Laser Hair Removal vs. Waxing: What Do Dermatologists Recommend?

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal may not be the sexiest topic, but dermatologists love this life-changing treatment. Waxing, threading, and shaving can be frustrating and time-consuming, but they can also cause temporary and even long-term changes to your skin!  Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Zena Gabriel would like to educate you on the differences between these choices. 

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Each type of laser uses a different wavelength depending on what it is intended to target. Laser hair removal works using a laser with a 755nm or 1064nm wavelength. This wavelength travels into your skin at the correct depth to target the hair bulb where hair growth occurs. The energy targets dark pigments, so it heats and destroys the hair bulb and stops hair growth. 

Hair grows in cycles, and only a percentage of hairs will be in their active phase during each treatment. Most people will need four to six laser hair removal treatments. In general, fine hairs, such as those on the face, need more treatments than thicker hairs, such as the pubic area. Thicker hairs absorb more heat, making treatment more effective. 

Laser Hair Removal vs. Waxing: What Do Dermatologists Recommend?

Dermatologists often see people struggling with skin conditions that result from waxing, shaving, or threading. Common issues caused by these methods include:

  • Razor burn
  • Acne
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Other follicular issues

One of the most problematic and lasting results of waxing is traction alopecia. This condition develops from repeatedly traumatizing the hair follicles by pulling out the hairs. This trauma causes scar tissue that prevents hair from regrowing. The changing popularity of eyebrow styles has resulted in people who plucked their brows to look thin and sculpted but now cannot regrow a more natural look, because there is a scar in the follicle. 

Can Laser Hair Removal Treat Light Hair or Dark Skin?

In the hands of an experienced laser technician, laser hair removal can be used safely on dark skin. Light hair can be treated, although it presents a special challenge. Very pale hair, such as gray or blonde hair, may require more treatments than other areas to achieve results. An inexperienced operator could potentially cause side effects when treating darker skin tones because the laser can target the pigment of the hair and the natural pigment of dark skin. , So only trust a highly trained laser technician like Dr. Zena’s team. 

Does Laser Hair Removal Hurt?

Dr. Zena usually describes laser hair removal as feeling like a warm rubber band being snapped on the skin. Your laser technician will apply numbing before treatment and will use ice packs to cool the skin before and during treatment. Most people find the underarms and pubic area to be the most uncomfortable. 

Not only is waxing quite uncomfortable, but you can plan to do it over and over for many years. Threading, plucking, and similar methods also. 

After about four to six laser hair removal treatments, you’ll only need a maintenance treatment every year or two to catch stray hairs. 

Am I a Good Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?

Almost anyone makes a good candidate for laser hair removal. While darker skin or light hair can be challenging, your Zena Medical laser technician has the experience to treat them safely. You might be a particularly good candidate if you swim or do other activities that require frequent shaving, if you struggle with razor burn, or if you have beard and neck acne. Laser hair removal is a game-changer. I tell women and men… it’s the best gift you can give yourself. And everyone wishes they did it sooner. 

Take the Next Step

If you’d like to start your wedding day preparation, we encourage you to schedule a private consultation at ZENA Medical in Newport Beach, California, today. Our doctors, and nurse practitioners are expert injectors and will make sure your outcome is optimal and safe. Call us at (949) 200-8222 or fill out our convenient contact form on We look forward to meeting you!


*Individual Results May Vary

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