Skip to Main Content
Feature Article

Curious About Laser Hair Removal?

Get Answers From a Nurse Aesthetician

Laser hair removal is a growing trend and one of the top five non-invasive procedures in plastic surgery. The process uses concentrated beams of light to treat areas of unwanted hair, both large and small.

Karin Olszewski, RN, who provides aesthetic services at Samaritan Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery in Corvallis, answers the most common questions she hears from people who are interested in laser hair removal and want to know if it’s right for them.

1. It sounds too good to be true. Does laser hair removal really work?

For most people, yes! Hair must be dark for the treatment to work; areas that have gray, white, red or blonde hair are not good candidates for treatment. Keep in mind that the laser delivers an average of 90% hair reduction, so you will likely have a small amount of fine hair that continues to appear even after your treatment series is over.

2. Are laser hair removal treatments permanent?

Laser hair removal isn’t completely permanent but it is significant. Some people return every year or so for a touch-up visit to eliminate any new growth but it’s not usually necessary.

Hormonal fluctuations can also stimulate new hair growth. Changes in hormonal birth control, pregnancy and menopause can all stimulate new hair growth so it is possible women may notice emerging hair after one of these events. 

Men can also experience hormonal changes, although typically on a smaller scale. It is less likely — although still possible — that men would notice new hair growing because of a hormonal event.

3. Does laser hair removal hurt?

The most common comment people make is that it feels like a rubber band snapping on your skin. If you are used to waxing or threading, the laser will likely be less painful than that. If you’re worried about pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine like aspirin or ibuprofen before your appointment.

4. What areas of the body can I treat?

Any area with dark hair can be treated. We do a lot of bikini lines, underarms, upper lips and legs for women. Men often choose to treat the back, shoulder or neck hair. We can do other areas like chins or knuckles, as long as the hair is dark all the way to the root.

5. Is it expensive?

A treatment series usually requires between four and six sessions, and sessions range from $75 each for the upper lip or underarm to $450 each for the full legs or back. If you are having professional waxing done regularly, it can be a significant cost savings over time. I think people appreciate the convenience the most. I hear all the time, “I wish I’d done this sooner.”

Call or stop by Samaritan Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery today, 541-768-4370.