after the face has been waxed or shaved, thus leading to acne.

Laser hair removal stops people from shaving or waxing their face, leading to less acne.

Can you do laser hair removal while pregnant?

Many doctors and clinics recommend against undergoing laser hair removal while pregnant. While there are no major side effects for the woman, the effects (if any at all) on the fetus are largely unknown.

Is it okay to wear makeup after a laser hair removal treatment?

As stated above, make up should be fine if the only side effect experienced is facial redness. However, if you notice any crusting or blistering on the treated area, avoid make up until the crusting or blistering clears up. There is a risk of infection if you apply make up on the broken skin.

Laser Hair Removal for Your Face at Ethos Spa

The most important step in ensuring a successful laser hair removal experience is choosing a trusted and experienced laser hair removal provider, and there are few providers more equipped for facial laser hair removal than Ethos Spa, Skin and Laser Center.

Ethos Spa has served countless patients with laser hair removal treatments all over the body, and facial hair is one of our most popular requests. Our experienced team of skin and laser specialists can help guide you through the process, one step at a time.

To learn more or inquire about laser hair removal, contact us at Ethos Spa today. We are more than happy to provide you with a laser hair removal experience you will enjoy.