A Buyer's guide to laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is an effective solution to unwanted body and facial hair. It works by harnessing the effects of a specially designed and very powerful laser to target the hair follicles. 

This guide will provide you with all of the information you should consider when you are shopping around for Laser Hair Removal treatment, including details on how the treatment works; how to get the best results and the difference between laser hair removal and IPL.

Even though Laser Hair Removal is widely available, it's important to remember that it is a serious treatment to undergo and can have harmful complications if not delivered in a safe environment by a fully qualified practitioner.

What to consider when choosing laser hair removal


How qualified is the practitioner?

When carrying out Laser Hair Removal, a practitioner will be directing a powerful laser at your skin to target the hair follicles. This type of specialist equipment should only be used by a qualified, expert practitioner who you can trust.  

At sk:n, all of our practitioners undergo four to six weeks of thorough training and are required to pass a theory and practical test before they are allowed to carry out laser hair removal treatments. We are known for having the best training programme in the industry, during which all of our practitioners are supported and assessed by a senior nurse.

The nurse will only pass the training when they can be sure they are a safe, competent, knowledgeable laser practitioner, delivering high-quality care. Our laser practitioners are trained to NVQ Level 2 and 3, and many of our laser treaters have the laser BTEC, or are qualified nurses. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that there is currently no industry standard for the level of training required to administer laser hair removal. Beauticians working in salons may only have undergone a couple of hours’ training before carrying out this treatment. 

are there rules in place for performing laser hair removal?

Protocols help to ensure treatments are carried out to set rules and guidelines. Also, if there are any mishaps or adverse effects, it means there is a specific procedure in place which will be followed in order to resolve the issue.  

At sk:n, we follow a laser hair removal protocol which has been developed by our dedicated medical standards team (leading dermatologists and nurses) based on 20 years of experience delivering more than one million laser hair removal treatments. Our clinic protocols are specifically designed with the needs of our patients safety in mind. We choose the right parameters dependant on hair type and ensure all practitioners adhere to these strict protocols at all times.

What type of laser wavelength will be used?

The laser wavelength chosen is dependent on the patient’s individual skin type.

At sk:n, we conduct a full consultation which includes a thorough assessment of skin and hair type. We also carry out a test patch on a small, representative area of skin to ensure we have selected the right wavelength and strength of laser/laser parameters.

If you have a darker skin type the wavelength of the laser is of particular importance to you and your treatment. The laser is attracted to the pigment in the follicle of the hair and this is how the hair growth reduces. So when treating darker skin types, a longer wavelength is required to avoid the laser targeting surface pigment in the skin as opposed to the hair follicle.

At sk:n, ​we use the Fitzpatrick scale to determine skin type and will discuss the results you can expect from treatment during the initial consultation. We have a variety of lasers to safely treat different skin types and tones. Our practitioners will be able to select the correct laser to best suit you.  

Learn more about how Laser Hair Removal works.

how many treatments will you need?

Laser hair removal works by targeting the hair follicle during its active growing cycle, known as the ‘anagen’ phase, which is the optimum time for the laser to strike. Not all of your hairs will be in this phase at the same time (roughly 10-20%). Having a course of treatments at regular intervals means that there are multiple chances to catch those hairs.


Check out some of our Laser Hair Removal clients' Before and After photos.


How long will the treatment take?

The time it takes to perform the treatment depends on the area of the body being treated and how thick and dense the hair is.


How should you prepare for laser hair removal?

Ensure the area is clean, hair has been removed by shaving (not waxing) and all make-up removed. 


Is the hair you want treated dark and thick? The greater the contrast between your skin colour and your hair colour, the better. As the laser targets the melanin in the hair, people with red, blonde or grey hair lack the right type of melanin, so the results are less effective. 

What is the difference between laser hair removal and IPL?


The energy is extremely focussed so it is very precise, offering powerful and accurate results. Our range of advanced lasers can be calibrated to suit your needs meaning that whatever your hair or skin type, laser is safe to use.


The energy is produced by a lamp, a little like a light bulb. This lamp produces a variety of light waves that are less powerful and accurate than laser. IPL cannot be used on all skin types and it often takes a lot longer to achieve desired results than with laser.




  Beauty Salon or Independent sk:n
Clinics nationwide X Y
Evening and weekend appointments Y Y
Treatment delivered to strict protocols ? Y
Laser used is approved by Laser Specialist in each clinic X Y
Extremely low incident rate No data available to public Y
Highly trained practitioners ? Y
Vast experience - over 1 million Laser Hair Removal treatments delivered X Y
Regulated by the Care Quality Commission X Y
89% of clients rate Good or Excellent on TrustPilot X Y
Medical Director oversees each clinic X Y
Over 200 clinically proven treatments and product available X Y
Skin tone specific lasers for different skin types (based on Fitzpatrick scale* 1-3 and 4-6. ? Y
Free Laser Hair Removal test patch before treatment ? Y
Aftercare product pack and advice available ? Y
Established for over 25 years ? Y
0% Finance available ? Y
Winner of Best Clinic Group 2016 X Y
Medical Standards Team dedicated to oversee all treatments X Y
Regular audits to maintain high standards ? Y
Information in table above is used on a comparable basis and representative of a large proportion of independent providers.

*Skin type is often categorised according to the Fitzpatrick skin type scale which ranges from very fair (skin type I) to very dark (skin type 6).