Home | News | Donate | Directions | Careers| Research

BU Cosmetic & Laser Center


Laser Procedures – Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal safely removes unwanted body hair for all skin types. Traditionally, Hair Removal techniques such as shaving, plucking and waxing, provide only temporary relief and may actually stimulate hair growth. Electrolysis, while effective and ideal for white, grey and blonde hairs, often requires years of ongoing and frequently painful treatments. All of these methods often result in scarring, allergic reactions, and ingrown hairs.

Pamela Interrante is our expert for both Electrolysis and Laser Hair Removal and is a vocal patient advocate. Please read her explanations of how Laser Hair Removal works and important safety advice when choosing Hair Removal provider:

What does the treatment involve?
The patient is asked to wear eye protection consisting of an opaque covering or goggles. A small hand piece or “wand” is placed against the skin and the laser is activated. The laser is equipped with a spray cooling device delivered prior to the laser beam. The cooling spray decreases the pain and side effects of the laser. The hand piece is repositioned and the laser is activated again. The size or the area treated will determine the number of laser pulses required. It is very important that the hair is not waxed or plucked in the period immediately prior to laser Hair Removal.

What are the advantages over electrolysis?
With electrolysis, the operator inserts a needle into the hair shaft with the intention of reaching the follicle then sends a small electrical charge designed to disable the follicle. The operator then removes that particular hair with a tweezer. Hair removal is much faster with a laser as the laser is pulsed about once per second across the surface of the skin. Each “pulse” of laser light disables a large number of hair follicles. Electrolysis operators can only treat those hairs that they can see and which they can reach the follicle through the hair shaft. A laser treats any “active” follicle, even if the hair has not yet reached the surface of the skin, or if the hair shaft is not straight. Please keep in mind that white, grey and blonde hairs do not respond to any laser and are best treated with electrolysis. Laser Hair Removal is for all skin types.

How many sessions are needed?
The number of sessions will vary for each individual. This is dependent on the color, size and location of the unwanted hair. During the initial visit, the laser light disables those follicles in the “active” phase of the growth cycle. Follicles in the “dormant” phase will not be permanently affected. Since follicles cycle through “active” and “dormant” phases, additional sessions may be desired once the “dormant” follicles become “active.” For this reason, multiple treatments will be necessary. Regrowing hairs are usually lighter and thinner. It is best to return as soon as new hair growth is apparent. Once the decreased density is achieved, maintenance treatments are recommended approximately once a year. The number and intervals of treatments varies from one patient to another.

Are dark skin types candidates for laser hair removal?
Yes. The current technology allows treatment of darker skin with unprecedented safety and efficacy. We were one of the first centers to offer hair removal for dark skin and now specialize in this treatment.


South End 
BU Cosmetic & Laser Center
Shapiro Center at Boston Medical Center
725 Albany Street
8th Floor, Suite 8B
Boston, MA 02118
Call: 617.414.COSM (2676)
Email: cosmetic.clinic@bmc.org

Learn More

Quick Links

Directions to BMC
BMC Campus Virtual Tour

Downloads (PDF)

Patient Information
Patient Identification Data  
What Makes BMC Special
BMC Campus Map