Laser hair removal: Does it really work?

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - You've heard the ads - laser hair removal promising to eliminate embarrassing body hair - but does it really work? Hundreds of you who tried it responded with mixed reactions on our Facebook page.

Laser hair treatments can be effective in reducing hair, but professionals say you're likely going to see some regrowth. There are also conflicting opinions on what kind of lasers work best and on whom.

The swipe of a laser aims to destroy active hair follicles. Rondell Futrell had his beard lasered at Medi Spa West in Henrico, a year ago.

"For issues with ingrown hairs here that were actually painful," said Futrell.

Rondell said now he only shaves every few days. Much of his facial hair doesn't grow back.

"It has helped my self confidence, actually," said Futrell.

Licensed practical nurse Hilary Ashby says at least six initial treatments are needed.

"Your body is constantly making new hair follicles, so you will always have hair growth," said Ashby. "It will just be minimal, compared to what you had when you started."

So don't expect perfection. The FDA only considers the treatment as "laser hair reduction."

Professionals also have contrasting opinions on which lasers work best for different hair and skin combinations. The FDA and the Virginia Board of Medicine don't make any determinations.

Most agree the ideal candidate is fair skinned, with dark hair.

"The laser is attracted to the pigment in your hair," said Ashby.

Some lasers are now being touted as effective for dark skin and hair, but results can vary. Your body, hormones and which laser you choose are all factors.

Consult different professionals to decide which laser may work best for you and be realistic - you may end up with less fuzz, but future touch-ups could be needed.

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