Laser Hair Removal

The San Francisco Laser Hair Removal Center utilizes multiple laser systems to treat men and women’s laser hair removal needs including facial areas such as the lip, chin or sideburns, bikini normal or Brazilian bikini, men’s faces, back and shoulders, full legs and arms.

Consistently ranked as one of San Francisco Bay Area’s best laser hair removal centers for over 10 years our highly trained Registered Nurse provides affordable, effective and safe laser hair removal.

Our center has multiple laser systems that have been FDA- approved to remove hair in a fast, gentle, and effective way.Our lasers treat a variety of skin types (light, dark and tan skin) as well as different hair thicknesses (from coarse and thick hair to fine hair).

Currently, our laser hair removal center in San Francisco offers the following lasers for hair removal:

LightSheer Diode Laser made by Lumens Corporation – used to treat patients with light to medium tone or Asian skin.

StarLux by Palomar – used to treat patients with light to dark tone skin.


How does Laser Hair Removal work?

The laser works to remove unwanted hair by producing a beam of highly concentrated light that is scanned across an area of the body. The pigment within the hair follicles of that area absorb the light emitted by the laser. The laser pulses for a fraction of a second, just long enough to vaporize the pigment, disabling several follicles at a time to reduce or significantly impede the hair re-growth. Hair grows in cycles, and in any given area on the body you may have various hairs all at different phases of the cycle. With laser hair removal, only the hair follicles that are in the active growth phase will be most affected.

After the laser hair removal treatment, the remaining hair may be patchy, since some hairs are more resilient than others. The results from a laser hair removal treatment may vary from one individual to another, based on factors such as hormonal hair growth patterns, hair type, color of hair, ethnic background and the specific area being treated.

Is Laser Hair Removal permanent?

Even with the state-of-the-art technology available today, lasers cannot remove the hair follicle entirely. What they can do is disable the hair follicle. Laser Hair Removal impairs the growth of your hair over time, so that it re-grows slower, finer, and less visible. The FDA has approved both the LightSheer Diode and Starlux for permanent hair reduction, not permanent hair removal.

How many treatments does it take to remove unwanted hair?

Multiple treatments are necessary, usually spaced four to eight weeks apart, depending on the areas being treated.

What should I do to prepare for my Laser Hair Removal treatment?

The area must be shaved before the treatment. Any patients treating their skin with medications such as (but not limited to) Accutane, Retin-A, Hydroquinone, Tazorac Cream, Active Cleansing Gel, Differin Gel, or Alpha Hydroxy products should consult with a nurse or Dr.Rajagopal before beginning any Laser Hair Removal treatment. There may be other medications (not related to the skin) that may also affect the effectiveness of the treatments and will be discussed with the nurse at the time of your consultation. Patients may not be pregnant, or have recent sun exposure (before or even after the treatment).

Is Laser Hair Removal safe?

The lasers that we use at out clinic are non-invasive and are designed to be gentle enough to treat a woman’s sensitive skin, and effective enough for a man’s beard or back hair. Each has an active cooling system to gently treat hair while protecting the appearance of the surrounding skin. A small percentage of patients may be at risk of hyper-pigmentation (increased pigmentation) or hypo-pigmentation (decreased pigmentation). These conditions are temporary and will go away over time. At the time of your consultation the nurse will cover these risks in detail and will determine whether your skin type might be at risk for these conditions.

How long does a Laser Hair Removal Treatment session take?

A session for Laser Hair Removal may last from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the size of the area being treated.

How does Laser Hair Removal differ from other hair removal techniques?

Laser Hair Removal is more enduring than temporary treatments such as waxing, shaving, tweezing and depilatories. For long-term hair removal, electrolysis is popular and effective but can be painful and slow. In electrolysis, an electric current passes through a needle to destroy the hair root’s ability to grow. It is not unusual for Electrolysis to take months or even years of regular visits- even for small areas. Risks involved with electrolysis include electrical shock, infection, and pitting or scarring. Laser Hair Removal on the other hand offers faster, less painful treatments and more reliability than electrolysis. Best of all, Laser hair removal has been clinically-tested to be safe and more gentle on the skin.

Is Laser Hair Removal painful?

Laser treatments for hair removal have been described by some people as feeling like the snap of a rubber band. Most patients tolerate the procedure well. But because some areas of the body are more sensitive than others, topical anesthesia is always available.

What can I expect after a Laser Hair Removal treatment?

Immediate after-effects, if any, are minor. They may include redness and swelling, which disappear in a short time. Most people return to normal activity right away. Hair grows in cycles and the laser affects hair when it is in its early-growth phase. The laser will disable follicles that are actively producing hair at the time of treatment. (At any time, some hair follicles are dormant.) Repeat laser hair removal sessions will treat these follicles when they enter the growth phase.

If you have any questions regarding laser hair removal, or wish to schedule a consultation with Usha Rajagopal, MD, please call the San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center at 415-392-3333.

Watch Dr. Usha Rajagopal explain how lasers for hair removal differ from other cosmetic lasers.

*Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person.