A common question that is asked by patients who are considering laser hair removal is, “Why does laser hair removal not work on blonde hair?”

The concept of laser hair removal is relatively simple: Heat the hair without damaging the skin. If the hair gets hot enough and the heat travels down to the base of the hair follicle, the bulb of the follicle can be damaged enough that the hair cannot grow back. In essence, the hair is used as a heating element, which is why the laser won’t work if the hair has been removed by plucking, waxing or products, which cause the hair to fall out.

The light energy produced by the laser is only absorbed by pigment. The more pigment found in a hair, the darker it is and the more the laser gets absorbed; therefore, the more effective the treatment is. Blonde, white and grey hair have very little pigment so very little laser energy gets absorbed; not enough to heat the hair all the way down to the base of the follicle.

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