Laser hair removal


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Molly Wanner, MD, Irving Pavillion, Floor 12, Department of Dermatology, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, 161 Fort Washington, New York, NY 10032, or email:


ABSTRACT:  Since 1996, there have been numerous advances in hair laser removal that utilize melanin as a chromophore. All of the devices on the market may be used in patients with light skin (phototypes I–III) and yield hair reduction near 75%. The ruby (694 nm) laser, alexandrite (755 nm) laser, and diode (810 nm) laser, as well as intense pulsed light are commonly used devices for hair laser removal. The long-pulsed Nd:YAG (1064 nm) laser represents the safest device for hair removal in dark-skinned patients because of its long wavelength, although the diode laser, alexandrite laser, and intense pulse light may be used. For treatment of light hair, combination radiofrequency and optical devices as well as photodynamic therapy are under investigation.