Laser hair reduction

Effective coarse hair removal using a focused beam of light.

If you have areas of unwanted hair that cause you distress, or are just too much effort to manage by shaving, plucking or waxing, laser hair reduction could be the answer. Laser hair reduction uses a focused beam of light to treat the follicles of stubborn, coarse hair and is one of the most effective hair removal treatments.

Why you might need it

Many people get fed up with having to shave, wax or pluck unwanted hairs on a regular basis. Over time, the hair grows back more thickly and the process becomes more time consuming.

Intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) and laser therapy are two methods that can achieve hair reduction. They can be used on large and small areas of hair on the body or face anywhere except near your eye. If you feel self conscious about hair on your face or body – particularly coarse, dark hair – and you want it permanently removed, this could be the right treatment for you.

We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.

Find a Spire hospital offering this treatment

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care.

All of our cosmetic nurses  are of the highest standard and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals.

All our cosmetic nurses are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC), and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.

Before your treatment

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see and when you want. They’ll be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering on-going support after your surgery.

All of our cosmetic surgeons are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals.  A cosmetic surgeon’s reputation, qualifications and experience are vitally important, so we only work with consultant grade specialists. These are highly experienced consultants who have completed years of medical training. All our consultants are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC), and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.

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Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

In the run up to this procedure you should avoid sunbathing or tanning salons, as the treatment works best on lighter coloured skin. It’s also best to avoid any other cosmetic treatments, like collagen injections or chemical peels, for six weeks beforehand. On the day of your treatment, make sure you don’t wear any perfumes, deodorants or other potential irritants.

The procedure

We understand that any treatment can be a cause of anxiety – even if it’s a relatively straightforward one like this. That’s why our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.

During the procedure a qualified medical practitioner will move a laser device over the area of unwanted hair. The hair follicles absorb the focused beam of light that is emitted and then heat up. This process destroys the hair at the root, helping to prevent re-growth.

You may feel a slight stinging sensation when the laser beam touches your skin but this can be helped with anti-inflammatory creams. Everybody is different and some people feel no discomfort at all during the treatment.

One treatment should be successful at thinning out the hair but several are recommended for best results. The whole procedure usually takes 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the amount of hair to be removed.


This is a non-invasive treatment, so you can leave hospital as soon as you're ready to go.

Pain relief

You may experience some soreness and inflammation after the treatment. Over the counter medication will help ease any discomfort.

Recovery time

You won’t need to take any time off work and you should be able to return to normal activities straight away. Your skin may look and feel sunburned immediately after the treatment but this should wear off in a day or two. Applying ice packs and perfume-free moisturisers will help with this.

End results

Your affected hair will gradually fall out over the course of the month after your treatment. You should continue to avoid sun exposure and schedule your next session for 4-6 weeks later.

Looking after you

Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. Your consultant will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.

If you have any questions or concerns we’re ready to help.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.

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